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The Myth of Government Supplied 'Happiness'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File

Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They risked their lives and their property to fight for these rights. They knew what few seem to know today. The right to pursue one’s dreams, earn one’s success, and use the fruits of one’s labor are yearnings of free men everywhere. To ensure those freedoms, they created a limited Constitutional Republic to protect individuals from the overreach of an all-powerful government.

Liberty is so easily trivialized. Demonstrators love to put ”freedom” on placards but seem to have trouble giving it to those they disagree with. Our Founding Fathers stressed that the rights of one citizen should not infringe on the rights of another. Victor Frankl observed,“The Statue of Liberty on the East Coast needs to be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”  But today, far too many citizens have no interest in shouldering any personal responsibility.

What’s the secret to America’s success? Why do people keep trying to get into this country legally and illegally? People believe that in this country hard-working citizens can earn success. It isn’t even necessary that such a statement is always true and that some are not successful. What is important is that enough citizens still believe that they can achieve their own American Dream.

Unfortunately, over the years, the Democrats have moved from being the party of the worker to the party of special interest groups and the non-worker. By continually expanding government entitlements, they’ve wasted far too many capable, productive citizens by enticing them to give up their dreams and settle for government dependence.

Of course, achieving one’s American Dream has never been easy. Life is difficult. Even in a good economy, winning at the game of life takes work, struggle, failure, experience, successes, new learning, more failures, and hard work. It always involves a challenging journey. Parents who protect their children or politicians who protect their citizens from such experiences, the lessons learned, and confidence earned aren’t helping them. They’re trapping them in low expectations.

It is understandable that some Americans would rather have someone else pay for what they feel they deserve. But electing politicians who will take from their wealthier neighbors and hard-working wage earners infringes on their property rights and the wealth they’ve earned. Envy is always ugly, and electing politicians who promote taking from one’s neighbor because they want what they have should be shamed!

After all, if government programs were effective in getting citizens off government support and helped them become productive, self-sustaining citizens, it might be money well spent. Unfortunately, once a government program is started, few are stopped. Once citizens are receiving benefits, it’s hard to get them off.

This coming election is critical. In America, all citizens are promised ‘the pursuit of happiness,’ not happiness dumped in their laps. But after listening to the current Democratic candidates, it appears that every American is entitled to free healthcare, a free college education, a high wage, and even a basic monthly income… whether they’ve earned it or not.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The worst thing you can do for those you love is the thing they could and should do for themselves.” In this strong economy, the most caring thing politicians can do is to cut government benefits to everyone except the chronic poor. It’s time to force able-bodied Americans to use their own capabilities to find work and take responsibility for their families and their lives.

In a good economy, there are many innovative entrepreneurs ready to invest capital and hire more workers to make their dreams happen. President Trump has limited regulatory obstacles and allowed citizens and corporations to keep more of the rewards from their efforts. With our current low unemployment, there is no excuse for not finding a job and proving through hard work that you are worth more!

President Trump would agree with what Lincoln said about the wealthy: “I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war on capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.” 

Democrats like to call President Trump a dictator and a tyrant, but Trump is letting citizens keep more of their hard-earned money, allowing businesses to keep more profits to invest in their future, and working to free citizens from government control. Make yourself listen to the Democratic debates. It’s the left that's trying to control every aspect of your life—from taking your guns to increasing your taxes! Trust yourself. Don’t fall for the socialism the Democrats are promoting. Keep America Great Again and keep supporting this president!

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