My teacher shared my enthusiasm for them. I remember her walls in the classroom were adorned with their portraits, and I mean all year long not just in February.
Last November, we were in Washington D.C. and visited the sites where Washington and Lincoln are enshrined. I have wondered again this morning what they would be thinking if they were alive in America today. There is a conversation going around America these days about "inequality". It is being framed by the current POTUS, a man defined only by his ideology founded in his need to make government the dispensing machine for righting all the societal wrongs and assuring economic "equality" for all Americans. As the first black POTUS, we all hoped for so much better than he has delivered. The hard fact is it is he alone who is defining all the terms. It is he alone who is dictating how laws will be applied and how they will be interpreted. It is he alone who seems willing and more than able to do whatever he wants in the execution of the duties of the government and all its branches, not merely confining himself to the duties of the executive branch.
The bastion of his false beliefs is stamped all over the Obamacare legislation known as the Affordable Care Act. The underlying premise is that it is a right for all Americans to have affordable health care coverage. He seems to be the only person who thinks his definition of "affordable" is accurate. The wrecking ball has swung wildly in all directions. So far there seems to be no distinction about whether or not one is an American citizen to qualify, only that you live here. I remember when George W. Bush was mocked as "King George" and was accused of operating an imperial presidency. Boy, those were the good old days in comparison, weren't they?
The redistribution of private wealth and capital, even private ownership of property, is being promoted as never before by this government. Our current POTUS would assert his definitions of "fairness" must mandate that all Americans be treated equally. If you fall below certain income levels, the government will be there to provide not only a social safety net, but will make the attempt to give you more than you might receive if you were gainfully employed. The net result of this attempt has been more inequality and more unfairness than ever before. Pitting the economic classes and the ethnic races against each other has been given new stature under this POTUS. We have a record number of Americans who are on food stamps. It has become a widely recognized entitlement program if your income drops below a certain annual level. The minimum wage has been given a boost and mandated at a higher rate for all government contracts, supposedly to "level the playing field". Access to health care through Obamacare and Medicare and Medicaid for all Americans equally has become a political mantra that will likely never be reversed. Instead, it will have to collapse under the weight of its towering false assumptions.
All these efforts hearken back to the "war on poverty" waged back in the sixties by the Johnson administration. Like the "war on drugs" and the previous attempts to level the economic conditions of Americans, Obamacare will fail to deliver its promised results because socialism as defined and administered by government is so badly flawed in all its attempts to equalize the worker with the owner.
Equality between the sexes is another area where public policy has run amok. There are those hailing the recent court rulings that essentially have left us with a "genderless" definition of marriage. I read yesterday of a college in America that gives people 56 different options for the "gender" question on admission forms. Really? 56? Hard to believe, but that's the silliness of men's wisdom on display for all to see. Back in 1996, in Power and Covenants: Men, Women and Priesthood, we attempted to thwart the onrushing wave of false doctrine on that issue, many would say to no avail. But we tried. Inequality in this life is a reality. Equality is a myth of man's making. How does one attempt to equate the LGBT agenda with marriage between a man and a woman? Only through suborned courts and judges. Only in the feeble attempts of men's reasoning.
In days gone by, and even today in some cases, Americans who are the risk takers have always been rewarded with success when they invest capital for the benefit of those whom they employ. I never worked for an impoverished employer. They have all been successful because their business risks were rewarded with success to the degree they had enough capital to employ others. The employees have it within their power to create the capital for their owners - work always precedes the acquisition of the capital. In countless countries around the world when the working class was dissatisfied with their condition they rose up in rebellion. It happened in Russia, it happened in France, and it happened in America. If they are dissatisfied with their daily wage, workers the world over are free to access the markets with their skills and talents and see if they can earn a better return for their labors.
History tells us Washington and Lincoln believed in these principles. For that reason they were singled out for recognition in our national celebration of their birthdays. I'm still of the mindset to single these two out above all the other generic Presidents. In a previous post entitled "A Calf's Tail" I highlighted many of their notable quotations along with several other occupants of the White House. Today, I add a few more gems to the collection.
|President George Washington|
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
With regard to the need to preserve and sustain the right to bear arms, Washington counselled:
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
Washington believed morality in the public square could not be imposed by government. It was solely dependent upon religion:
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
|President Abraham Lincoln|
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."
No one believed more firmly than Lincoln that the American people were capable of making correct choices. The backbone that holds the skeleton of the Constitution together is the collective wisdom and judgment of the people:
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."
So powerful were these ideas in Lincoln's mind that he dared to state unequivocally:
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world."
On this Presidents Day 2014, let us keep sacred and long remember the wisdom of these two great Presidents. It should be obvious their meaning of equality had little to do with the way the terms are being defined in America today.
And, sadly, it should be obvious we are not seeing men of their stature approaching "equality" with them either.