GEOFF CUTLER: Our Independence Faces New Threats
This weekend, I celebrate with caution.
We've seen governments like this current one before. Only not within our shores. They cry crisis and move with stealth and speed. They act extraconstitutionally and hope we won't have time to notice.
I celebrate with caution, but am also optimistic that we will notice, that we will care, and that we will finally say: Not so fast!
To do this, we must look back. We must understand that American independence is much more than a catch phrase used once a year for a "blow-out" sale. Independence is much more than a day of fireworks and family gatherings. We, the American people, embody independence. We try to live it every day of the year.
We must remember that when we split from England and then fought for our freedom under God, we created something special, something the world had never quite seen. We said in effect, you cannot tell us what to do, how to live our lives. You cannot tax us unfairly or be so intrusive. We said emphatically, you cannot govern us without our consent.
Almost everything from this current administration and Congress flies in the face of that notion of independence and freedom. We are witness to assaults on our heritage of liberty, limited government, and pursuits of happiness.
I say this as an American, not as a conservative, or perpetual detractor. We were told real change was coming. I expected and hoped for something new and that this president would live up to his campaign promises. But all we got was worn-out old socialist ideals.
If you supported this Congress, or voted for this president: Did you vote for your tax dollars to take over failed car companies so that union workers could keep their jobs and Washington could dictate the size and environmental suitability of the cars you drive?
Did you vote for government to get between you and your doctor? Did you vote for government-mandated salary caps and board seats at banks? Did you vote to appease enemies and apologize abroad for America? Do you support thousand-page bills in Congress that are passed before anyone has a chance to read them?
Did you vote for trillions of dollars in spending during a recession? Did you vote to bankrupt your grandchildren? Did you vote for what will ultimately be huge tax increases, both hidden and overt? Is this what you thought was meant by "change"?
This is not fixing America's economy or problems from within our system. It is changing the system. This government is operating so fast, moving from one issue to the next with such speed, we do not have the chance to fully understand the issue, or the potential consequences of government action on it.
In a word, we don't have the time or information to grant our consent. But the law or the bill is passed anyway, and the corporation and bank are consumed. This is how government control works. Add the besotted, controlled media, perfectly happy to air one-sided infomercials for the White House, and we the people are used like puppets.
True, we'll vote again soon, but in the meantime, if we do not wake up, what's happening could radically alter the structure of free enterprise, capitalism, and liberty as we know it. If we do not speak up, and slow Washington down now, things like government-run car companies, national health care, and cap-and-trade, could be irreversible.
We're headed down a road that others have broken down on before. It's a road to mediocrity and public inertia. I'm confident the American public will finally see this foolishness for what it is.
So as we celebrate independence, let's try to think about what the word means as it relates to our country, our government, and us the people. Let's remember that our independence flows through us like the blood lost by those who have fought to protect it. Our independence is who we are as a people. It is why we are charitable and good.
And finally, let's remember our independence was gained and evolved after we recognized government tyranny and control and said: Not so fast!
Geoff Cutler is owner of Cutler Tree LLC in Southern Pines and is a regular contributor to The Pilot and PineStraw magazine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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