I grew up in an America that admired rugged individualism, personal initiative, and entrepreneurship. It was these aspects of the American character that transformed 13 struggling colonies on the East Coast into a vibrant nation that spanned from sea to sea and became the world’s acknowledged superpower. But during my 65 years I have seen our country transformed from the one founded by the most rugged of rugged individualists into one in which meek, complacent, and compliant sheep are content to live in comfortable government “cages.”
Instead of mighty lions roaming free in the jungle, too many Americans have become like animals in a zoo—neutered beasts existing in cages. The zoo, of course, is financed, maintained, and operated by the federal government. There is, however, an important difference between the cages that once free lions now occupy in zoos and once free Americans occupy in the government’s menagerie: Americans are choosing to live in cages. They are, of their own volition, exchanging the uncertainties of individual freedom for the security of government dependence.
It has been said that once voters get their hands in the federal treasury they will always vote for the party of big government. Not surprisingly, this is now what happens in every presidential election. Consider the following quote from an editorial in The Washington Times: “Americans are becoming more and more dependent on Uncle Sam. Before the Great Recession hit, 1 in 11 Americans found themselves on the food stamp dole. Now the number is 1 in 6, or 47.7 million, according to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Loosening standards and disastrous economic policies have hooked tens of millions on government handouts. In 2001, only 17.3 million people used food stamps, which cost taxpayers $15.5 billion. Now the program imposes a $72 billion annual burden.”
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