The other day I wrote about Abraham Lincoln's idea of what makes the United States great. His determination was that in this country "every man can make himself." For that reason, we were and remain, in Lincoln's words, "the wonder and admiration of the whole world."
As Barack Obama's approval rating dips, the Republican Party's approval rating is still in the gutter. We have no compelling counter message to what Obama is doing. True, right now we really don't need one. People will soon forget it. But as he continues down the path toward socialism, we need to prepare our countervailing narrative.
That every man should be able to make himself seems to me to be the right idea.
Barack Obama wants to socialize healthcare in America. As Jay Rockefeller said last week, the Democrats' healthcare plan involves denying choices to Americans. And that's just it — with the exception of the right to choose to abort your child, the Democrats want to give you lots of "rights," but no choices about how to live your life. The Democrats' "rights" are imaginary rights — rights that are not real, have no historic basis, and take money from you to give to someone else. Let's be clear here: If it requires taking someone else's life, liberty, or property, it ain't a right.
And the Democrats know it. We all, in fact, instinctively know it. We know there is no right to universal broadband. We know there is no right to home ownership. We know there is no right to comprehensive, total government funded healthcare. But the Democrats are offering those up as rights.
We must fight back on a message of allowing each person to make their way in life.
Forcing responsible citizens to pay for the irresponsible denies the responsible citizens the resources to make themselves.
Forcing Americans into a healthcare system that takes away their choices on healthcare denies Americans their choice and puts the government in charge of their lives.
Adding trillions of dollars of debt forces future generations to cover this generations screw ups and denies them the resources to reach their full potential.
Driving up private sector costs to make public sector costs look cheap is a fraud on the American people.
We Republicans and we conservatives can fight amongst ourselves at the periphery on a lot of issues, but here is one area in which we cannot fight: the right of men to make themselves, i.e. the right of free men to freely act in a free society cannot be compromised.
Right now there seem to be too many Republican leaders and pseudo-conservative mouthpieces willing to compromise freedom for electoral gain. That electoral gain is not going to happen. The reason is simple. A Republican willing to sell out freedom for ephemeral promises will never outbid a Democrat doing the same.
The issues and policy positions the Republican Party must present to the American people are not those that the Democrats would offer marked down to wholesale prices.
No, the issues and policies the GOP must present are alternatives: freedom over equality. Independence over dependence. Property over poverty. Choices over mandates. The right to make and not be made.
When the Democrats offer Americans universal healthcare, we must not only show why their plan would suck away freedom and create dependency on an inherently dysfunctional system, we must also show that letting people freely make choices for themselves while government only provides for those who truly can't is the ideal solution.
A number of people — too many — say that is too tough a sell. Friends, there is nothing tough about selling freedom. And more importantly, it is the right thing to do. Freedom sells. Americans instinctively know that government run operations are crap. They know it every day the mail shows up. They know it every few years they stand in line to get a new drivers license. They know it every time they have to fight with the social security office. They know it every April 15th.
It is our obligation to highlight just how dysfunctional government is. Obama, if you'll remember, declared himself not about big government or small government, but efficient government. We prove him a liar, we win.
It is time for Republicans to return to fighting government. Government is that entity which stands in the way of men making themselves. It is time we turn the spotlight back on just how ridiculous government is.
We prove Obama a liar, we win. We undermine American trust in government to solve their problems, we win. And let's be honest — the other side cannot win. While they keep highlighting failures of the free market as a way to undermine liberty, it is a hell of a lot easier to highlight the failures of government. A hell of a lot easier.
Now we just need leaders willing to speak up and make the case. Michael Steele, you listening? Eric Cantor? Mike Pence? John Kyl? Jim DeMint?
We're waiting. Fighting for freedom is the right fight.