In the Bible after the Israelites left Egypt with Moses they came to the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. When the Israelites arrived they wanted to return to Egypt because they were afraid. Freedom terrified them and the entire generation was lost in the wilderness. Just as the Israelites feared the loss of security, Americans today are similar in their attachment to big government entitlements.
The cries of personal liberty and individual freedoms are louder than ever however people frequently don’t understand all liberty entails, both the good and bad; in that ignorance lies fear and in that fear people will be mislead. For the past fifty years the “Yes We Can” slogan has embodied empowerment of the people, however, I would contest that its only lead to their enslavement. Yes, We Can is collective and while we must connect with each other, our individuality makes us Americans and it’s with the individual that Liberty was bestowed by the founders of this country. These truths have been lost, or distorted so as to be unrecognizable, but it’s with these truths we must begin to reshape our nation for ourselves and our posterity. To all those who say “Yes We Can” the response must be, “Yes, I Can!”
Ben Franklin is noted for saying, “People who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, and will lose both.” We have traded our liberties away in a thousand little ways for temporary security, Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc. Some of these choices have enslaved our children and grandchildren with massive debt. This leads to a slow erosion of what made America great: thrift, determination, personal responsibility, and rugged individualism.
“Yes, I Can” is the true spirit of America; it says that I can take control of my own destiny. Both parties, Republican and Democrat, have ignored the American virtue of self-reliance and have consistently pushed government reliance to varying degrees. They propose solutions to problems instead of letting us solve the problems they cause. “Yes, I Can” states that I am able to provide for my own security. Yes, I can help my neighbor when they fall on hard times. Yes, I can figure out how to pay for a doctor without assistance. Yes, I can regulate my own behavior, teach my own children right from wrong, and provide for myself. Yes, I can change my lot in life “Yes, I Can!”
We as a nation, like the Israelites, face our own time of trial, where fear of the unknown can cause us to be lost, or self-determination can make us truly free. Without Social Security the elderly could starve and die in the streets as some politicians suggest, or we as a people could care for our own as we once did. Whom do you have more confidence in? Without Medicare we could have elderly die off in numbers unseen since the Black Plague with death carts on every street, or we could rise to the occasion and find new ways to ensure our loved ones are provided for in their sunset years. Which do you see more likely? Without Food Stamps we could have national famine, food riots as in other nations, people starving by the thousands, or we could see neighbor help neighbor, create bonds of community and fellowship unseen for decades.
Every time a politician proposes a new program designed to “help” to suggest that you have a right to something, they’re really saying you can’t provide this for yourself. Every politician who states that we need a charter of “positive” liberties stating what the government should or must do for you is either ignorant or intentionally ignoring the most common charter of “positive” liberties and its historic failures. To all politicians Republican and Democrat who claim to help, protect, or give the people anything, they’re really saying no you can’t do this, we have to. To all of them let’s respond with one powerful voice, YES, I CAN!