The news wires are abuzz once again. It began with a secretly recorded video of a Romney fundraiser:
During the course of that video he notes a key reality that every Republican candidate for the Presidency must face: 47% of Americans live in poverty, receive money directly from the government, and pay no income tax. Half of our country is dependent on the government for their daily bread and butter, their iPhone (which all of them miraculously seem to be able to afford), their iPod, their XBox (why do they all love the XBox?), and the rent for whatever hovel they live in until they get kicked out for spending their rent allowance on drugs and booze instead of rent. These are the so-called "working poor", many of whom don't work, some of whom live off of illegal drug sales, and the vast majority of whom believe the world owes them food, shelter, and entertainment. I know these people because I grew up one. I had one strike always against me, however, I was Caucasian. The underlying assumption behind every single government assistance program is that if you are white you don't need help!
I was denied Pell grants, I paid higher interest on my Student Loans, I was denied survivor's Social Security, I was denied everything I applied for until finally in an act of desperation I joined the Army just to insure I had food and shelter without going to prison. In the Army I learned the value of discipline. I learned self-reliance. I learned that if I was in trouble no one was coming to rescue me. I learned that the only way to survive was to get off my ass and take care of myself.
I got married while I was in the Army to a wonderful Japanese woman who a few years before had come to my high school as an exchange student. In short, I married my high school sweetheart. We moved to Japan after I finished my four-year enrollment. We lived in Tokyo where I worked full-time as an English Teacher, went to school full-time at Sophia University, and raised two sons. When one of my sons developed Perthes disease. Someone had to be home to take care of him, so I quit work and my wife went on to great success in the financial industry. We paid our own bills, including the bill for my son's treatment. Granted, Japan does have nationalized health insurance, but there are vast differences between this genuine national health insurance program and the massive wealth redistribution scheme passed under the deceptive name, "Affordable Health Care for America Act". There are way too many differences to go into here. The important point is, my wife and I both paid a substantial premium for Japanese national health insurance. That insurance only covered 70% of the cost of treatment for my son. We paid out of pocket about $25,000 altogether for two surgeries, a wheel chair, rehabilitation, and other direct expenses. If we had not been working there would have been no health insurance, even in Japan.
Now, let me be clear. It has been a long, difficult road to where we are now. My wife is still working in the financial industry which means ten to twelve hours a day five days a week, and often in the evening there are mandatory social events, conference calls from home, and endless piles of vitally important e-mail. She spends a couple of hours every Saturday and Sunday doing company e-mail or working on presentations. When we go on vacation, her work comes with her. If you want to be a highly paid executive you must work every single day of your life until you get there, and once you get there, you work even harder. The work does not end until you retire. If you are truly successful, it doesn't even end there because your company will be calling you up asking for advice and bringing you back into the office occasionally for consulting work. If you are not willing to do the work, then you have no moral or ethical right to be jealous of the income an executive receives. Period.
Some people will rightly point out that my wife is the one who works. Guess again. Remember when my son got sick I had to quit work? I spent fifteen years cleaning house, doing laundry, running errands, cooking meals, helping with homework (when I could, which wasn't often unfortunately), encouraging everyone in the family, and ignoring my own physical and emotional needs in order to insure my wife could concentrate on work and my kids could concentrate on school. Anyone who thinks a homemaker is an easy job either has never been one or has been a lousy one.
Do you know what it really means to be a "conservative"? It means doing what needs to be done every minute of every day irregardless of your own personal desires and needs. Happiness does not come from getting high, getting laid, dancing all night, gambling in casinos, or playing in a rock band every night in smokey bars. Happiness comes from doing what needs to be done and doing it well. Happiness comes from picking yourself up off the ground and getting back at it instead of laying there crying about how hard it all is and how cruelly the world has treated you. Conservatism is the philosophy and lifestyle of taking care of yourself and your little corner of world when everything around you is collapsing into chaos.
And that is the truth this "stealthy, revealing, scandalous" video has brought to light. Mitt Romney is absolutely correct. There are no victims in America! I'm sorry if that offends you, but that is simply the way it is. You are not poor because you're black, because you're a woman, because you lost a leg in a car accident, because your father raped you when you were twelve, or because you lost everything in a tornado. In this country you are only part of the 47% because you have not picked yourself up off the ground and done what needs to be done! So stop whining and start finding a solution. If you think the American way of life has made you a victim then please, move to Canada or France, or the Amazon jungle, or wherever it is you think America should be more like. If you want to vanish into the woods and live off the land there are millions of acres in Canada the government would love to have you come settle on. If you want to spend all day taking drugs and gathering wild foods there are massive empty jungles in South America and Southeast Asia filled with narcotic rich plants and trees that produce fruit all year round.
I spent twenty-five years, basically my entire adult life, in Japan. Japan is a paternalistic society with a strong socialist bend. People expect to work, and they work hard, but they also expect the government to keep prices low, to protect them from disease and crime, and to look over their shoulder every minute of every day to warn them if they are about to make a mistake. Life in Tokyo is a constant barrage of warning lights, announcements, warning signs, loudspeakers advertising everything under the sun, political jingoism, and the ever present eyes of Japanese police patrolling on bicycles, in police cars, and manning police boxes at every train station, most subway stations, and quite a few bus stops. Sometimes I wonder if there are more police officers in Tokyo than there are private citizens. Anyone who thinks America is an oppressive police state should spend a year in Tokyo. Seriously.
The point I am trying to make in all these comparisons is that I am thrilled Mitt Romney's speech at that fundraiser has been made public. I agree with him 100%. I have seen firsthand the kind of socialist utopia Barack Obama and his supporters are trying to build. I hated it so much that once my children no longer needed me I could live there no longer. Not even my love for my wife can overcome the constant stress of life in a paternalistic, big government, hierarchical, socialist utopia. It drove me crazy, quite literally. Four years ago, before I came to Ohio, I was so deeply depressed I was borderline suicidal. I got to the point where I could barely walk outside to run the daily errands. I felt trapped, controlled, excluded, isolated, and alone. Surrounded by 14 million people and still completely, irrevocably alone. That is the life that a socialist utopia provides. It only appeals to people who walk through the day in a cloud of complete, absolute oblivion and self-absorption. It requires a level of narcissism that goes way beyond my own substantial ego and arrogance.
There is nothing on earth more oppressive than a society dedicated to taking care of its people. This is because in order to take perfect care of you that society must control your thoughts, your opinions, and your perspective. If you long to be a mindless automaton in a vast social machine then Barack Obama is your candidate. He'll buy your iPod, your iPhone, your XBox, your food, a rusted out clunker for you to drive, and a cockroach filled apartment for you to live in. He'll give you an allowance to buy a dime bag of crack or pot once a month and blow your mind. If that is the life you desire than by all means, vote a straight Democratic ticket on November 6th.
But if you believe you have the right to make your own choices, to determine your own destiny, and to live your life free from government interference than vote a straight Republican ticket. Yes, there will still be corruption in government. Yes, there will still be obscenely rich people and frighteningly poor people. There will be homeless people living in the shadows of modern skyscrapers in every American city, but instead of 30% vacancy those buildings will be filled with people working. Stay off the drugs, put on some clean clothes, go to night school to learn how to use Microsoft Office, and you could be one of them. If you work hard, treat your colleagues and supervisors with respect, and spend your nights improving your knowledge and skills, then someday you'll be one of the executives on the top floor.
There has not been an election this clear since Ronald Reagan ran against Walter Mondale in 1984, the last election I voted in before going to Japan. Do you want a nation of mindless government dependents or a nation of hardworking office drones? Unfortunately, you can't have both. That is what we have now and it is destroying us. It takes three workers to support one government dependent regardless of whether that dependent in on welfare or is a retiree living off a monthly Social Security check. Either way, it takes three people to generate enough wealth to support that one dependent. That is why our nation is facing $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Too many people who could be working as office drones are living as mindless government dependents.
Flipping burgers at McDonalds might not be glamorous work, but it is work you can take pride in and if you do it well, you can work your way up to managing your own franchise. Making minimum wage as a bank teller is not the job you wanted your college degree to get for you, but if you do it well, great every customer with a smile, and study for an MBA online, then when you are my age you could be the CEO of a global banking giant with invitations to the annual Bilderberg Group meeting. In the America I want to see survive into the future the only person stopping you from joining the global elite is you. The only way for that to happen is to recreate an America where you either starve or you work hard and you succeed. It is not pretty, but at least it is real.
There is an old saying that no one quotes any more, "If you can't beat'em, join'em!" That little proverb is more true now than it has ever been before. So who will you join? The New Republican Party seeking self-sufficiency, freedom from government interference, and genuine liberty or the New Democratic Party seeking big government, massive social support structures, endless debt, and total control over the thoughts and actions of everyday people? You can't have both and unfortunately, there is no compromise. You can be a mindless government dependent or you can be an office drone. One path promises stagnancy, decay, and poverty for all, the other promises hard work, sleepless nights, and wealth unimaginable for the brightest and the luckiest. Myself, I plan to vote a straight Republican ticket. I might wind up starving and living under a bridge, but if I do, I will know it is my own failures that put me there and I can promise you this: I won't be demanding the government come rescue me!