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Recovering Character In an Age of Greed

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

I am uncomfortable defending Wall Street Greed, yet I am even more uncomfortable with the threat of government greed.

Wall Street greed at its worst can lead to corporate failures and fortunes lost. Government greed leads to freedom failure and loss of the American Dream. Wall Street greed, as unseemly as it may be, is self-correctable within free markets. Government Greed is correctable only by good citizens, timely doing their duty.

Wall Street greed is a by-product of our human nature, all too often abetted by government interference and distortion of the natural marketplace, as seen in the mortgage and housing crisis.

Government greed is viral and avaricious, and far more dangerous. It is fed with both tax dollars and dreams of the people it is suppose to serve. And freedom, once consumed by government, is recovered only through most arduous effort, if at all.

The ‘problems’ of Wall Street are, in some respects, similar to those we have in Washington. It is a culture that defines leadership as “getting mine first” and responds to market incentives, for better or worse. Its ailments come from that pampered generation that learned and taught themselves that they each were ‘special’ – too special for patriotism, sacrifice and military service.

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Their early formation of character found abundant reinforcement to ‘self-esteem’ but precious little to selflessness and character. Old Virtues of another generation, “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight,” were demeaned and replaced by artificial protection from the consequences of irresponsibility and moral ambiguity. Both Wall Street and government learned their lessons well. Fewer than five percent of the sitting members of congress have ever worn the uniform and endured the privations of military service to their country. I daresay similar numbers apply to Wall Street.

Now it is time for people of honor to come forward and serve once again in an hour of need. These are the best among us – already proven in their willingness to give to a larger cause than self.

We have seen baby-boomers on Wall Street grab enormous bonuses like frenzied vultures feeding on carrion. Risks were mitigated and profits shared by collusive politicians. Washington uses Wall Street Excess, often the very product of Government action and incentive, as an excuse to expand political power at the expense of American freedom.

We have come to know these people well. They are of the same cloth. Takers. Is it not clear they will always put their own self interest above that of their employees, consumers, investors, voters, taxpayers or the nation? For politicians, their interest is raw, unmitigated power; so it is no coincidence that every solution to every problem, including the ones they manufacture (such as the healthcare ‘crisis’) inevitably entails more power for them?

Doubters, consider this: Is there anything Obama and the Democrats have done, is there ONE of their ‘solutions’ that involves less government and grants more liberty for Americans? Indeed, All - not some - give greedy freedom-grabbers more power to control choice, our money, our freedom and our very lives.

There are now good men and women turning up all over our nation to answer the call and run for office that would have previously not considered this unpleasant undertaking. They seek not fame, nor privilege, nor financial advantage. They look upon Service – as they have been formed: It is a DUTY.

Many of the political newcomers have recently left the military and now home, are rising once again to answer America’s call in our necessity... Two such exemplary men who are answering the call are LTC Allen West (US Army (Ret) and Lt. Ilario Pantano, a former U.S. Marine. Both are combat veterans. Both left family and comfort to serve and offer their lives upon the altar of American security, so that others may remain safe and comfortable.

There are others, but these men I know personally. I would trust them with my life. I personally recommend without reservation that you trust them with the future of our country. Both men are proven true in battle. Both have subordinated their careers, their families, indeed their very lives, for our safety and the security of our country. They are both up against entrenched, well funded, relentless and ruthless Democrat opponents. They need our support. We need their election!

These men will speak the truth, - even when it is unpopular. Now it is up to us to decide if we choose our priceless Liberty over an ever tightening noose of government bribes, in exchange for the false ‘safety net’ which strangles liberty in its knotted ropes until it is no more. We can count on these men to serve our Cause and preserve our America. Can they count on us?

I am also new to politics. A year and a half ago I formed the National Republican Trust PAC. Since then, I have felt like the antagonist in an Ayn Rand novel, telling people to send me their money so I can protect them from big government.

I do not hate politics in principal; I do hate what politics has become through lack of attention and cultivation of character necessary to preserve it from corruption. This service is the last thing I would ever choose to do but I undertake it with commitment because the Cause is so vital to all we love.

I dream of the day when I may quietly exit the political arena forever.

For now however, we all have to make tough choices: will we choose rugged independence that is our heritage or will we cling to the fat slavery promised by those who can only delivery bondage.

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