Entitlement Reform and Its Relation to the Interaction between Our Government and Its Citizens

Cartoon by Mike Lester

As Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler is purported to have said:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result [that] the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Entitlements given to the populous by the government should be based upon necessity – not by want, dishonesty, or greed. As a Christian and as a conservative, I believe we should all do what we can to help the poor, sick, and disabled. However, I am adamantly against a government-mandated redistribution of wealth earned and paid via income tax to members of our society who game the system. While we should provide for those in need, we must have a strong litmus test in place to ensure accountability.

I am troubled by the current trajectory of our nation and the results of the election on November 6 have only fortified my anxieties. I believe that a large percentage of the individuals who voted to re-elect President Obama did so because of the benefits and help he promised throughout his campaign. By using scare tactics to encourage people to vote for him because “Republicans and conservatives hate women, minorities, the poor, the elderly, veterans, the sick, and members of the middle class,” President Obama was successful in dividing us in order to secure a victory. By dividing citizens into marked groups, he was able to target each group’s specific wants and promise to provide their requests.

As conservatives, we must begin to effectively communicate our message of economic and individual freedom before our country’s already dire situation worsens. We currently have one-third of our population on some form of government assistance. We must reform our entitlement programs while promoting the American Dream that hard work leads to happiness, success, wealth, and a strong family. If we all do our part, accept responsibility, and work hard, then our nation will thrive and prosper.

I truly believe the majority of Americans want to succeed in fulfilling the American Dream. Conservatives simply have to do a better job at showing our fellow citizens how important our ideology is to securing the future of America.

The Obama Doctrine: Vote “Present” March 2011

Photo courtesy of http://www.pbs.org

The office of the President of the United States bears an incredible amount of responsibility, both at home and abroad. Part of this responsibility, and probably the most interesting aspect of the presidency, is your personal influence on world affairs. A president’s statements will undoubtedly be broadcast to the world stage, and despite whether other nations actually want to hear your opinion or not, they generally understand that they must heed the U.S. president’s words due to the United States’ recognition as the world’s hegemon. Nations will often publicly condemn US foreign policy decisions and then reverse course and publicly request US guidance and support, sometimes within days or weeks of their original condemnation, based on statements’ and political moves made by the President and his cabinet. Despite some of academia’s disagreement with this assertion, all nations of the world act in their own self-interest (this, for non-IR students, is a major issue between Realist theory and liberalism), thus it best serves nations to listen to and comply with the United States’ stated policy. The hegemonic power of the United States, comprised of both hard and soft power, is in part enforced and maintained through our president’s foreign policy decisions; thus, our American way of life depends on effective and decisive leadership. Unfortunately for our great nation, President Obama resents America’s hegemonic role in the world and has expressed disdain for his foreign policy responsibilities. During every major crisis of his presidency, President Obama has chosen to take the middle ground and both American citizens and inhabitants of other nations are suffering the consequences. Our current president has been the only president during my lifetime who has based every decision on its political impact with regard to his popularity and legacy. Just as Illinois State Senator Obama chose to vote “present” on important legislation, he has chosen to vote “present” on his foreign policy decisions.

Welcome to the Obama Doctrine:

2007– President Obama: “…Barack Obama would meet with Iran’s leaders and offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek “regime change” if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues.”- interview with NY Times

2008– President Obama: “I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m gonna make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.”- interview on 60 Minutes

2009– Gave gifts of 25 classic American DVDs (ones that do not work in GB) and returned a bust of Winston Churchill given to us by the British after 9/11 to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in exchange for a pen made out of the HMS Gannet (an anti-slavery ship), a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute (the ship used to create the president’s desk in the Oval Office) and a first edition copy of Winston Churchill’s biography.

2009– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Russia a reset button to symbolize a clean slate in our relationship. Unfortunately, the Russian translation of “reset” was incorrect and instead the button read “overcharged.”

2009– President Obama graced Queen Elizabeth II of England with the gift of an Ipod.

2009– The US condemns Israel for commando raid on the six-ship flotilla intending to provide aid to the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Israel claims the ships were sent to provide illegal products to the Gaza Strip and that the commandos acted in self-defense. President Obama’s relationship with Israel continues to be strained.

2009– President Obama backs down on implementing the missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Part of his effort to reconstitute our relationship with Russia, the decision upset our allies and provided Russia with a major strategic victory.

2009– President Obama does not take decisive action to support the Green Revolution in Iran and the corrupt re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stands. Protestors are violently suppressed and the US releases a statement condemning the violence.

2009-2010– After spending three months reviewing the war in Afghanistan, President Obama increases the troop levels to just over 100,000 without a clearly defined strategy. Then, after publicly stating that the US will not be engaging in a nation-building operation in Afghanistan, continues to have our military build roads, irrigation canals, and put up electric grids.

2009-2010– The US Justice Department decides it will be a good idea to try terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay Prison in New York City and Washington, DC. The decision is also made to move the prisoners from Gitmo to a maximum security prison in Illinois. Neither initiative works out and Gitmo remains open and fully functional.

2010– President Obama at the G-20 conference, when asked if he believes in American exceptionalism, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

2010– President Obama fails to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt settlement construction in the West Bank and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas states that the talks are in crisis. Obama offers Israel 20 F-35 fighters worth $3 billion to halt settlements for three months but Netanyahu refuses and the talks fail.

2010– President Obama ratifies the START II treaty, drastically reducing our nuclear weapon stockpile. Obama failed to understand that the Russian ICBM stockpile was already outdated and they could not afford to upgrade their weapons. Russia wins again.

2010– A mysterious computer virus hits the Iranian nuclear program and wreaks havoc on their system; the perpetrator(s) are still unknown. President Obama has still neglected to sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and discuss a peaceful solution to our disagreements.

2011– Egypt rises up against their president Hosni Mubarak and President Obama neglects to make a statement until a week after the protests began. He eventually stated he supported democracy and peaceful protest and condemned the use of violence against the protestors. He then came out and stated that Mubarak needed to step down and the world waited. And waited. Finally, Mubarak flees and Egypt becomes a state controlled by the military.

2011– Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi makes the decision to bomb protestors who are rebelling against his government. President Obama does nothing for a few weeks and then publicly condemns Gaddafi and states he must relinquish power. Meanwhile, Gaddafi is massacring thousands of his citizens while the United Nations balks on enforcing a No-Fly Zone (primarily because the US and Russia are not willing to enforce it). More on this next week.

2011– Allegedly expressed to his aides his displeasure with the foreign policy aspect of the presidency and commented on how much easier it would be to be the president of China.

 

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