Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dependence Day

Upon celebrating the 4th of July, the birth of our nation under the Declaration of Independence in 1776, I couldn't help but wonder what direction our nation is free-falling to. Our Founding Fathers risked everything to fight for a country that they believed in. A free country. A country where "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." When America finally won her Independence from Britain, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written with the purpose of limiting government. We fought for Independence and they knew that we needed to preserve it. We needed to create a country where the strong arm of the government could not interfere with our right to live free. Are we still that country? The country that stands for freedom and an individual's right to earn a good life? I am not so sure anymore. There are more and more people out there that think they deserve a good life and that the government should provide it. The current Democratic controlled Congress and President Barack Obama are only too happy to comply with this.

Since his inauguration on January 20th, President Obama and Congress have been spending tax payer money uncontrollably, have taken over a portion of the auto industry, are setting the stage to control and regulate more of the banking industry and Wall Street, and now they want to take over the health care system and pass a Cap and Trade bill that will raise prices for all Americans on everything from heating your home to things you purchase at the store. If the Cap and Trade bill passes in it's current form, a government agency will be created that will inspect your house before you can sell it and tell you what improvements need to be made to meet government "green" regulations. Just as medical decisions should be made by a doctor and the patient, shouldn't improvements on a home be made between the buyer and the seller based upon an independent home inspection? Not according to the current administration and those running Congress. They know what is best for every American.

Our President couldn't even get off the fence to come out with a strong stand on Iran, the election and the protests for freedom. First he said,"We're still waiting to see how it plays itself out...." and that "The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way we are going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States." I am sure to the people protesting, there was a difference. To many who were protesting, it was not so much that Mousavi himself didn't win, it was the idea that Ahmadinejad could take an election illegally. Obama claims he didn't want to "meddle" in Iran's problems, but by making these comments and belittling what the people there were protesting, he did. If there was no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi and both regimes would be hostile to the U.S. anyway, then why be so timid and not condemn the actions of the government?

It was only after coverage of the protests increased and the tragic shooting of a 26 year old woman by the Iranian Basij Militia while exiting a car, that President Obama decided to speak with stronger criticism on the actions of the Iranian government, "When a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car that's a problem." Mr. President, it is more than a problem, it is murder.

Now to the complete other end of the spectrum, when the Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras had their military remove the leftist leaning President Zelaya, Obama came out quick. He claimed immediately that it was "not legal" and that Zelaya should be reinstated as President. In fact Zelaya was corrupt, had mismanaged finances of the government and was trying to circumvent the Constitution of Honduras by extending his term of office. The Congress agreed with the Honduran Supreme Court's ruling that Zelaya was in violation of the their Constitution and the military complied by removing Zelaya. As Hans Bader stated in his article, Will Obama blackmail Honduras into installing a bullying would-be dictator?, "The Honduran military's role in enforcing the court order does not make it a "coup" any more than federal troops' role in enforcing the court-ordered integration of the Little Rock public schools in 1957 constituted a military occupation or takeover."

What is scary is that Obama stated that the "U.S. will stand on the side of democracy" so to him, Zelaya represented democracy! In taking this stance, President Obama has now found himself agreeing with Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and every other leftist dictator and leader in Latin America. I applaud Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for taking issue with the Obama administration on it's reaction to Honduras.

In a letter to Obama, Ros-Lehtinen stated "the U.S. stance from the onset appears to have been focused on supporting one individual, President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, irrespective of the Honduran constitution, rule of law, and democratic institutions. ... [T]here has been no apparent attempt by the U.S to discern the truth about the status of democratic and constitutional order in this Central American country, before making summary conclusions and issuing condemnations based on incomplete information." She ended the letter by saying she hoped the Obama administration "will not have the U.S. response hinge on unconfirmed reports and accusations by sources with a vested interest in ensuring a particular outcome that may, or may not be in the interest of the United States."

The Senate will soon start confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who President Obama has nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States. She has stated, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." I argue that she does not see all people equally. She first sees ethnicity, then gender, and then the law, which she wants to create. In 2001, she said this, "Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage." Anyone who is a judge and makes it clear that they will be bringing their bias to the bench based on their heritage, gender and experiences, should not be anywhere near the Supreme Court.

Our country is changing. It is changing because we are being led by a man who lacks the knowledge of what freedom and democracy is, to be President of the United States of America. If the United States doesn't stand up to the government of Iran and doesn't give the people of Iran the message that we stand solidly with them in their struggle for freedom; if our leader doesn't see that in Honduras, the wheels of democracy were actually working in the ousting of Zelaya; if our President and Congress force government controlled health care and continue to take over industry after industry; if our government sees fit to impose taxes and create another federal bureaucracy to make the country "green", and if a judge gets confirmed to the Supreme Court who clearly doesn't see all people equally and sees her role as one to create law and not interpret it justly, where is our freedom headed?

The American people need to understand that if actions are not taken to stop the current trend of government interference in our lives and it's inability to stand up for the struggles of freedom in the world, we may be longing for the days of celebrating our hard fought-for Independence because we will be mourning our complacent birth of Dependence. Dependence on a government that thrives on power. The power to tell you what is right for you. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, " That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."

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