Grassroots Commentary

Responsibility and Freedom

Andy Kerl Jr. · Aug. 5, 2013

Responsibility is the key to Freedom. Individuals, corporations and government accepting their responsibilities to themselves, their neighbors and to their country is the only means to preserve a Free Republic in the United States. Irresponsibility has driven the rise of an untenable national debt and ever increasing budget deficits. Irresponsibility is the driving force behind bailouts, stimulus packages and outrageous spending of borrowed monies by the US government. Irresponsible choices lead to failed outcomes.

Nowhere is this seen with any more clarity than in Detroit today. Politicians bought union votes with ever increasing wages and benefits. The auto industry bought labor quiet with the same. Neither the politician nor the auto industry executive were willing to seek the truth in an increasingly competitive environment and make clear hard choices that might have brought about a different result. Instead Detroit is bankrupt and General Motors and Chrysler needed government bailouts. At least Ford Motor Company had the foresight and made the right choices to avoid the same result of its competitors.

No doubt the sycophants in Washington will conclude that Detroit is to big to fail and bail out the foolish politicians that brought this once proud city to its knees. Lest it be thought that only the politician and corporate elite are the problem, it needs to said that those individuals clamoring for more government benefits, more rules and regulations, and more socialist programs are just as much to blame for the sorry state of affairs in this nation as the politician in Washington and banker on Wall Street.

Perhaps the individual acting irresponsibly is even more at fault that the politician that panders to their irresponsibility. Ronald Reagan told us, "We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.“  Judging with his criteria, welfare in the US has been and is a dismal failure. Yet today the fools in Washington tout their many government programs providing for Americans that should take responsibility for their own lives as a great achievement in noble thinking and action.

There is no doubt that there are Americans in this nation that are truly in need. The aged, the infirm, the disabled, the mentally ill and the children who through no fault of their own are disadvantaged need and deserve this nation’s concern and help. That is only the responsible action of a civilized society, but to apply the same ideals to the healthy and able bodied in a political move to gain votes is an insult to the truly needy.

When neither society nor the government holds individuals who repeat the same mistakes over and over again responsible for their actions and even rewards them for their irresponsibility they do them a great disservice. There are too many in this nation that believe the government owes them a benefit just because they are citizens. When those that believe this way outnumber those that accept their individual responsibilities, then the Free Republic of the United States of America will no longer exist.

As Samuel Adams warned us in a letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779, "A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”

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