I was eating my breakfast, reading the WSJ, listening to Dennis Prager, and watching my kids play around me. I sat there biting my nails, thinking “what can I do?!” This country has meant so much to me and my family and I feel like I am witnessing its downfall, and am further saddened when I see my children – oblivious to my current worries – who were born into this blessed land and who may never realize the potential they had in this country.
For months I have wondered how can I convince others to see America the way I see America. Many times I told myself I will just write about it. And then I always chickened out. Perhaps it was the Teacher Goldbergs in my life that taught me to (and hoped I would) keep my mouth shut. After all, I was clearly not one of her “favorite bleeding heart liberals.” Perhaps it was people even closer to me saying how improved I am now that I’ve “learned to bite my tongue.” Perhaps it was for fear of losing my friends who loved me as a person but had no idea I was one of those “stupid” Republicans.
But you know, today we are one day from changing the course of this country, and my heart is heavy… because I have done nothing. I have read other people’s regurgitated posts on how stupid we are, how racist we are, how bigoted we are, how Romney has a binder full of women (that one was really deep) and yet I sat silent. And why?
When my children will become cogs in this country’s machine, living each day with less and less motivation, fewer incentives, less passion, and yes – a guaranteed standard of life! – I will hang my head in shame. Shame because I worried too much about what others thought of me.
But today, I prefer you to think more about me, and people like me.
Last week I went to a Prager and Carolla show and sat down next to a lady in her 70s. Being as unfriendly as I am, I struck up a conversation with her. It turned out she was a Cuban who escaped Cuba with her little sister when she was 17. Her parents were supposed to come after her but it would be 5 years before they could make it. Without money, she and her sister spent those first years in and out of foster homes. They came without any money, only their yearning to be free and to live the real American dream. She told us briefly about life in Cuba (the country whose health care standard we are supposedly tied with), the fears she and her family had living there.
Similarly to my parents in Hungary, her family lived pretty well in Cuba. So then why did she (and my parents) leave? Because they would rather be FREE.
In a socialized world you never know when what you have will be taken away, you never know which industry will next be nationalized, you never know when your property will be confiscated. And the threats only become bigger when the state has less and less to “redistribute.” When the state doesn’t have enough money and lacks resources (because the government doesn’t produce anything) there is only one thing they can do to continue their spending: confiscation.
That is an ugly word, isn’t it? Is it possible that confiscation can be disguised under a banner of taxes? Can it be disguised under a banner of health care? Can it be disguised under the slogans of “leveling the playing field?” and “paying your fair share?”
These phrases sound so good to a hungry and envious crowd. And since when was America a country of envy? We are not supposed to envy and resent our neighbors. We are supposed to admire, congratulate and emulate our neighbors! We are not supposed to say, “why do they have that and I don’t?” We are supposed to say, “I want that, too, how can I get it?” And then, if you really want it, you grease your elbows, get a little dirty, and work your butt off! You don’t say, “you didn’t build that!”
What the cuban lady said to me at the end of our conversation really hit me hard. After explaining why she loved this country and expressing confusion at why we would want this one country in a sea of many to be just like the others, she told me something I did not expect. She said, “the old Cubans don’t like the new Cubans.” “Why?” I asked. “Because their minds have been changed too much under communism, they feel entitled. And they heard of all the entitlements they can get here and they simply don’t want to work.” Their hearts and minds had been dulled, beaten, and molded. I could say the same for hungarians today.
Work is not to be resented. It brings us pride and dignity. Work is essential to our well-being, to the integrity of our souls. Work is not always easy and it is tedious. But it is what allows us to be our own keepers. It allows us to have the means to create jobs. It allows us the means to help others: all on our OWN accord. Work is not the government’s to give. If it is, it will always be theirs to take. And with it, they will take your pride, your motivation, your liberty.
There are so many things to write about, to get out there. I know they are all being said already, but I can’t understand why more people aren’t hearing these words. Well, I do know. From pre-k through college, children are taught to hate “conservative” principles, the very principles this beautiful and amazing country were founded on. They are fed, day after day, one side and very heavily. Every single one of you, who has been through our public school system, knows this to be true. Even an old friend of mine, one who has always opposed my views, admits that a huge majority of schools teach to the left. And, yet, would you call that propagandizing?
I am reluctant to use the word liberal because that is what I am. I am a classical liberal. I crave liberty, not security. I want freedom, not free contraceptives.
Today I am making the decision to be more active. If Romney loses tomorrow, my battle, along with those who are with me, will be very hard. Once benefits kick in and the engine of a nationalized health care system take off, we will be fighting a huge machine with huge effects across many industries. So I will pray and vote for Romney to win. And if he wins I will still fight, because as Reagan so famously said, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”