When I started my sabbatical a friend advised me to be careful and not provoke my wife. I assured her that a married man north of sixty knows the rules. Becky and I have a successful marriage and the key aspect is equality strengthened by the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 4:12. Though I was the bread winner, she managed our home, and both of these roles contributed equally to the success of our family.
You may find it strange, but I like to go to the grocery store; Becky encourages this quirk because she does not. In one sense I find this strange because in general women like to shop – men just buy. This was recently demonstrated when I was sent to the grocery to buy a certain parmesan cheese that was on sale. When Becky was returning the full price cheese, she explained to the young man at the Kroger’s Customer Service desk, “My sweet husband is recently retired and I sent him for…” As I sheepishly looked on I saw the clerk nod with understanding as he interrupted my wife and said, “Give it to me.” On behalf of all husbands I later thanked him.
As a conservative and Constitutionalist I believe in equal opportunity under law. However, inequality is a reality of this universe. I needn’t whine about not being a great football player like Peyton Manning or not having the same measure of grace as my wife.
The acme of Enlightenment thought was captured in our Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. His noble words hold “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Jefferson went on to say that we are all “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” and to secure life, liberty and happiness, “Governments are instituted among Men.” The Founders established for us a representative republic predicated on the rule of law that mandates we all be treated equally under the Constitution, our operating agreement of civil order. This does imply equal outcomes.
In 2008 United States Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama stated that he taught Constitutional law for ten years and he promised he would not use Executive orders of the Presidency like George Bush. At his inauguration Obama swore (twice) to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Truthfulness appears to be a problem with this president, and his exercise of an “imperial presidency” even disturbs liberal Constitutional Law professors like Jonathan Turley. The professor is mystified why the media and Democrats don’t join Republicans and conservatives in opposing this “dangerous” shift in power of the Obama presidency. He accuses the people of being “enablers” of Obama’s assault on the Constitution. Professor, seventy-four percent of Americans oppose Obama’s usurpation of power through Executive Orders. Mark Levin and many others have shouted the warnings for years. The mantra, “I hope he (his policies) fails” has been around since January 2009. In this late hour the professor cries out to Congressional Democrats to reassert Legislative power and restore Constitutional balance.
Actually, Congressional conservatives have tried to rein in the profligate spending of Obama and the Democrats, and were pilloried. Senator Rand Paul is also trying to restrain Obama by suing him over the NSA brouhaha. Don’t hold your breath for any speedy redress. The last option is impeachment, but the cry of racist would ensue. We’ve seen that opposition to the One is labeled as bigotry not policy.
Some years ago I wrote about the novel “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. I see innumerable parallels between that dystopian vision and our own reality. Even our politics (the business of the people) is colored by Orwellian speech. Obama’s presidential parrot…er, spokesman, along with Nancy Pelosi and the New York Times, now tell us that not working is “liberating.” They say that when men are freed from working at jobs they don’t like to buy healthcare or food they can then pursue artistic endeavors or be home with the kids since Obama-care and the welfare state supply a safety net. It’s wonderful that those who work will pay for food stamps, unemployment, and healthcare subsidies of those who don’t. How wonderful that Obama raised the minimum wage of government contract workers by Executive Order. Those mean companies will now have to pay their workers more. Never mind that the cost will be passed along to those who still work and pay taxes.
Again in this election year we hear the Democrat feeling-based cry for raising the minimum wage. Factually, only 1.2% of those who still work do so for the minimum wage, which was designed as entry level pay for those without skills. The expectation is that by learning skills, being reliable and working hard, wages will rise to retain the worker as a valuable employee. Experts agree that raising the national minimum wage will have no measurable effect on the economy. However, as a hypothetical exercise let’s raise the wage of McDonald workers to $20 an hour. Will you be willing to pay $10 for a Big Mac so that the burger chef has more? There is a price for everything and the market is a better way to assign value than our erstwhile President who has never run a lemonade stand and promotes inequality and class warfare at every opportunity.
Let’s conclude with the biggest issue of our day: Obama-care. Some have argued that we voted for government healthcare, twice. The problem is it’s more expensive, more restrictive and, according to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), it will cost America another 2.3 million jobs and still leave thirty million uninsured. Is there equality under law when Obama can decide every morning who must comply with his law and who doesn’t?
Hillary Clinton and Obama call themselves “modern progressives.” The major news media call themselves journalists. They are largely to blame for not reporting Obama’s policies without their progressive bias. However, equally culpable are many Americans who seem more interested in reality TV and their pleasures than civic virtue.
These choices have been made before. In 100AD Tacitus said of his fellow Roman citizens, “They have surrendered their rights to live as free men.”
Pogo said it best, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”