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March 27, 2012

The Road to Revival

Farrell Keough

As I have said in the past, ‘we needed Jimmy Carter to get Ronald Reagan.’ President Carter’s Administration handled our economy, foreign relationships, energy, and the myriad other aspects so poorly that the entire nation was ready for a person of real vision and integrity to take over the reins.


The comparison of President Carter to President Barack Obama is striking – neither was prepared for the depth of the job. Our economy is in shambles and our debt is out of control. Hence our dollar is losing value, our relations with other nations is at an all time low, the populace is in a malaise, and there is no real vision for the future. It should be a slam dunk to change administrations!


But, alas, we are not seeing such a sea change. The old guard has determined that only a moderate can win over the American public. It has so quickly forgotten that President Reagan did not win over the public because he was an actor – he won the hearts and minds because he spent years reading, writing, and speaking about his core values as a conservative.


We now have candidates who either temper their words so as not to offend, or do not have the depth of reasoning to articulate their message to the masses. A change is still necessary, but it is likely it will not be the change toward that “shining city upon a hill.”


Rather than focus upon the pessimistic, we should set our sights on the Congress and local elections – in short, we need a landslide of conservative voices. In our state, spending is out of control! The same can be said of our Congress! We need to keep our spotlight on these issues.


Regardless of the serious issues facing this nation, the bottom-line with most all elections is the economy. We have a genuine opportunity to influence both Democrats and those unaffiliated voters since all of us are facing the same situation – high prices, lack of employment, and little vision for the future. What is most perplexing is the simplicity behind this situation – rather than leverage the amazing engine of capitalism, we have embraced government as the solution.


For when the government undertakes to distribute the wealth, by what principles will it or ought it be guided? Is there a definite answer to the innumerable questions of relative merits that will arise?


Only one general principle, one simple rule, would provide such an answer; absolute equality of all individuals. If this were the goal, it would at least give the vague idea of distributive justice clear meaning. But people in general do not regard mechanical equality of this kind as desirable, and socialism promises not complete equality but “greater equality.”


This formula answers practically no questions. It does not free us from the necessity of deciding in every particular instance between the merits of particular individuals or groups, and it gives no help in that decision. All it tells us in effect is to take from the rich as much as we can. When it comes to distribution of the spoils, the problem is the same as if the formula of “greater equality” had never been conceived.


It is often said that political freedom is meaningless without economic freedom. This is true enough, but in a sense almost opposite from that in which the phrase is used by our planners. The economic which is the prerequisite of any other freedom cannot be the freedom from economic care which the socialists promise us, and which can be obtained only by relieving us of the power of choice. It must be that freedom of economic activity which, together with the right of choice, carries also the risk and responsibility of that right.


[The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich A. Hayek – abridged edition, 1944]


These are not new concepts. Herr Hayek wrote about these issues after seeing the impacts of World War I and II. The slight of hand that socialism offers has been a common theme and mechanism to influence the public since we’ve had elected officials.


After years of being told the government will (and should) handle more and more aspects of our daily lives, many of us have come to believe that is true. In fact, it is so prevalent, many conservatives don’t even realize when they are being sold magic beans.


We need to understand in our core that we have the responsibility for our lives and our decisions. We need to speak to the public about this truth! The American public knows this in its heart, but many of us have simply accepted the falsehood that our government will take care of us – even when we make decisions which result in failure. You will never succeed if you don’t take the chance and encounter failures.


Press our leaders to know and articulate these truths! Speak to those people who don’t know these truths and remind them that this is what made and makes our nation great! Remind them that this is what energizes a person to aspire to greatness. This will not happen from the top down; it will be a bottom up revival of this nation!


When government offers what seems an easy way out, we often accept it – life is difficult and those choices seem to provide an avenue to rectify our situation. But, the dependence that is attached is a much more difficult and a burdensome byproduct!


Think on these things and make them part of your core beliefs. Speak to others about them so you fully understand and believe them. Once we push these original concepts of our nation back into the public dialogue, we can and will see the change we desire, and we may begin to move toward that “shining city upon the hill”.


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