A New Kind of Slavery

We have created a new kind of slavery in America. Gradually we have become a society where half of the people have become submissive to the government that was created to serve them, a government created to keep them free, not enslave them.

We have  pursued public policy that gives money to farmers for not planting crops, to millions who remain unemployed, and to students who think grants are their right to higher education. Multiply these situation many times; subsidies abound in our government. Gifts and grants abound. Even a school employee who has been removed from the classroom for a variety of reasons, can remain on the payroll for years never working another day. Food stamps distribution has climbed precipitously; payments for disabilities have increased more rapidly than disabilities possibly could apart from a calamity or a disaster. College debt has become a national crises. Most college students think of loans and grants before they think of working while attending college.

Our country was founded and prospered on values of personal responsibility, hard work, ethical behavior, integrity, honesty, compassion, being able to keep what we earn, and Christian values. These are sadly missing in those who have joined the entitlement culture.

I have lived through many decades of this enticement mentality. I have watched it grow. I have seen the insidious results. I have seen generations willing to live in the slavery of government hand-outs. I have no problem with helping people who need help, who need a helping hand, or a hand up. But I have watched  the demise of initiative, the diminishment of personal responsibility, the increased sense of entitlement, and the incessant pressure of political correctness to discuss any of it..

I am a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, a board member, a farmer, a student, a teacher, a veteran, and you name it. But I am first and foremost, a child of God and a citizen of theUnited States of America. No one can make a slave of me unless I allow them to do so. I cannot become a slave to the ideas of others as long as I have my own ideas and I can freely express them.  I cannot be a slave to the dreams and wishes of others when I have my own dreams. I cannot become a slave to any entity or person because they control my purse string. I cannot become a slave to political correctness when I act on my right to free dialogue and a free exchange of ideas. I am free to speak my mind.

When we teach or help people to be satisfied with less than they can be, we are helping them to be slaves to mediocrity.

When we prevent people from doing their own thinking and we entice them to think as we think with promises and free things, we are helping them to be slaves. Why do you think slave owners prevented their slaves from reading? A republic requires a thinking, educated citizenry to survive and thrive.

When we model huge debt, political chicanery, fraud and waste at the federal and state levels of our government, we teach our people to become slaves to personal irresponsibility. When we practice class warfare, when we continue to preach from the bully pulpits of power that it’s OK to take from those who have earned and give it to those who choose not to work or be responsible, we create slaves to laziness, indolence, wasters of time, and an inability for people to become all they can become..

People who work to become all they were created to be, who live their own dreams, who read and have their worlds opened, who write and think their own thoughts, cannot be made into political  slaves. But to remain free, they must resist the attempts of the slave-makers to silence them through intimidation, political correctness, and regulation and control. Yes, even lies. They must demand the freedoms guaranteed them under founding documents. They must not vote for those who promise them a rose garden, but who really are making them submissive, gradually confining them to a briar-patch-life of personal and political slavery.

 

Perspectives on Life and Government Edicts

Just got back from a walk to the end of the driveway. That’s my usual walk everyday, but today was different. I started the walk very frustrated because I had spent a couple of hours composing a blog that I was very pleased with.  Somehow I struck computer keys that made it all disappear. Nothing I tried retrieved the copy. And, of course, it was one of those times that you didn’t do what experience has taught you over and over again–save it as you move along. I finally gave up in disgust and “took a walk.” Anything to get away from my computer.

Well!!! The birds were singing. They seemed especially active for my benefit. The palms were swaying gently in the breeze. The daffodils were greeting me as only they can do in the spring. The air was warm and friendly. White clouds against a lovely blue sky were  ripe for creating imaginary animals or shapes from their forms. Red tailed hawks swooped up and down for their prey and were deadly in their accuracy. So many birds singing just could not be ignored. Actually none of it could be.

A kind of calmness settled over me as I relaxed to enjoy my walk, It became a grateful walk as it is always intended to be. Yes, I had lost a piece of writing and couldn’t retrieve it. But as I walked and as I sat at the end of the driveway, the magic of real life was presented to me. The hawks, the birds, the roadrunners, the bunnies, or the squirrels really didn’t care. The clouds moved on over a magnificent blue sky. Perspective is always a fresh “Ah, Hah” moment. It’s like neurons that haven’t been touched before.

So what was I writing about that I got so upset about? Well, this morning news had an item about regulating school snacks. The federal government would enforce more rules on local school food services. Must be part of the first lady’s attack on obesity. Drinks could only be so many ounces for elementary and a few more for older children,  and snacks could only be 200 calories. And there was more.

I had gone on for two pages about how most local school board members feel about government regulations. We monitor our food services quite carefully. Our board changed our snack period at our middle school from sugar laden rolls, drinks, and candy to choices more in line with what we were teaching in our health classes. Just one example of walking the talk that learning takes place not only in the classrooms but everywhere.

While what I had written about was very important, it represents just a small problem relative to federal government interference in education. This would be just another of their unfunded mandates. It seems so easy for the bureaucrats to sit in Washington, D.C., and dream up things to do in the name of helping children.

School Districts have local boards who care deeply about the children in their districts. They know the culture, the needs, the population of their area. They know one size doesn’t fit all no matter how hard they try to make it so . They understand the individual differences that exist in their kids. All they have to do is look at their own or their neighbors. Kids in one family who have the same parents, who live under the same roof, and who eat their meals at the same table are very different people. They may have very different tastes and needs.

As a local school board member, I see more and more interference in education from all levels of government. The federal level always has strings tied to any money they make available; the state Education Code grows bigger every day. More policies, more regulations. The responsibility and commitment of local people who serve on school boards become more and more entangled in the bureaucratic briar patch.

A Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President:

My life span of over 91 years has covered many administrations. No, you are not the first president with whom  I have tried to communicate. But you are my president now. I feel compelled to talk with you because you are the leader who has had or will have the greatest effect on the future of my family. I love my family.

I love my country, too. I am so grateful to be a citizen of this land, the most noble experiment in democracy ever founded and given birth by our Founders. But the erosion of freedom that I see is much like the erosion that I saw on the farmlands of the Midwest where I was born or that I recognize in the little pile of dirt at the end of a little rivulet of water when I irrigate my present farm. It’s not much, but I know it is important because left untended there will soon be no growing soil. So it is with my country. Erosion of freedom little by little finally leaves the soil of our republic so thin that it cannot support the liberty trees of freedom.

My sons and their wives work extremely hard, but they are allowed to keep precious little of what they earn. One of our founding principles for individual freedom is that people must be able to keep what they earn. “Democracy cannot exist when we take from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Jefferson was clear about what it would take to maintain the republic he had helped to found. Mr. President, please do not continue to take from those who are productive and give to those who are not when they are able.

My grandchildren are saddled with a mountain of debt. They must wonder sometimes why we work so hard and why I have worked for seventy years of my ninety-plus when so many around them are not working at all. Two of them now are working; they have experienced what happens to their paychecks. As they see the debt clock race on the path to 17 trillion, they must wonder why we haven’t stopped its speedy path to the gradual destruction of the country that we love. They did not ask to be born into this mountain of debt that engulfs their future. To maintain our republic, each generation must pay its own debts. Our children and grandchildren deserve no less. Mr. President, please stop the debt clock from moving at break-neck speed. I want my grandchildren to be free to pursue their dreams rather than live in the slavery of our folly–this enormous burden of debt.

Two of my grandchildren have graduated from college. They worked while in college. While they have student loan obligations, they are not the all consuming numbers that many college graduates have. These mammoth sums will make them slaves to their loans for many years. Or they will become college graduates who join the ranks of those who don’t or can’t pay their loans. They will become a number in the national disgrace and crisis of the student loan culture. Mr. President, please encourage our young people to work rather than to take “free money” or an easily obtainable loan because “it is their right to go to college.”  Fight for jobs, not Pell grants. Please don’t continue your policies that cause our young people to become slaves of the entitlement culture.

Mr. President, please help our citizens to depend on themselves rather than the government. Help them to regain their independent spirit, the spirit of ’76. Please help them to throw off the shackles of unearned entitlement.  Encourage them to dream their dreams; help them to raise their expectations for themselves and their children. Give those who need it a hand-up not a hand-out. Living in poverty generation after generation is slavery.

As I see many in your administration take pride in the increasing number of our people who go on food stamps, I am saddened. Many use their food stamps as a government credit card; they are free to buy most anything, not just necessities. Mr. President, please create a program that encourages people to get off food stamps, that limits their use to necessities, and  one that makes food stamps more difficult, not less difficult to obtain. Please, Mr. President, do not encourage more and more people to depend on the government for their food. Please stop enslaving them under the pretense of helping them.

Mr. President, please stop campaigning and start governing. Please stop creating divisions and chasms of discontent with your words and your actions  and start bringing us togethr as you said you would in 2008 and as you should. It is your sacred duty to guard this republic; you have sworn to do so.

Respectfully,

Grandma Tucker