If I were the devil, I would not rest until I had undermined the foundation of -- and extinguished freedom's flame from -- America, the nation referred to as the world's last great hope - that shining city on a hill to which other nations of the world aspire.
I would accomplish my goal slowly using a government that offered New Deals and newer deals by way of handouts rather than hand-ups until the citizens willingly gave up their independence in favor of government dependence.
I would make it fashionable to work less and quite lucrative to not work at all. The idea of an honest day's pay for an honest day worked would succumb to endless unemployment benefits and welfare payments. I would steer people away from volunteerism and charity, convincing them that caring for others is the government's responsibility.
Free thinkers are dangerous to my cause, so if I were the devil, I would convince people to stop thinking. I would keep American children indoors, addicted to technology and the latest gadgets rather than human interaction. I would infiltrate the schools at every level to teach youth there is nothing to be gained by individuality or initiative and to take what they hear and read in class at face value.
If I were the devil, I would sow disrespect, disgust and doubt for America's founders, American history and the U.S. Constitution using revisionists who would rewrite history to deride America's Judeo-Christian values as retro and irrelevant.
I would make America a country of helpless victims divided into countless groups based on race, gender, class, age, religion and partisan politics. I would create generations of Americans who could perpetuate my philosophy of a people of the government, by the government and for the government.
I would create laws and regulations so restrictive, businesses would stop hiring and fewer and fewer jobs would be created. I would saddle America with crushing debt until I had neutered the economy. And when times got tough, I would relish in watching people flock to their government savior.
If I were the devil, I would unravel the fabric of the nation one marriage at a time. Divorce would become common, even in the churches and synagogues. Poverty and crime would reign with children raised in fatherless homes and I would redefine traditional marriage as archaic with Adam and Steve replacing Adam and Eve.
And I would not rest, nor would I leave any stone unturned until my work was done. "In other words," as Paul Harvey once said, "if I were the devil, I'd keep on doing what he's doing."
Susan Stamper Brown, good day.