Last night I did something I rarely do these days; I sat down and watched an hour of the evening news. During that hour the local news ran a story about how the House Republicans have postponed a vote on President Trump’s healthcare bill due to the fact that Senator John McCain is out for surgery, and they need all the votes they can get if they want this bill to pass.
During the story the seed for this article was planted when the news showed a woman standing on a stage saying, “How dare the Republicans try to take away health care from millions of people.” So many thoughts ran through my head in the seconds that followed that statement that I could write a treatise based on them alone. Fortunately for you I want to keep my thoughts focused on one primary subject; this idea of entitlement to things people in America have today.
Every single belief a person holds is either taught to them or the result of things they have experienced over the course of their life. Therefore, if people believe that they are entitled to things, that belief was either taught to them, or they grew up having things given to them without ever having to work for them.
I remember growing up as a kid my dad always telling me that you had to work in life to obtain things. Sure, my parents would give me presents on my birthday and on Christmas, but anything else I wanted I had to go out and work for, save money for. I cut lawns, I washed dishes in a family run restaurant, I made pizza’s at Shakey’s, I stocked books at the Public Library, and I shoveled asphalt out of a hopper attached to the back of a dump truck in 115 degree weather. But, to quote John Mellancamp, “I earned every dollar that passed through these hands.” (Source: Minutes to Memories)
My first car was a 1962 Volkswagen Beetle with rust holes in the floor boards and a peeling paint job, but by God it was mine and I was proud of the fact that I had worked and saved for it. I drove that car everywhere with my head held high; even taking it on long road trips to the Bay Area to see concerts in San Francisco and Oakland. I had worked for the ability to have wheels that could take me away from the dismal life in Oroville, California, and I wasn’t about to let a few rust holes and loose running boards deny me the pride of having my own car.
But that’s the way I grew up; nothing was handed to me on a silver platter; I had to work for whatever I wanted. My dad used to also say something that has stuck with me over the course of my years, “If you’re gonna work for someone give them an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.” That has always stuck with me in whatever job I have held. I may not have been the best employee at some of those jobs, but I’ve always given it my personal best.
I recall a rough period of my life when my father lost his job and my mother had to leave her role as homemaker and become the breadwinner for the family; how it devastated my father. Yet during all those years of lean times my father refused to seek assistance from any of the programs which were available to him; he simply had too much pride to take handouts, as he called them.
Although my father and I butted heads frequently, and our last parting words were spoken in anger, the ethics that he pounded into my head over the years formed me into the man I am today; and were he alive today I would thank him for it.
You see, I was taught to be self-reliant, to put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, and that life isn’t always easy, but to pick yourself up when you’re down and keep pushing forward through whatever life throws at you.
But there’s one other thing my father taught me that I haven’t spoken about yet; the fact that when a person sees something wrong they should stand up and speak out about it. I recall countless times hearing the clickety clack of my father’s old manual typewriter as he pounded away with letters to the editor, or letters to his elected representatives about the issues that were of concern to him.
Even though we parted ways due to his prejudice against my Filipina wife, when she first arrived in the States after the evacuation of Mount Pinatubo he was so upset over how the military handled the evacuation of all spouses that he called the local paper; who then came out and interviewed my wife. Her story was front page news and that was all due to the fact that my father saw an injustice and spoke out about it.
When I look in the mirror I see Neal Ross, but deep down I’m more like Donald Ross than I often care to admit.
I grew up in different times I suppose; back when America still held its head high and was a place of great opportunity. Sure there was the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Watergate which cast a shadow over our land. Sure the Vietnam Conflict was raging and sought to tear this country in two, but Americans, for the most part, still held to certain traditional values and beliefs.
I can’t say that anymore about this country. Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, I hear this nonsense that government needs to pass this law or that to do this or do that for the people. It seems that no one today wants to accept responsibility for their actions or their lives; they want some sort of government safety net in case they run into hard times or fail to achieve riches or success.
That isn’t the America I grew up in, and I don’t believe it was the America our Founders had envisioned when they rose up and took up arms against their oppressors.
This sickness that is the entitlement mentality permeates America today. I see it in the laws people demand our government pass to create programs to help them, I see it in my place of employment where people do the bare minimum so as not to get fired; and then complain when they are expected to do what the job actually entails. I see it EVERYWHERE and it makes me sick to my stomach!
There is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, which I have used before by the way, which fits in nicely to my beliefs and values, “If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.”
The America that I grew up in was not a country where it was considered the obligation, the responsibility of the working class to have a portion of their pay withheld and then given to those who refused to work, or could not work. This concept grew into what it is now during MY lifetime, and I blame the people of this country for allowing it to become this politically correct rubbish that it has become today.
The minute anyone begins talking about cutting back on these programs which redistribute wealth they fact harsh criticism and are told they are heartless and uncaring. In 1766, ten years before our Declaration of Independence was even a thought in the minds of our Founders, Ben Franklin wrote an article entitled, On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor. In it Franklin states, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. … In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.”
Today’s answer to all our problems; be it the woeful state of our educational system, or poverty, is to throw more money at the problem and hope it will go away. How well has that worked out for us? Our schools still suck, and there are still many living in poverty. To top it all off our national debt is pushing steadily towards the $20 trillion mark.
But don’t worry ole Uncle Sam’s got everything under control. (And if you didn’t recognize it, that was sarcasm.)
You know, Einstein once said something that aptly fits in to what I’m trying to say, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein also supposedly said that the definition for insanity was doing the same thing time and time again but expecting different results.
Donald Trump campaigned on the slogan, Make America Great Again. What made America great was that it was a land where people were left to their own wits to achieve success, not one where they came here and were given everything they needed to survive.
Everything we do these days is done to ease the symptoms of the problem, not remove the cause of the problem. Take this health care issue for instance. Why is health care so costly these days? Our answer is to make health insurance available for all at the cost of higher premiums for those who can afford it. Why don’t we address why it costs so much more for basic medical treatment now than it did 50 years ago? Why don’t we address why it costs people hundreds of dollars, often thousands, for treatment that is obtained for much less both North and South of our borders? Why does the FDA, (which happens to be part of the government by the way) refuse to allow treatment by homeopathic means; instead declaring that only drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies can cure disease?
You may not want to believe this, but it is all about control. If you provide a service for the people they are less likely to take offense at the fact that you are depriving them of certain rights. The old saying you don’t bite the hand that feeds you comes to mind.
America was founded upon the concept of individual freedom, and you aren’t truly free if you are dependent upon someone else for your survival. It’s that simple. The more they provide for you, the more they control you. This goes for the money you get to buy your groceries, the subsidies you get for your homes or your children’s educations; and for the protection provided by law enforcement to keep you safe. Take away your self reliance and what have you got; a land of slaves dependent upon government for a portion, if not all their needs.
In closing I would like to leave you with a couple lines from a song written by the rock band RUSH, entitled Something for Nothing, “You don’t get something for nothing
You can’t have freedom for free.”
Nothing in this life is free; if you’re getting something without having earned it, the chances are it was paid for by the theft of money from those who DID work for it.
Freedom does not come without a cost. Just one look at Arlington National Cemetery will confirm that.
Our country was birthed by men who cherished freedom so much that they were willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for it. What are you willing to sacrifice to get the freedom we have lost back?
July 18, 2017
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.