Forgive me if I'm a bit grumpier than usual today - I just finished a two-hour long commute to work because, apparently, if it rains, it means you should slow all the way down to 4 m.p.h. - even on straight, 5-lane highways. Sure, a few so-called "overturned tractor-trailers" didn't help the situation, but seriously people, step on it!
Okay, now that I got that off my chest, anybody out there got the swine flu, yet? Anybody afraid? How 'bout that vaccine the government promised, how's that working for you?
Exactly. I warned you months ago - okay, I know I did, but I can't, for the life of me, find the post where I said it - that there was no way that we'd have enough vaccine in time. In fact, I specifically said that other countries from which we were buying the vaccine would first take care of their own countries before shipping anything to us. Guess what happened? Australia decided to take care of their own citizens before sending anything to us. Weird how that works, huh?
Especially since we're going to be sending some of our own overseas before OUR citizens are taken care of.
Now, granted, this is not the only reason we're short. The virus is growing much more slowly than expected, so it's taking longer for batches to be manufactured. So now, apparently more than 1000 people have died, our children are extremely vulnerable, and, well, no vaccine. Ahhh, we might get a couple more in November, then oh we'll have a TON in December.
Really? You think so? Why am I not confident?
Oh, I know. It's because I'm not confident in ANYTHING the government claims. Remember how they said that unemployment wouldn't pass 8% if we passed the stimulus NOW? It's 10%. Remember when they expected the money allotted to Cash 4 Clunkers to last for three months? It lasted a week. Medicare was originally supposed to be a couple of billion dollars and is now a few hundred billion. Now the millions of swine-flu vaccines that were supposed to be available don't even come close to projections. And on and on and on.
So, what is it then that makes you believe ANYTHING they claim? If you apply this to healthcare, what makes you think it will be $1 Trillion and not $3 Trillion? And if it costs so much more than planned, then where does that money come from? Either they raise your taxes even more or they cut services. Medicine and procedures become unavailable. The left keeps claiming that there is no rationing in this bill and maybe...just maybe...they intend for there to be no rationing, but they also intended for most of us to be vaccinated by now. They also intended for unemployment to be on the decline. They also intended for Cash 4 Clunkers to still be going strong.
Intent and reality are two completely different things.
And that's if you buy the idea that their 'intent' is noble. That they want to help. I still believe from everything I see, that the Democrats want nothing more than to increase their power and to increase their voter base. They disguise it to look like it's supposed to help you, but anybody who takes a really critical look at their plans see that everything, from healthcare to Cap and Trade, takes over large segments of the economy at YOUR expense.
Those on the left, or even just those who want to believe that it's ridiculous to think that these aren't just good people with our best interests in mind should refer to something somebody once said:
It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.
- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, 1787
What Hamilton is saying here when you get through some of the flowerly language, is that the road to despotism was more often travelled by people saying they were 'doing it for the people', ascending to power on emotion, rather than substance, and ending tyrants. Every program brought forth by this administration has been supposedly 'for the people', but in reality hurts the people it claims to help. Demagoguery? The President's entire platform was 'Hope and Change' - neither of which we've ever seen, but, man, did it strike an emotional chord with the American people. But what were the specifics behind that hope and change? Anybody? And 'ending tyrants': Was Obama's election not due, in large part, to a backlash against the Evil W.? George W. Bush was one of the worst tyrants the world has seen, according to the left. I don't know about you, but I tend to heed the words of our founding fathers, especially when they seem to hit the nail on the head.
For those of you that will argue, "But Hamilton is pushing for government here, hypocrite!", I say:
Yes, firm, efficient government, NOT massive, tyrannical government that invades every aspect of your life, your home, your job, to tell you what you can and cannot do.
See, to me, efficient government means that government that does the few things the U.S. Constitution gives it the authority to do (national defense, regulate interstate commerce, collect taxes) and do them well. It does NOT mean to continue to grow and take over more and more things (not to mention doing it in a sloppy manner, wrought with fraud and inefficiency). In fact, I read an liberal argue on their blog that if there is no public option in healthcare, well, that would just give the insurance companies a hell of a monopoly!
There are many, many companies that provide insurance. The lack of government in that process does not make it a monopoly. If there was one company so big it was destroying anybody who tried to compete, THAT would be a monopoly. But these are the arguments the left is using to keep growing the size of our federal government.
This is NOT what the founders intended. The original colonies were VERY concerned with their individual liberties. They were so concerned with turning over the sovereignty of their territories to a centralized federal government that many initially fought against remaining a Union, but the founders managed to draft a document that created strong individual states with support from a federal government, not a strong federal government with support from the states.
If they had known that it would become what we have today - they probably never would have ratified the document. We've lost our way. Liberty and initiative have given way to entitlement and redistribution. And with it, our country continues to weaken.
But there are voices out there. Voices of the people. And soon the tide will turn. Yesterday a poll showed that 40% of Americans consider themselves Conservative, while only 20% considered themselves liberal.
That will show itself at the polls in 2010, and our voices will finally be heard.
J.E. Braun is the author of Paranoia, a 9/11 survivor's tale. Jim survived 9/11, but his life did not. Follow one man's journey through post-traumatic stress as he struggles to rediscover what once made life worth living. 10% of profits will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org). For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.