For the past few weeks, a growing number of protestors have been occupying Wall Street in New York as a statement about the “unfairness” that 1% of Americans have attained 35-40% of the nation’s wealth – as a symbol of corporate greed and the “economic inequality gap”. At first portrayed as being led by “young people” and fed by social media (they already have a Wikipedia entry), last week a number of unions and MoveOn.Org joined their growing demonstrations in lower Manhattan and in some other cities, imitating the civil unrest seen recently in other parts of the world.
Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and is a core principle for our nation and its form of government. We are committed to protecting our freedoms – the question is: from whom? There is good news for all of those who have taken an oath to the Constitution of the United States to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic:
it appears as if the Socialists, Communists, and Marxists among us are surfacing in the moment of desperation. Individuals that have been trained and educated by those that would preach the unrealistic expectations of how life should be “fair” have now come full circle, and in the world’s economic struggles they are desperate to figure out the “fairness” in life – but what they have figured out is that life isn’t fair.
Fairness is also not the same as freedom. What the Constitution guarantees is freedom, not a cutting-of-the-pie-into-equal-slices version of “fairness.” The redistribution of wealth intended to reduce competition and achievement into equal, lowest-common-denominator slices of mediocrity is an element of socialism, not the U.S.’s representative form of democracy.
Times are desperate and so are people. Be mindful of opportunists who will have you believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the ideological fence. We have seen in the past the failures of what they preach, and we are looking at the failures in Europe today as examples of their “fairness”.
Americans have unmatched potential – there is no stopping freedom when it is unleashed. Be careful of those who would have you contain freedom in the name of “fairness”. However, these protests also bring us good news: those people on the streets have come to see the logical conclusion of their unrealistic expectations, and that somebody else is not going to pay for that conclusion. All of their voluntarily-assumed debt will not be forgiven, the minimum wage will not go to $20 per hour, and no-one will receive pay for not working. For these outcomes, the protestors in New York are in the wrong country.
And the good news is that there are options available for them outside the U.S. They just have to pick and choose their options. We have examples in history and in our current world to be used as a guide.
As the current protest unfolds in Wall Street and the protestors and organizations run out of money, the media may say this is the first Socialist protest in the United States. But they would be wrong: FDR put down a protest using the military to correct the union strike under Communist influence inside the United States during World War II.
In some ways, today’s situation sounds similar to the strike in 1944: Communist influence, soldiers, national security. Why does our current President not respond as FDR did? Does he not want to support national security?
Again, we look to the logical conclusion, and that our governments in the U.S. – local and federal – resist using force on our citizens, again with respect to our Constitution. The protestors’ freedom to speak in an orderly manner is protected – but what is the logical conclusion of what they’re speaking about? If the wealthiest 1% of the country were to suddenly appear and distribute cash – so that everyone gets a prize just for showing up – would that be “fair”? And would it solve the worldwide economic crisis?
Winston Churchill went back to his primary school to give a speech. While he was being introduced, Churchill quietly sat still as he suffered a stroke. When it came time for him to speak, he struggled to the podium unassisted and then gave one of the best speeches of his career. And the shortest: “Never never never never give up.”
As a country, the United States will never give up its drive for innovation and achievement, no matter what the setbacks and challenges that present themselves. And if that is our logical conclusion, what is the commitment needed from individual citizens – to defend our freedoms, to speak up against errors and for improvements, but not at the cost of another American’s achievements? What is our shared role in our national security – personal and economic – and how does it balance with our freedoms under the Constitution?
Currently there are two philosophies at play: the philosophy of the self-reliance in capitalism, and the philosphy of its absence in socialism. Look to the next election for philosophical change that will guide our country for the next decade. If the American people were to vote for socialist leadership, we can look to the situation in Greece and ask – is that the option we want to take? If the American people decide to be self-sufficient, to lead on their own and not give up their dreams, there will be no stopping the freedom of businesses or individuals moving forward under the self-sufficient policy: government will be out of the way. May the best philosophy win.