The American Way of Life

The evidence clearly indicates that our most cherished rights and interests are all a part of the American way of life. Can communism, socialism, fascism, or any other coercive system provide these priceless blessings which flow to us as a part of our American way of life? The common denominator of all these coercive systems is the curtailment of individual liberty. Surely we will all agree that our Constitution provides the basis for the only economic system acceptable to true Americans.

There is an unsettled and anxious energy spreading throughout conservatives today. With the election of Barack Obama, and his impending presidency, the question is being asked: Will Obama try to limit our individual rights?

It is a legitimate concern, even if some on the Left see it as unwarranted paranoia. The political environment that fostered Barack Obama is founded on the socialism of State dependence. It is predicated upon individuals being reliant on the State for, not only income and care, but for permission and clearance to pursue life liberty and happiness.

As Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, father of modern liberalism, and mentor to Hillary Rodham, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers wrote, “…we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace…”

There are certainly places in the world, both historically and currently where power is “given” to the people by the benevolent government. The United States is not one of those places. In the United States it is the people who give power to the government. The individual is granted certain inalienable rights, not by the government, or by a Dear Leader, but by God. That is, just being a living, breathing person grants you the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The Constitution of the United States did not create these rights, but rather it recognizes and protects them. The Constitution guarantees these rights.

However, to the Alinsky pupil the Constitution is not absolute. It can shift and adapt according to the current social agenda. The Alinksy student views the Constitution as a “living, breathing document”. When, in fact the document is just the opposite. It is absolute, clear, and subject to only the interpretations of those who govern. Indeed, the Constitution fits into the world view of the Alinsky model the same way any other truth does, that is, it is relative and shifting. No truth is absolute. Alinsky declared that:

An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma to begin with, he does not have a fixed truth — truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing…. To the extent that he is free from the shackles of dogma, he can respond to the realities of the widely different situations or society presents.

Barack Obama, steeped in the Alinsky ideology, is the ultimate example of how this model works. He declared taht it was time for change, without ever explicitly stating what he meant. He left that up to the interpretation of the people. Change was for Obama, whatever the people demanded it to be. His entire campaign was based on awakening the people to a sense of their awful situation. His tireless proclamation for change, and a “fundamental transformation” of the American way of life was easily adapted to whatever demands the masses were making. Whether to end the war in Iraq, or to lower taxes or to provide health care, “change” was all that Obama had to promise.

And what is the American way of life he seeks to change?

Capitalistic individual freedom. The freedom to succeed, or to fail. The freedom of risk. Without risk there is no failure and no success. And without failure and without success there is no liberty, no freedom, no prosperity. There is only universal unhappiness. There is only universal poverty. There is no growth, economic or otherwise. The great open secret of America’s success is that the individual citizen has embraced the idea that any one of us can take a risk, walk out onto a sheet of thin ice, and succeed. Even failure is not a deterrent to success. Because in spite of and in the midst of failure, the experiment can be repeated, again and again. Until at last, like Edison and his light bulb, the triumph of the individual trumps the inherent pitfalls of risk.

The dependency doctrine of Barack Obama and Saul Alinsky seeks to curtail, even eliminate the individual’s freedom to take risks. They do this by pitting the rich against the poor. They agitate those who have less (many of whom have never risked anything) into believing that those who have more (often obtained at significant personal risk) are responsible for the plight of the poor, and as such owe a great debt to society. Alinsky was crystal clear in explaining this tactic:

A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.

Barack Obama, as one marinated in this sort of dogma campaigned heavily on the gap between the rich and the poor, and on closing that gap through increasing taxes on the rich and giving that money to the poor. In other words, he’d make everyone poor. Equal, but poor. He said:

What [Bill Clinton] wasn’t able to do was address the emerging structural imbalance in our economy — partly due to globalization, partly due to technology and automation — where increasingly the benefits of economic growth were accruing to a smaller band of people.

Or, as Ezra Taft Benson described it:

…during the past few years, particularly, loud voices have been calling attention to the weaknesses of private enterprise without pointing out its virtues. We have been teaching our people to depend upon government instead of relying upon their own initiative as did our pioneer forefathers. Our freedom to work out our individual destinies has been abridged. We have been looking upon government as something apart from us and have failed to realize that we, the people, are the government.

Barack Obama seeks to expand the role of government into our personal lives. He seeks to become a soft dictator, in that he will require our dependence on his government if we are to be successful. No success can come without his permission.

He has proposed required community service for students, suggested limits on how often and far we ought to be able to drive our cars. He has pointed toward limiting our energy consumption through price signals, designed to “change human behavior“. The result of such price manipulation would cause energy prices to “skyrocket”. He doggedly pursued voices of dissent during his presidential campaign, threatening to shut down the radio stations, newspapers, and television channels of those who did not speak favorably of him.

He has mocked the capitalist system of government that has created more individual wealth than the world has ever seen while pursuing the implementation of an economic policy which has never, and will never succeed.

We must remember that government assistance and control are essentially political provisions, and that experience has demonstrated that, for that reason, they are not sufficiently stable to warrant their utilization as a foundation for sound economic growth under a free enterprise system. The best way—the American way—is still maximum freedom for the individual.

~Ezra Taft Benson