The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.
The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.
It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, to obey the law and support themselves and contribute to society, and others don’t.
That’s the divide in America.
It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.
That’s not invective, that’s truth.
And it’s about time someone said it.
The politics of envy was on proud display last week as the president said he would pledge the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He notes that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.
It was the rationale of thievery.
The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you.
It is the electoral philosophy that gave us Detroit. It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.
And it conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense. It ends up not being a benefit to the people who support it, but a betrayal. The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them – in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope.
The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to ignore and cheat the law of choices and consequences. It seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.
Because, by and large, the variability in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibility have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.
And success and failure can manifest themselves in personal and family income.
You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education. You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course, you have them in wedlock and life is apt to take another course.
Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.
My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome. But, our lives also have had an inequality of effort. Whereas my doctor went to college and then gave the flower of his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice. And our choices led us to different outcomes.
His outcome pays a lot better than mine.
Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth?
No, it means we are both free men.
And in a free society, free choices will lead to different outcomes.
It is not inequality Barack Obama will take away, it is freedom.
The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. And there is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.
The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.
Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing.
Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.
Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort. The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.”
The progressive movement would turn that upside down.
Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society. Entitlement has replaced effort as the key to upward mobility in American society.
Or at least it has if Barack Obama gets his way.
He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive and fosters equality through mediocrity.
He and his party speak of two Americas.
And their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other.
America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts. And by the false philosophy that says one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.
What the president offered was not a solution, but a separatism. He fomented division and strife, he pitted one set of Americans against another.
For his own political benefit.
That’s what progressives offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.
Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
My dearest Austin,
As you prepare to go to war, I would like, as your father-in-law, to give you some advice. I do so out of my love for you, but with no confidence that I can give you any insights into what you will face and feel over the coming months.
You are going where I have never gone.
I have known long separation from home and family, but my service was religious and in peace. I faced no mortal enemy, and I knew nothing of danger. You, on the other hand, will leave your country and your bride behind, and spend most of the next year in very difficult conditions amongst a people who want to kill you.
You will do this in a situation of uncertainty, for a nation only blindly finding its way forward, and under rules and commanders who sometimes may make no sense at all. As you wrestle with the what of your deployment, you may also question the why.
All of this, from the boredom to the danger, will play out in the context of an alien world thousands of miles from your home and culture, and in the shadow of the hard separation from your wife and her love.
You are right to be nervous and apprehensive. You are even justified to be afraid.
You are a teen-ager, and our country has asked you to be a man, a giant among men, an infantryman and a paratrooper, a defender of liberty on distant shores.
I do not know what you will face, but I do know some principles of life, and I would like to recommend them to you. I have faced hardships, and I would like to tell you how I have endured them. I believe I know what you must do to return from your combat tour better for the experience.
The first is to stay true to your faith.
Be a Christian soldier.
Say your prayers, every day. In moments of joy, sorrow, uncertainty or fear, cry out in your heart for God’s comfort and guidance. Ask him to lead you, let him be your friend and companion when you feel totally alone.
Don’t be sanctimonious, and you needn’t be perfect, but you need to remember who you are, and what you have been called to do. You are to be a light of the world, an example to your friends and a comforter to those around you.
Say your prayers, every day. And read the scriptures on a regular basis. Ask God to make himself known to you, and to send you his spirit through his word.
Do that, and you will never march alone.
Do that, and in even the darkest of moments you will have hope and help.
Be helpful to the soldiers around you. Set a good example for them, as a soldier and as a man. Take care of them and protect them, so that together you all may come home to your families when your duty is done.
When you are tired and afraid, when the burden grows heavy, know that it is heavy for them as well, and when you feel the worst, they will need you the most. In helping them with their problems, you will find comfort and relief for your own problems.
Remember that your service is noble. You are an American soldier, the representative of a free people and an inspired Constitution. You are in the United States Army and that is a big deal. You are standing on a foundation built from the honor and achievements of more than 200 years of soldiering. Live up to that heritage and don’t let it down.
Be brave, and know that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it is the absence of inaction. A brave man acts when others can’t. He follows his training, he upholds his ethics, he lifts high the flag of freedom. He does what needs to be done. You are as capable of doing your duty as any American who has ever worn the uniform.
Remember that honor is found not in what you are asked to do, but in how you do what you are asked to do. No task is minor or insignificant, if you do it to the best of your ability.
Stay close to your wife back home. Write her and Skype her and keep her picture and her memory close to your heart. She is why you fight. She is proud of you. She is part of you. You are defending her, and your folks back at home and the children you will one day father.
Stay close to your nation. Be open to the love of country and patriotism that will become clearer and more central to your service as you look back on the duty you are about to do.
You are going to war in order to serve God, family and country. You are the defender of all three.
Keep a journal and take lots of pictures, take care of your gun and your feet, and don’t trust anybody who doesn’t have US ARMY embroidered above his heart. Be hyper vigilant and continually assess every situation you’re in. Always have a play in mind, a defensive and offensive move, in case something bad comes down. Don’t turn your back on anybody, and if you have to fight, fight like hell.
And know that God has your back.
And so do I.
I will pray for you every day, as will many who know your name, and countless other Americans who will pray for all who, like you, are in harm’s way.
I love you, I believe in you, I respect you.
I am honored to have you in my family, I am proud to be your father-in-law.
Now God bless you, and do good.
And come home when your duty is done, to live out your long life in peace.
With my love, your father-in-law,
David Ammerman is a holy warrior.
At the beginning of this month, he went up to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes outside Francis of Assisi Church in Auburn, New York, and started pounding the hell out of it.
He had a hammer and he went after the Blessed Virgin’s head and face and hands.
When he was done, her hands were gone, her face was irreparable, she was destroyed.
He admitted his crime to police, and told them why he did it. According to the authorities, he said he did it because he couldn’t stand the fact that Catholics were praying to the statue.
He’s not Catholic.
And though Catholics would probably point out that they don’t actually pray to statues, David Ammerman believes they do and he wasn’t going to stand for it.
He disagreed with someone else’s religion, and he used violence and criminal conduct to try to stop them.
He’s been charged with felony criminal mischief.
Which is a great start, but a woefully inadequate finish.
A man disagrees with a religion, so he violently attacks an object of veneration at a place of worship.
Isn’t that a hate crime?
Isn’t that a bias crime?
Shouldn’t this be on the national news? Shouldn’t somebody from the civil rights division of the Justice Department be flying in from Washington? Shouldn’t the police or the district attorney have charged this guy with something more than industrial-strength vandalism?
Let me repeat: A man disagrees with a religion, so he violently attacks an object of veneration at a place of worship.
He is accused of committing a felony crime motivated completely by religious antipathy.
And he gets criminal mischief.
Which is a pretty good illustration of another double standard in the era of political correctness.
Let’s take this same crime and change the sign over the door. Instead of happening at a Catholic church, let’s pretend this happened at a Jewish synagogue.
Let’s say someone thought Judaism was a false religion and they committed a similar attack upon a Jewish place of worship. What if they broke in and destroyed the congregation’s Torah.
It’d have “hate crime” written all over it.
Ditto if someone broke into a mosque and vandalized it, or went into a Buddhist temple and smashed the Buddha.
If either of those things happened, it would be a national news story. Al Jazeera would be editorializing about it.
And the government would be all over it.
The federal and state governments would get into it and you could be sure charges would be brought.
The same is true if some act of vandalism was committed against a black church.
All those reactions to a crime against a place of worship would be firm and sure – as they should be.
A crime against a mosque is a hate crime. A crime against a synagogue is a hate crime.
And so is an attack against a church.
Sadly, the double standard of political correctness ignores that latter fact. The inequality of political correctness is that it ignores bias crimes against anyone other than minorities.
Catholicism has been the largest religious denomination in America since the 1860s. Catholics combine with Protestants to make Christianity America’s majority religion. Catholics are square in the center of America’s mainstream.
And consequently they get short shrift.
We’ve bought into the lie that bigotry can only be manifest by social majorities and that the bigotries of minorities are somehow justified, and steadfastly ignored.
Not that David Ammerman is a minority.
Other than the fact that only a tiny minority of people in the United States would discriminate on the basis of religion, much less take a violent act based on opposition to the peaceful faith of another.
The first crime against the people of St. Francis of Assisi Parish was that a bigot took a hammer to their statue. The second crime against the people of St. Francis of Assisi parish was that the criminal justice system and the law of the land failed to protect them or properly characterize the crime committed against them.
It wasn’t criminal mischief, it was religious bigotry.
And it should be denounced as such.
Certainly, the offended parish may choose to forgive – that is its prerogative. But the broken law must still be addressed, and so must the hateful motive of religious bigotry.
A hate crime was committed.
And nobody cares.
And that’s another hate crime of its own.