Among the reasons a country falls into the grips of socialism is how appealing it is to many people when they’re promised “fairness” via government control of the nation’s resources.
A leader advocating such a system gains popularity and seizes the reins of power over a populace that has lost sight of the reality that pursuing such a course costs them their freedom.
Barack Obama’s promise to transform and rebuild America in that direction got him elected to the presidency six years ago.
Last Tuesday, he concluded his annual report to Congress by declaring that the remaking has begun and promised to continue to push it forward.
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It is nothing short of amazing that he has severely snubbed the clearly stated will of the people of the country.
As recently as last November, they rejected the president’s policies and turned Congress over to conservatives who promised to prevent the transformation of our democracy into something less.
President Obama made it clear that he intends to thwart the Congress by vetoing measures designed to create middle-class jobs via free enterprise, to protect our borders from illegal immigrants, to address the costs and access to healthcare, and instead pursue a redistribution scheme via higher taxes.
He has repeatedly declared that he will move his agenda of social programs and bigger government ahead via powers not granted to any president under our Constitution.
Before I am accused of using what some have told me is a tired old scare tactic of accusing the president, his party and their media supporters with false warnings of socialism, let me explain how I define it.
Definitions often are given in a discussion format. Mine is very direct and simple to express: All growth of government comes at a cost of lost freedom. Left to its own entirely predictable course, socialism crushes the potential of societal achievement.
While a position of taking from the wealthy to help those who aren’t is popular class warfare, doing so will result in a very different outcome than simply making things fairer.
Look around and see if you can find a socialist country as successful as the United States, founded on the principles of self-reliance and equal opportunity to seize the blessings of liberty denied to those of any other system.
I’ll save you some time — there aren’t any.
Among the examples the president gave us of his determined intention to proceed in a direction contrary to the public will, this one stands out:
Declaring that climate change is the biggest threat to our national security is resulting in Obama administration regulatory initiatives supported by no law that specifically authorizes such actions.
That is happening in spite of consistent findings that the people of our country have little interest in pursuing such a course, which is going to lead to more government and higher energy costs for every American.
In the just-released annual Pew Research survey of the top concerns citizens want Washington to address, global warming again ranks 22nd out of the 23 priorities on the list.
Fortunately, practically none of the president’s transformation plans will be approved by this Congress. Most of them will never even be considered.
Thankfully, we still have checks and balances in our system of balanced powers distributed among the three branches of our unique government.
It will survive the remaining two years of the Obama agenda, and maybe the liberal policies dominating our recent experience will be over.
When voters complete the task by electing a conservative president to match the conservative Congress they created, we will experience a right turn and preserve our future.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. firstname.lastname@example.org