I often find myself wondering how the next chapter of our nation’s history will read. Will it tell of a prosperous society, where the citizens embraced freedom? Or will it read like the final chapters of Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?” I pray the former but am given to the latter at the moment.
Since 2001, our nation has perched precariously on a precipice. The attacks of Sept. 11 left a scar that can be felt today, not simply in the amount of human suffering it caused, but in the financial storm that followed. Consumer confidence ebbed in the years that followed that day. Congress, in a bid to help the markets, eased home purchasing requirements but ultimately gave buying power to people for whom it wasn’t suited. Property values plummeted, tax revenues soon followed, but Congress kept spending.
President Barack Obama took office on the promise of a new future seemingly devoid of hate, prejudice and inequality. He proposed ideas that half a century ago would have been decried by even the mainstream media as socialist in nature, but the people of this time ate it up. Why should the wealthy be wealthy when I am not? Does our government not owe its people free access to health care or higher education for the cause of equality? Why should Christians enjoy the freedom to express themselves when it might offend a few?
I believe that many of our nation’s recent problems came about for one simple reason: Somewhere along the way, we became scared that we might occasionally have to fend for ourselves. We became scared of the unknown. We became scared of ourselves. Our nation, forged from greatness and tested several times since, has seen its foundation begin to crumble. The strength of our Constitution, a document revered the world over for the freedoms it guarantees, has been diminished by the ones chosen to protect it.
Through his use of executive orders, government mandates and media leverage, Obama has become Caesar. In an effort to save us from ourselves, he decided to think for us. In order to enforce his version of equality, he placed upon our shoulders the overbearing weight of his government. Our shoulders cannot carry that weight for long.
At some point, every child of freedom in this great nation will have to make a choice: Do I continue to break my back, plowing the fields of Caesar? Or do I throw down the chains that bind me to that labor and demand better?
Thomas Jefferson foresaw a possible solution when he said that a little rebellion every now and then is a good thing. Though I do not advocate it yet, I fear the day is coming when we will have to throw down the plow of peace and raise the sword of revolution. After all, it worked for us once before.