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The authors thoughts upon finishing the novel Freedom In Peril.
FREEDOM IN PERIL
A fiction writer's opinion
I am considered by some to be too far to the right politically and as a result, it is said, even in my fiction I brow beat the Liberals, or, as some of them prefer to be referred to currently, ‘progressives.’
There may be some truth to that, but the fact is my beef politically is the similarity in both parties today. In their zeal to register more and more people for their parties, they have resorted to inferring that the agenda of every single group making up the various segments they are trying to represent will be given equal weight. Thus the Democrats in particular, who want to cater to any group representing the underprivileged (or under funded) for whatever reason, have no real platform to offer other than, "Stick with us and we’ll see to it you get whatever you need."
The Republicans are guilty, no less than their rivals, for indicating their concerns are just as much to the needs of everyone as the Democrats.
The plain fact is, there are supposed to be differences in the way the two parties think. The Democrats, claim to represent what all working people in the US consider to be important. Generally that means they want to be able to work hard at what they do and provide for their families a lifestyle which will permit living decently and obtaining reasonable healthcare, education, and leisure time to be representative of the American Dream. Above that, the Democrats have always advocated for the underprivileged. The Dems see themselves as the more ‘liberal’ in the sense that their social programs, attempt to try to give the downtrodden a more level road to travel to get back on their feet and take advantage of their piece of the Great American Dream.
On the other side, the Republicans believe (or, at least, used to) that we can do all those things much more efficiently without government interference. They believe the free-market system the US is supposed to offer to its citizens is what makes it great. By allowing business to compete, with minimal regulation, the growth in personal and business expansion will provide adequate wages and opportunities for the hardworking citizen to advance without being taxed into oblivion. Therefore, because people are challenged to do their best they will always include the welfare of the less advantaged in their thinking and giving.
The fact is, both parties politically, have become effective in doing only one thing. That, unfortunately, is to completely misrepresent their intentions in order to maintain what have become fairly cushy jobs in the congress and the senate. In the last fifty-plus years we have seen government expand itself and insert itself into every facet of its citizens lives. The puzzle is that, instead of life becoming easier as they have promised, it has become a burden which does little other than give money away to those projects and companies giving back to the politicians in clever ways that appear to be benefitting the public, and the government necessitating more taxes to sustain itself. Somehow it is always the bureaucracy which comes out with a fatter wallet used to keep power hungry politicians securely in their place.
We see rules supposedly made to protect employees and businesses that do the exact opposite. Forcing businesses to spend more to make less, thereby encouraging them to reduce expansion to meet the cost of new regulations thus suppressing the availability of jobs. We see large new bureaucracies to oversee the different industries they are regulating, costing the taxpayers more money and accomplishing very little other than raising the cost of doing business. Yes, these various bureaucracies do create some jobs, but at the expense of the businesses or industries they profess to regulate, and at a cost which must be absorbed by American taxable commerce which, all only makes foreign products more attractive both here and overseas. If it were possible to put a figure on how much this actually costs the final consumer, you and I, the working taxpayers, it would be frightening.
But, this is not the disaster which we ultimately cause by giving these political ‘geniuses’ so much unmonitored power. We have designed what they constantly tell us is the greatest welfare system in the world. Giving money to the poor and feeble. Providing education, healthcare, legal protection, even job training at costs only the government can afford to maintain. Well, that’s certainly what they claim.
This system is a wonderfully propagandized machine requiring billions (actually we are now talking in trillions) of taxpayer dollars so complex to account for, and so easy to transfer funds in and out of, there isn’t a politician alive who would dare criticize it... and why would they want to? It is a goldmine that includes such watersheds as the Social Security Administration, and the Medi-Care and Medi-Caid programs.
"Okay," my critics say, "now we’ve got you. You are nothing but a sour wealthy conservative who cannot stand big government because it’s such a socially progressive, modern system."
Oh, please. Sour maybe, but certainly not because I’m a wealthy conservative. I’m one of your local old people who worked all his life for a living, made some good moves and bad moves at all the wrong times. As my productive life declined, I saw my chances for a decent retirement subside to a slow trickle and then to nothing but my, and my wife’s SSA checks.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t ask anyone to give me what I didn’t earn until only recently with the bailout system everyone is telling me is so great. Is it? Look around my friend, I have. It’s not quite as good as you think.
There are however, some damn fine people most of them anonymous donors, who don’t need the publicity of your average Liberal entertainer-celebrity, they work quietly to provide safety nets for people who fall at the wrong time in their lives.
The Liberal entertainer-celebrity I speak of is the one who makes millions doing what they’ve always dreamt of, but first must piss it away and then hit rock bottom before they make their incredible comeback doing what they should’ve done in the first place. Only after, do they let the world know how they’re so much wiser now that they’ve got that out of their system and they’ve started their fund for the needy. The story is played out so much these days I believe there’s a course given for celebs titled "How to get free publicity and a tax-break telling the average guy what a schmuck you are."
Actually I strayed off my point here. Though, not quite as far as you might think. "Freedom In Peril" is a book I hope everyone will read. Because the things it deals with are real things we are confronting today as a country. We have so let our politicians run unsupervised for so long, the control of them has been given over to groups having only a self-interest to advocate their big business needs or their politically correct crusades for a neglected species or a maligned group. These are the ‘lobbyists’ (representing big business) and the pacs (political action committees) spending money and time with our politicians. Our politicians have become addicted to this special attention they see as being ‘their job,’ and are truly in need of an intervention by the public they’re supposed to represent.
It happens that the Democrats are in power at this particular time, yet it could, only a little less likely, be the Republicans doing what we are being subjected to with this current administration. This group of politicians now controlling the purse strings are simply displaying the lack of insight about what their job is and who they actually work for, as would many Republicans given the lack of direction we are giving them as our servants of the public. So the fault is ours, and the cost is much greater than just runaway spending.
The cost, people, is our freedom.
Our freedom was hard won on the battlefield and even harder won among the original group of men accepting the job of devising a system of government which considered the entire population of our country as rugged and as diverse as it was.
It was not perfect, there were things such as the slave issue that was poorly mitigated and glossed over because it was much too volatile for such a young republic. But, the seeds were planted in those original documents which would cause a man named Abraham Lincoln to decide it was time, a little over fifty years after the adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America, to free the slaves. He didn’t see it as something that would make him popular or unpopular, he saw it as his duty and because it was time for that progression in American thinking. It cost the lives of several million Americans, on both sides of the Civil War, to do what needed to be done. Definitely not a popularity contest. A necessary duty.
What we face now, in our time, with this idea of allowing our politicians to remold a system of government that represents no-one but special interest groups having the money to convince politicians of their special needs, is a civil war which can end up costing Americans the remains of freedom already eroded without serious thought from both sides.
The America you read of in "Freedom In Peril" is an America just like now. Big business and Special Interests have attempted to use the system to force the country into a one-world government. Because it’s fiction, it’s not that difficult to figure out that this kind of system won’t work very well for the America portrayed. If we are the beneficiaries of a free government, why would we want a system that would require us to give up more than we could receive from it? I will need a follow up to this story to make that decision for my imaginary world. But, our world... well... ?
In a way, we have that same situation facing us today. We are being asked to give up, or change our system, simply because the rest of the world has yet to understand what true freedom is. And I don’t simply mean the benefits. I am talking about the responsibility we all have.
We should not be running around the world apologizing for our perceived shortcomings. We have relatively small ones compared to the majority of countries in the world. We are a role-model system of self-government. Or, at least that’s what we have been until now. Now we’re going to bow and scrape to people who should be studying us to understand how inclusive we are as a people? Why?
Why should we be apologizing for anything, except maybe an overfed government which has completely misjudged an election to see itself as some kind of deity, put in place to answer the prayers of anyone submitting to its doctrine of feel good, giveaway policies? Please. We’re better than that.
Buried in our heritage, and yes, America does have a proud heritage of its own, is the truth of what we know about hard work, struggle, and never giving up.
I beg you to think about our direction, and preserving the intent of the Constitution of the United States of America. It is still the greatest single monument to the process of maintaining freedom.
Come to think of it, why are we not making the case to the rest of the world that free people don’t have time for invading their neighbors to take what they don’t have? They’re much too productive making more and better things for society to use.
One of those things was finished a long time ago, The Constitution. Just a suggestion, but why not go pick up a copy for yourself to read? Ask yourself after you read it, " Does this really need changing?
I, for one, think not. D. Kenneth Ross
A Fiction Writer’s Opinion