The New Year is a time for reflection, communion and resolution. Gathered over coffee and laptops, my family is immersed in the precious gift of time together. Missing is my oldest daughter, a young physician, who is on call at the VA Hospital. My three youngest daughters are studying. Faith, family, hard work, education, and blessings of liberty are pillars of our great nation that sustain my family.
My father taught me that I could achieve anything through hard work and education. He is living proof of what he preaches, having grown up poor in a two bedroom rental with no electricity or indoor plumbing but motivated by an American Dream that promised freedom of opportunity, freedom to prosper, the potential to work and keep the fruits of one’s labor, the freedom to acquire private property, to innovate, create, and worship freely. This was all possible for every single American who chose to do the hard work, make the hard calls, and make the right choices. This was never easy but always achievable in the United States of America in which my father and I grew up.
The United States is a nation like no other, created by men of genius, creativity, integrity, and God, as proclaimed in The Declaration of Independence and established in our Constitution. A critical premise is that each unique individual is born with unalienable rights that come from God not government. The role of government is to protect our individual God-given liberties and prohibit man from taking them away. Such unbridled individual liberty catapulted man from horseback to space shuttle, amputation to transplantation, and Paul Revere to cyberspace.
We are the most free, most ingenious, and extraordinarily productive people in the history of the world. Why? Because even the destitute and most disadvantaged of us, regardless of circumstance of birth, possess special God-given gifts and constitutionally guaranteed freedom to grow these gifts and use these gifts, if we choose.
Before everyone flies off the handle and cries racism at my “circumstance of birth” claim, let me explain. 1. The Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome. 2. Some people have to work harder than others, because they started with less resources and greater obstacles. 3. In addition to unalienable rights and special talents, God gave us free will.
Free will puts us in the tenuous situation of having to make personal, individual, life altering choices throughout life. We are each a product of our choices, whether we choose to stay up all night studying by kerosene lantern after working two jobs and going to school or to sleep in, skip out, smoke weed, squander wealth, and wait on welfare. It’s all about choice.
All in all, as a people and a nation we have overcome much- slavery, civil war, women’s suffrage, World Wars, civil rights riots, and a terrorist attack on our homeland just to name a few. And, all in all, we have consistently trudged forward in a positive, healing direction, stronger as a nation and a people, never going backward, dwelling on or rehashing mistakes of generations past. Until now.
What has changed? The character, composition, and ideology of our leaders have changed. Our leaders are elitists who do not believe that individuals are uniquely gifted, capable, responsible, or smart. They do not believe that our unalienable rights come from God, in fact, many don’t believe in God at all. They believe power comes from them through a large centralized government that will make our decisions for us, collect and redistribute our money as they see fit, and provide equal outcome instead of equal opportunity. They believe that ends justify the means, and it is appropriate, if not a duty, to lie to us to achieve what they think is best for us.
Where God gave us free will and choice, government takes it away. This confiscation of free will, personal choice, and freedom to prosper and the destruction of truth and God fundamentally transforms our citizenry from individual independent victors to groups of dependent victims.
The transformation has been strategically achieved by deconstructing the family unit and replacing the role of family with the rule of government. Government policy traps people in poverty, pays people more when they do not get married, more when children are born outside of marriage, and even pays for abortion. National policy replaces the father with Big Brother, opportunity with dependence, and work with welfare. If you work hard and sacrifice, you are taxed. If you sulk in the slums, you are paid off, albeit a pittance. When government of man replaces the grace of God and the lie that is relative truth replaces absolute truth, the human spirit is crushed. The American Dream is annihilated.
Another devious tactic of our misguided leadership is to deliberately divide Americans into constantly fighting groups that rehash sins of the past, eternally unforgiving, reliving evils, bitter, revengeful, merciless, constipated by hate, and impacted with propaganda. Instead of trekking forward, the nation tumbles back. This is intolerable.
I fear our children no longer have the opportunity our fathers and we had. My father overcame incredible adversity to become a pioneering neurosurgeon who served thousands of patients and trained some of the finest surgeons in the country. His neurosurgery residents were women, men, black, white, brown, whatever; that is not what mattered. What matters is their brilliant minds, integrity, work ethic, physical skill, and character. In this vein, I serve my patients and raise my daughters to work hard and serve others. We do this by choice and through the truth and grace of God, not because we are compelled by a statist government of man.
Going forward into 2015, our nation must rise up against un-American ideology. We did it in 1776, and we can do it now.
There is so much to be done, and we can and must do better; no excuses. Where a biased media replaces a free press, let social media become the town hall and local tavern. We must elect leaders of character and demand policy that fosters the family, empowers the individual, rewards hard work and good choices, restores equal opportunity in lieu of equal outcome, and guarantees freedom of religion not freedom from religion. We must demand absolute truth and restore trust in government of, by, and for the people. The liars and dividers must be called out and ousted. We must be bold, emboldened by God and each other, united in our love of country not divided by those who seek to destroy her. We must be winners not whiners, victors not victims, helpers not helpless, healed. This will be hard, but we have done harder. In the words of our George Washington: “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” This New Year we must resolve to persevere, restore the human spirit, and reclaim America.