By Focusing on the Economy, We Are Ignoring Much Bigger Problems
Think back on the way the early Americans lived. Consider the quality of life, if you will, of the early pioneers who crossed the country in small covered wagons, who staked a claim to a small piece of land somewhere in the midwest or west, and who spent the next many years living off the land, growing their own food, hunting for meat, caring for sick family members, often without the aid of doctors or other medical practitioners.
These were our forebears. They didn't have the luxury of concerning themselves with those things that today's Americans place at the top of their list of concerns: the job market, affordable medical coverage, the unemployment rate, and the like. Those who came before us were busy doing what they had to do to simply survive from day to day, defending their freedoms, staking out and protecting what was theirs, and defining and facing down enemies.
With the election nearing, we consistently hear both the American electorate, and those running for office, discussing what they perceive as the most pressing issues of the day. Invariably, the issues that tend to top that list are economic ones: the ailing jobs market, high unemployment numbers, the price of a gallon of gasoline, the national debt, the declining net worth of the average American family.
Indeed, all one has to do this week is listen to the speeches at the Republican convention to verify that those domestic economic issues are at the forefront of the nation's consciousness.
I suggest that placing those issues on top of our list of national priorities is representative of short-sightedness at its worst, and we would all be significantly better off if we stepped back and looked at the big picture. If we continue to refuse to do so, we ignore that big picture at great peril.
I will grant you that the American economy is faltering. The jobs picture is bleak. Unemployment is decimating our workforce and harming our families. Prices, especially the price of gasoline, are rising and will continue to do so without the implementation of rational economic policies. Our government spending spree has placed a burden on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren that is beyond shameful. Yet all of these concerns are relatively fleeting, and reversible, under the right leadership.
At the same time, there are three glaring crises facing this country which, if not soon addressed, and if not soon brought into the forefront of the national consciousness, will not be reversed, and may prove fatal to the American experiment itself. Those three crises are embodied in (1) our dramatic loss of personal liberty, (2) the erosion of our national sovereignty, and (3) the threat of radical Islam to our very survival as a people.
Americans' personal liberties have been usurped at an unprecedented rate over the past four years. The oppressive regulations, mandates, penalties and fines contained in Obamacare alone are mind-boggling. Add to that the mountain of regulations that have been placed on the business community through edicts handed down from the administration itself, as well as its agencies (the EPA being among the most flagrant abusers of centralized power) and we find ourselves handcuffed by a government that appears to believe that its relationship to the citizenry is that of master/slave. Such blatant usurpations of individual liberties rarely retrace themselves in the history of mankind.
Likewise, our national sovereignty has been compromised in ways that many Americans seem to not even recognize. This president has sought to cede, and has in many ways succeeded in ceding, much of our sovereign power to global entities, with the United Nations being the primary power beneficiary. Additionally, our southern border remains porous, and there is no accounting for the thousands of people who cross that border every week: Mexicans seeking a new home, and terrorists seeking God only knows what. A nation is no longer sovereign when its government refuses to protect its borders from infiltration by unknown entities.
In these past four years, our president has bypassed the congress and effectively declared war on several countries. The result has been political instability in each case, and the seizure of power by radical Islamist elements. The power of the Muslim Brotherhood alone has risen exponentially, thanks to the president's foreign policy/war interventions. The American president is emboldening radical Islam, a “religion” whose stated destiny includes the destruction of America and her allies.
All three of the relatively unacknowledged crises that face America – our loss of personal liberty, the erosion of our national sovereignty, and the dramatic rise in the power and breadth of radical Islam – will eventually threaten our very lives. The more tyrannical a government becomes, the less it values human life. The loss of a national identity, and national borders, will lead to eventual dissolution of the fabric of society, unrest and violence. And ignoring, even encouraging, the rise of a violent, radical, powerful enemy is nothing less than suicidal.
An ailing economy is repairable. The process may require some temporary quality of life sacrifices, but the reward will be worth the sacrifice. The loss of freedom, the loss of national identity, and the refusal to face a deadly enemy threatens irreversible destruction, with the result being an America that we no longer recognize, and an America that our Founders would have sought to flee in search of a better place, a place where liberty is valued, where national identity and borders are respected, and where leaders face down enemies rather than emboldening them.
I suggest that it is time we Americans stop looking at the quality-of-life problems that we face each day and begin looking at the threat-to-life problems that are looming just over the horizon as a result of a government that seeks to enslave us, refuses to protect us from invaders, and emboldens our enemies.