There has been a common refrain around our house, for the last five years in particular–“What is wrong with these Democrats?” And if that has been our refrain, our chorus has been, “Who votes for these people?”
And listening to the President’s State of the Union address and the Democrats’ rebuttals delivered the other night; we were again singing our song. Who does vote for these people?
My daughter has been studying the American Revolution in her fifth-grade Social Studies class, and I can’t help but compare the Democrats of today with the Patriots of yesterday. How does Harry Reid stack up against Thomas Jefferson or Paul Revere? How about John Kerry or Ted Kennedy against George Washington or Benjamin Franklin? Try comparing Hilary Clinton or Barbara Boxer to Alexander Hamilton or John Adams. Here’s the scariest of all–Robert Byrd or Bill Clinton to John Hancock! We would be flying the Union Jack today, that’s for sure.
So, after watching the State of the Union address and the stupefying re-rebuttals, our family has a new question for measuring a politician’s worth–“Would they have voted for the War for Independence if they had been a representative to the Continental Congress?” Let’s review. Senator Kerry and Barbara Boxer would have voted ‘Nay’ because they were sulking. Senator Byrd would have identified with a senile tyrant like King George. A Declaration of Independence written by Senator Kennedy would have been garbled and incoherent, not to mention meaningless. That’s sobering isn’t it? Let that one sit on you for a minute. Ted Kennedy writing the Declaration of Independence! Could Senator Reid have fueled the flame of freedom in the hearts of the patriots as did John Adams? Senator Hillary Clinton’s shrill hysteria would not have smoothed the feathers of the delegates as did John Hancock’s quiet diplomacy. Oh, Oh??¢â???¬ ¦how about Al Gore and Benjamin Franklin? Can you picture that wise man Benjamin Franklin enhancing his ‘package’ for women voters? Okay–I have to stop–it’s just too ridiculous.
Our Founding Fathers, whatever their political persuasion, all had one thing in common–they all had an understanding of the human spirit. They understood that freedom, that inalienable right, is the defining force of mankind. That every human being yearns for freedom, and it must be defended at any cost. That without hope, the human spirit is quenched; and that without courage and the strength of character that comes from self-government, or self-discipline if you will, we would die.
I cannot find any evidence that the Democrats of today grasp the enormity of what it means to lead this country, let alone set an example for the rest of the world. Again, the question begs to be answered, “What is wrong with the Democrats?” They cannot see beyond their own jobs, or their own electoral control, or their own power. Weakness and vacillating hypocrisy rule their behavior and their decisions. Sadly and dangerously, courage that comes from the strength of conviction and righteousness is not their guiding compass. Democrats are afraid of freedom, because the freedom of others threatens their slothful status quo and their own grip of control.
There is one quote from the President’s Inaugural speech that echoes in my mind, “In America’s ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character–on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of self.” This truth is affirmed on every level of our existence. The success of a self-governing country depends on the ability of its citizens to practice self-discipline. Conversely, those without character–without the discipline of self-government or self-discipline or self-control–are the antithesis of freedom. The very enemy of freedom, which is the life blood of the human spirit. A lack of self-discipline is poison to a self-governing democracy.
Consider–the alcoholic cannot be free until he exercises self-control over his desire to take a drink (whether a behavioral choice or a matter of genetics, self-control still needs to be brought to bear). Without self-discipline throughout the course of his education, a student deprives himself of the freedom to choose from all possible career choices. The overeater is a slave to her desire for food–she can only be free when she can control her eating and exercising. The abuser, the murderer, the rapist, the ‘road rager’, the pregnant teen, the adulterer–all have chosen not to cultivate self-discipline. A lack of self-government or self-control is the burden of slavery, not freedom.
But the crux of the matter for the Democrats is that self-discipline is hard work. A weak character refuses to take on the task of character development, and consequently, public interest suffers. President Bush also said that “The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it.” Democrats have not the strength of character to develop self-control, because self-interest is more rewarding in that it costs less and demands less. And if they have not the backbone to develop self-discipline, then others must not be allowed to either because who then would have the upper hand? It’s almost as if President Bush knew the nature of the opposition and fired off in advance, “The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it.”
Witness the Democrats reaction to Social Security reform. They are willing to espouse the empty rhetoric of reform as long as they aren’t really required to work for reform. The Democrats are afraid to let us have control of our own money because then they lose control and power. They refuse to allow us our right to the self-government of our earnings and our financial future. They refuse us our right to the practice the freedom of self-discipline.
Only a soul rooted in the hope of its potential in its own destiny has the strength to forge ahead and to assist others in achieving their own appointment with freedom.
Only the men who had conquered the hardships of a New World would have had the strength of character required to declare and defend Independence. Only a heart that has struggled to control its baser instincts, its selfishness and self-interests is a heart that is privileged to discern and carry on the dream.
Our Founding Fathers had the courage and the strength and the self-discipline to lead the Colonists toward self-government. Likewise, President Bush has the courage and the strength and the self-discipline to lead this country, and the world, in the rewarding challenge of fostering the passion for nothing less than freedom. Can the same be said for the Democrats? Have they demonstrated the perseverance to stay the course in the face of the world’s disapproval? Did John Adams? Have the Democrats exhibited the personal discipline of self-control to guide our military? Did George Washington? Have the Democrats consistently displayed wisdom and a lack of self-interest in their campaigning and their voting records? Did Thomas Jefferson? Have the Democrats held high the standards of integrity and honesty? Did John Hancock? Have the Democrats been willing to sacrifice everything–including their own best interests–for the sake of freedom no matter where it burns? Did John Paul Jones?
They don’t understand the freedom of self-governing is the freedom of self-control. They are weak, and they are miserable in their weakness, so they make every effort to bring the country to their level. They can’t see to help others to the oasis of freedom because their weaknesses hold them in bondage.
So??¢â???¬ ¦I’m asking you. What is wrong with these Democrats? Who votes for these people? Would they have supported the War for Independence? If History had seen fit to place Barbara Boxer and Hilary Clinton and John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean and John Edwards and the others in the Continental Congress, would there have been a Declaration of Independence, or an American Revolution, or a Constitution? I believe not. Why not? For the simple reason that these events required the best that mankind has to offer– courage to stand alone for what is right, strength to withstand adversity, vision to hold to the purpose, faith in your fellow patriot, and integrity to admit when you were short-sighted. The Founding Fathers and President Bush have discovered the secret to keeping the passion of freedom alive. The Patriot of freedom, both yesterday and today, must be willing to sacrifice himself to serve the greater interests of the ideal–freedom.