Misplaced Faith

Vail Columnist Cal Thomas (“My View,” The Vail Daily), motivated me to write a follow-up to my post on Misplaced Worship.

Thomas was apparently motivated by the interest the Democratic Party is showing in nominating Oprah Winfrey for their presidential candidate to run in the next election. He questions why the Democrats would be so desperate for power that they would nominate a celebrity like her, particularly since they have been so critical of our current “celebrity” president. In politics, of course, it’s all about the power, and Thomas states that politicians on both sides of the aisle hold on to their power by typically promoting dependence on government over encouraging self-reliance.

He reminds us that the Puritans and our founding fathers favored self-reliance, and it is self-reliance, not reliance on others, that has made our nation great by encouraging hard work, obtaining a good education, being thrifty and living within one’s means. He maintains that reliance on others encourages envy of others, greed, and an entitlement mentality, and this prevalent mindset in America today is what is holding us back from becoming great again.

Thomas touts the virtue of reliance on self in calling it the parent of many other virtues. He quotes blogger Col Gornam Singh who surmises that “the self-reliant man is patient and persevering. He does not envy others, nor does he think of begging favours of others. He faces his misfortune with a quiet courage. Therefore (Ralph Waldo) Emerson calls self-reliance ‘the essence of heroism, the first secret of success’. The self-reliant man feels neither fear nor shame to labor with his own hands, if necessary. He is always learning new lessons, gathering valuable experience. His example is an inspiration and his achievement is an example to others. This confidence in himself wins him the confidence of others.”

Thomas makes a good point when he tells us that, as political power increases, our individual power decreases “by way of higher taxes, greater debt, and more regulations on business and individuals.” He really drives the point home that if government could make our life better through our dependence on it, we wouldn’t be in the sad shape we’re in today.

He concludes by saying, “People who look to Washington and Hollywood for deliverance are always disappointed in the end.” He says that this faith is misplaced and will do us no good in the end. Instead of “progressing,” our nation has regressed from its origin. We’ve dug for ourselves a deep hole as a nation, and the only way we can climb out is for our government to encourage its citizens to be more self-reliant, not more dependent on them.

Of course, the problem needs to be recognized before it can be addressed, and I fear it will take a revival or a revolution to put us back on the right track again.


2 thoughts on “Misplaced Faith

  1. I remember when self reliance was the order of the day in this country. The fact that there were plenty of good factory jobs, unions, good salaries, and free healthcare for all workers was the main reason why. The poor whites worked, black men worked and maintained families and were proud. . . . . . then

    the factories either closed or moved out because the unions and environmental laws were sucking up more and more of their profit. The owners, the government, as well as the workers are all at fault in this. But the workers suffered the most, especially the blacks who had no jobs left to go to even if they wanted to work, but then why would they? They were given free money via welfare to compensate for their loss . . . more money than they could now earn.

    Add on free healthcare against the cost of providing your own and you can see the catch 22 syndrome that was created for them . . . the one time hard working man takes the free money and buys drugs to placate the loss of his pride . . . the government rewinds the slavery clock and the beat goes on.

    Today it’s “get a job you lazy bum” . . . but there no GOOD jobs to get that are worth the effort. Today’s product of brats and degenerates is a direct result of greed and selfishness from all corners. In essence we ‘chosen ones’ have created the lazy bum image into our own racist image and revel in the fact that WE are not like THEM . . . but we are and are about to realize it.

    When all the money goes to the top of the pyramid, (which it has) when all media is controlled by a few families (and it is) . . . revolution soon follows. (and it is coming) The pyramid will collapse, the hierarchy as well as the true believers will be destroyed, and the cycle to rebuild begins again, and again, and again throughout the eons of time until we ALL learn that we ARE our brother’s keeper. . . . and even more we ARE our brother. There is no US vs THEM.

  2. This is exactly what has happened in America over the past fifty years. The fat rising to the top, the middle class losing its influence, the rich getting rich and the poor getting poorer, and none of our elected representatives seems to recognize what has happened or seems to care about doing anything about it. This, as you say, is a pathway to disaster. The only way to avoid this bad ending is for our government to recognize the situation and respond accordingly. What’s the appropriate response? Well, that’s what we pay the Paul Ryan’s and the Mitch McConnell’s and the rest of them to come up with. We can start out by throwing the lobbyists out of D.C. and impose term limits on Congress, just as we have with our executive branch. Congress can focus on supporting the working middle class by funding educational programs, affordable health insurance (yes, it’s come down to that) and doing all it can to support financial security. Welfare needs reform too. Stopping more folks who have a taker mindset from coming into this country is a must too. America has met greater challenges than this before, and I’m optimistic we can meet this one. Only then will we have a chance of greatness.

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