As the level of citizen frustration with our government reaches an extraordinary level, and as the division of political parties grows wider, I feel most citizens are caught in the old smoke and mirror world of politics. This distracts from the real issue - the future of the core belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that forged our country and our form of government.
The new health care law is just that, law. The judicial branch will, in the future, give this new law its final test (and clip a couple thousand pages from it I hope). The negative ripple effect throughout our nation's economy and loss of individual productivity will not be measurable for many years. The debate now, in my opinion, is the future of individual freedom in our country.
Congress and the President of the United States appeared to act as one branch of government rather than two, in passing and signing this bill into law. This is not good for the future of the United States and troubles me much more than the new law itself.
The blurring of the branches of government, not only at the federal level, but also at the state, and local levels, and the erosion of individual liberty is what must be the focus of American citizens. How much individual liberty is lost in this new law?
Whether liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, I think most citizens would agree the Federal government has taken too much control over state and local governments. Federal and state elected officials appear to be the puppets of big money interests and influence and not representatives of the people.
Electing representatives and then not holding them accountable, is common. Government officials' not answering a question when asked is common. Elected officials' voting for ambiguous legislation is common. Congressional leadership that allows appropriation bills to be introduced that play one value against another is common. Elected officials abusing their power is common. Waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs, are common. Selective enforcement of laws and regulations by a ruling party is common. As individual freedom is eroding away, there appears to be no common sense in government.
Our freedom was earned by individuals willing to put everything, including their lives, on the line for it. Our countries ancestors did not arrive here on jet airplanes, they arrived on leaky, crowded, wind powered boats, and with barely enough food and water to maintain life. Many died with the dream of freedom not realized. They struggled to survive their first years, and rebelled against taxation without representation to form our government. Let us not forget those who have died obtaining and then defending our core belief in individual freedom.
I feel we have arrived back to our beginnings. Many have lost everything to the current economy; lives are not being lost not to death, but to the lack of hope for the future. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are fading fast. Faster than facebook, faster than a twitter. Our government representatives are not focused on priorities important to individual liberties. It appears government is focused on trying to please everyone, and most of all, the enemies of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Do our elected representatives need a refresher course in the core values that founded our nation? Do those who answer yes to the question, "Is individual liberty still part of America's future," really know what individual liberty is? I pray individual liberty is not totally lost before we realize it is gone.
Raymond H. Leach