It was a year greeted with the promise of hope and change. It was a year that was going to make acceptance and bipartisanship a household term. It was a year that would give birth to a presidency built on a transparency so clear and so pure that it would charter news organizations with the responsibility of transmitting legislative negotiations so that everyone could see what the country’s leaders were doing in the name of its citizens. It would be the year that harbored an administration that would shut its doors to lobbyists and special interests.
2009. What a year it was destined to be.
And what a different type of year it turned out to be!
Yes, we were all in for a historical rollercoaster ride the likes of which we had never seen. But, unbeknownst to the befuddled consciousness of the uninformed majority but clearly discernable to the astute observers of political discourse, the events of 2009 turned out to be historical for reasons totally inconsistent with the standards to which the New Year was being held.
The year 2009 turned out to be one when an American president, the Chief Executive Officer of the United States, unwittingly called the actions of a hardworking police officer stupid and then attempted to atone for his sin by inviting, both the mad professor and the maligned police officer, for a beer at the White House.
It was the year when the President of the United States toured the world submitting shameless apologies in areas where there were none to be given and masqueraded them as olive branches to hostile and dictatorial heads of state.
It was a year when the President of the United States, symbol of righteousness and liberty, actually refused to speak out forcefully against the atrocities being carried out upon demonstrators who were carrying out the chants of freedom and whose actions were being transmitted by citizen reporters using personal recording devices and social media outlets. This was the same president, who for the first time in modern American history, refused to acknowledge the rights of Israel to protect its people from showers made not of rain drops, but of bombs and incendiary devices.
It was a time when the faith in the free market system was dispelled through the actions of Congress and the President of the same country that first demonstrated the greatness that can be achieved through individual enterprise. Disregarding their own history, these leaders went on to ingest the country’s banks and two out of three of its car manufacturers while positioning itself to take over the country’s health care system through a bill containing a clause that would prohibit all future congresses from considering any changes to portions of that same bill.
These traitors to the ideals that helped propel this country into greatness then went on to betray Democracy through the creation of sweeping legislation behind closed doors in negotiations containing members of only one party. They then betrayed her once again by having the President of the once-shining-city-on-the-hill meet with members of his party, and only his party, to craft sweeping legislation in ways that that satisfied only the President and his party’s leaders.
It was the year when the administration, in Orwellian fashion, put out a computer program that in essence said that use of the software would mean the concession of one’s computer and all of its contents to the federal government. It was a year, when SCHIP legislation was fashioned that held that all electronic medical records, with all of our personal information, would be stored in one centralized location maintained by the federal government, a provision that was not stricken from the bill until the final stages of preparation in conference committee, and then only because it was picked up by an ostracized media outlet that the President, in true democratic fashion, encouraged his citizens not to listen to. It was the same year when the White House actually called for the reporting of “funny” claims about health care reform under the guise of an interest in correcting misinformation.
It was also the year when the federal government assumed a level of debt orders higher than any it had ever assumed before, thus making this nation all the more dependent on its potential enemies. By the same token, it was the year that saw the President of the United States, leader of what just a few years ago, would have been called the most powerful nation in the world, bow before not one non-democratic leader, but two.
It was the year of the sixteen hour review period for Congress to consider a massive bill prior to voting on it, an impossible feat by any stretch of the imagination.
And finally, it was the same year that saw the American people run in droves to “Tea Parties” and town hall meetings to voice their opinions of the changes that were taking place around them, not because they had suddenly found a new calling for civic responsibility, but because, like the now-all-too-famous frog that suddenly finds itself thrown into a pot of boiling hot water, they were so appalled at the actions of their legislators that they felt compelled to protest their way out of the pot of political turmoil and voter-disregard into which they had suddenly thrust themselves with their ill-casted votes.
So, having survived this dastardly year that saw the greatest collective domestic attack on our constitution since the Civil War, what messages can we take from the collective experience?
The messages, my fellow citizens are clear.
· When promised hope and change, truly ask, “What kind?”
· Don’t ever vote for the opponent of an individual just because you do not like the predecessor of the individual. Stated differently: in politics, the friend of the politician you want removed, is not necessarily your enemy.
· Remember that individual freedom is the most sacred liberty one can defend, for from this one right stems all others.
· In your zeal to make the world a better place, be leery of chartering the government with the responsibility of doing so, because not only will the government achieve this end only by restricting your own freedoms, but it will likely do a poorer job than your fellow citizens, even though their approach will be deemed “fragmented” and “decentralized.”
· No matter what your misguided friends may tell you about how inefficiently we achieve things and how much better our country would be if we organized the masses to achieve certain collective goals, don’t believe them, because no matter how organized some executive body gets us to be, it will by definition loose the greatest motivator of all, personal ambition. Without it, no degree of forethought and organization will allow for the level of accomplishment that only personal motivation and the promise of personal gain will push the members of a society to achieve.
· When faced with the oppressed in our country, don’t blame the system, but teach the supposed victims how to succeed.
And finally, the most important lesson of all:
· Cast your vote wisely, my friend, and only after you have fully vetted the candidates.
Hopefully, we can all apply these lessons in time to prevent the greatest country the earth has ever known from withering away into mediocrity.