Tags: Keep | America | the | Way | Was | Meant

Keep America the Way It Was Meant to Be

Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM

Watching that scene, I was struck with the thought of how radical the notion of America must have been to the world when our Bill of Rights was written, putting forth the position that all men were created equal.

For centuries there had always been an elite ruling class, believed to have acquired their rights directly from God. The masses were subjected to either a ruler's benevolence or his wrath. To oppose a ruler would be to oppose God. There was usually no change in a person's station in life among the masses. A family would exit a century as poor and as destitute as their great-grandfather had entered that century. And so it was for hundreds of years in every part of the world; the masses were subject to the ruling class and nothing much changed.

Then, in the eighteenth century, a group of men who helped settle a new land garnered faith as they watched their efforts prosper. It became self-evident that all men were blessed by God, and all men yearned to be free. So, they declared their independence from the rulers in England. They established a nation whose government was based on laws that recognize that all men are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. All men desire the same things: life, liberty – which is freedom from arbitrary control – and the right to pursue a course in life that is personally pleasing.

They were free men because God meant them to be free. Gone forever would be the absolute rule of any despot king. And, if they decided to set up any "controlling legal authority," that body would derive its powers only through the consent of the free people.

That was, is and should always be the spirit of America. A spirit of freedom that empowers an individual to pursue a life whose actual perimeters reach far beyond the point of even their greatest dreams.

The world watched America in those early years and wondered what would become of a nation in which a common man could possess the freedom of a king. This was a new, exciting and revolutionary way of living. Common men throughout the world secretly cheered for our founding citizens. As America grew, millions of like-minded people, whose hearts yearned for the same freedom, came here to pursue their own dreams – and, in doing so, enriched, not only their lives but the entire nation. American ingenuity produced a country that exceeded all expectations and, today, stands as the world's only superpower.

Yet, in spite of all the abundant wealth freedom has produced, 224 years after our country's birth, our freedom is in jeopardy. This year's presidential election is the most important in two hundred years because of the truly diametrically opposed opinions about freedom held by the two candidates.

George Bush embraces freedom with the same affection as our founding fathers and recognizes the empowering, uplifting, and enriching effect it has on the masses. Al Gore fears freedom for the masses in much the same way a despot ruler feared the great unwashed masses' ownership of pitchforks and torches. Let's examine the differences.

Bush emanates a youthful exuberance that parallels the optimism that began this nation. His expression of joyous expectations seems to mirror our country's wondrous achievements. His countenance beams acceptance, approval, a wink, a nod, a thumbs-up kind of guy.

Bush recognizes that the benefits of government are best derived from a limited scope. A strong military is necessary, but not a strong bureaucracy. Taxes are a necessary evil, but he acknowledges that the money paid as taxes was first earned by hard-working Americans. Bush favors freedom but not one devoid of responsibility or accountability. Bush is not afraid to state the obvious: that government does not generate wealth, private industry does, and the best job government can do is to get out of the citizen's way.

He possesses a willingness to be open-minded on the issues, such as global warming. He wants to appoint a panel of scientists to study whether or not global warming is real, and its causes. He will not allow important issues to be politicized. He does this because he has integrity. A thread of freedom connects each issue in his political philosophy.

Gore's demeanor is one of a stern, humorless taskmaster. He would have made a great ruler in the Napoleon era – proud, stiff, puffed-up, condescending and elitist. He's the type of ruler who won't give his people a tax cut, because he imagines he won't like how they would spend their money.

Gore believes that whatever the private sector does, government can do it better. In fact, he seems to believe that it is the job of government to be involved in every aspect of a citizen's life. He has proposed the largest increase in government spending and social programs since FDR and then turns around and says he is for smaller government. He does this because he lacks integrity.

Gore has proposed a universal government day care and government health care. I imagine a Gore administration will do for day care and health care what the government has already done for public housing and public education. Gore's philosophy can only be described as socialistic and un-American. His policies, beliefs and ideas are the exact antithesis of what our founding fathers envisioned for America.

Gore's plans for our country would be absolutely ruinous to the wealth, health and prosperity of our way of life. Let's examine why.

Assessing a Gore presidency is like wading through a field of manure. So much of what he says is just shameless pandering for votes that it is difficult to know exactly what he will or will not do. He claims he will give us a tax cut, but Bush has successfully exposed that lie. Gore said millions would be "eligible" for tax relief under his plan, but if you itemize your taxes or take the mortgage deduction, that would disqualify you. Gore is parsing his words very carefully, just as Clinton did with the word "is."

So forget about getting tax relief if Gore is elected, but why would you ever believe him? Remember it was the Clinton-Gore team who promised us 100,000 new cops, one million reading tutors in classrooms and a middle class tax cut. I haven't seen any new cops, except, occasionally, in my rear-view mirror. I haven't heard of any new tutors. Taxes were not cut, but raised, and on not only the middle class but Social Security recipients as well.

Three issues we know Gore will institute: the paid family leave act, a business-hostile EPA, and high gasoline prices. All of them will devastate our prosperity.

Only a career politician with absolutely no business acumen would think that a paid family leave act is a good idea. The family leave act forces businesses to pay employees leave for a variety of personal reasons. No company can endure paying employees weeks' worth of wages without receiving just compensation.

Twenty-five years ago, my uncle received 13 weeks paid vacation from his employer, the second-largest steel mill in the country. That company no longer exists. The two largest steel mills in the country, with a history and heritage in Pittsburgh, are no longer in the city. I often thought all those high-waged numerous vacation weeks helped kill that industry.

The last steel mill to go "under" in Pittsburgh was the LTV Corp. in 1998 when 714 employees lost their jobs as Clinton-Gore's EPA issued stricter federal standards in our city's air quality. They cleaned our already clear air by raising the maximum ozone level from 125 parts per billion over a one-hour period to 85 parts per billion over an eight-hour average, and successfully outlawed "dust" in Pittsburgh. That is how the Gore administration will treat businesses and American jobs.

Yet the worst example of what a Gore presidency will do to this country involves gasoline prices. In his book "Earth in the Balance" it is clear that Gore favors high gas prices for the purpose of discouraging the use of autos and, thereby, reducing air pollution. During the recent rise in gas prices, Gore spoke against the price increase and blamed the oil companies, but if the concern for the "working " people was real, the Clinton-Gore administration could have immediately reduced the gasoline tax, providing financial relief for consumers. They didn't because their ultimate goal is higher gas prices.

An artificially high and immediate raise in gas prices will be the death nail in the coffin of freedom. Gasoline prices affect every product, and higher prices add additional cost at every level of transportation.

This is a plan that will truly punish the poorest of the poor. It will bankrupt small business, which will put people out of work, thus increasing poverty, which will reduce product demand, which will in turn affect supply, which will increase prices, and the downward spiral will consume America's prosperity.

This is a recipe for economic ruin and government intervention. This is the real Al Gore plan. So, in keeping with one dying man's wish, in lieu of flowers, vote Bush.

Joan Nagy can be contacted by e-mail at

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Watching that scene, I was struck with the thought of how radical the notion of America must have been to the world when our Bill of Rights was written, putting forth the position that all men were created equal. For centuries there had always been an elite ruling...
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2000-00-02
Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM
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