Obama's War on Individual Liberty
Roger Simon, chief political columnist for Politico, once called President Obama "the greatest orator of modern times." And a week ago last Friday, speaking to supporters in Roanoke, Va., our president proved his ability to communicate to me beyond even Mr. Simon's expectation.
The president spoke sincerely as he stated, "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own." He went on to say, "If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Those words were so powerful that they encouraged me to go straight to my father's grave and ask who besides my mother and him worked 60 hours per week at a store called Southern Pines Fabrics so that I could go to college and law school.
I remember their original store on Pennsylvania Avenue across from The Pilot. I remember when my mother would give me a nickel for a Coke from the machine in the newspaper's office. I never knew that someone other than my parents earned that nickel.
When I met Don Denoff (yes, he was the brother of Sam Denoff who wrote "The Dick Van Dyke Show") and saw him work day and night to develop the Country Club section of Southern Pines, I never knew that someone else was responsible. Perhaps we ought to name the streets of Whispering Pines for someone other than Artis B. Hardee, its founder and developer.
Most important, I needed to tell my father at his graveside that when times got tough and Mr. Hardee became late on his payment for draperies made in my father's store, someone else should have paid him.
When I heard what Obama said, I understood what this election is all about. Actually, it is not about health care. Neither is it about jobs. These are just the back stories. This election is about a way of life that my father taught me and which I taught my children, a way of life about which I am afraid my grandchildren will never learn.
I told my children that if they work hard and study hard, choosing a life guided by their faith, then happiness will likely be the result of their pursuit. This, I told them, was their American heritage. President Obama spoke to the contrary.
According to the president, the "all-nighters" I pulled typing emergency court briefs for clients without enough money to buy me lunch the next day were someone else's work. I just wish the back pain I received while crammed into a coach cabin commuting from my paradise in Pinehurst to my Los Angeles law practice could be given to someone else. Perhaps Joe Biden could work on that.
My philosophy was always closer to that spoken by James Stewart in "Shenandoah." As the family gathered at the beginning of the film, Stewart's character offered an irreverent and perhaps sacrilegious prayer.
He reminded God that with respect to the food they were about to eat, the family worked hard to plant it, harvest it and cook it, all by themselves. With that in mind, he also thanked God for it. In a country torn by civil war, Stewart then spent the rest of the movie rescuing his children from governments both North and South.
At one point, he reminded another character that it was not the government that brought forth that part of a woman's anatomy necessary for his babies to suckle.
The philosophy of President Obama is that the individualism pronounced in Stewart's prayer ought to be replaced by the collective. It is nothing less than the replacement of the Protestant work ethic with the philosophy of an African village taken from Hillary Clinton's book, "It Takes a Village."
Clearly, I am neither Protestant nor African, so I hope I can be fair. As such, I reject the collective. I applaud the individual. I do not want a country where my successes, few as they might be, are attributed to someone else and my failures, as many as my children claim, are blamed on the success of others.
The price of personal liberty is the acceptance of personal responsibility. Ceding those rights to the Welfare State is like giving the Creator's endowment back to the king. It is the conviction I must take to the ballot this November.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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