What is a prepper? A prepper is foremost an optimist. He is self-reliant. He wants minimal governmental intrusion in his personal life. He just wants to be left alone, not bothering anyone and not being bothered. Which of course is increasingly difficult in these days of ‘governmental help’. My grandfather of the WWI generation and those before him were preppers of the like we cannot imagine today; self reliant, independent, proud, hard working.
The Preamble states the purpose of our Declaration of Independence and proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These few words were once considered the most consequential words of the English language and proclaimed the high moral standard, which these United States once strove to achieve.
The Framers understood all too well what happens when rights originate with the government and wanted no part of such a system. They understood well both the origin of rights and the goal of governments.
We have replaced individual initiative (the pursuit of happiness) with government granted entitlements. Social Security was not such a bad idea at the time. President Grant had no retirement and ended his days as a pauper. President Truman had to rely on his US Army pension after serving in the White House. As we all realize today, the problem with Social Security is that it was regularly raided as an alternative source of funds.
This wasn’t a problem so long as the population was growing, but alas here are we, the Baby Boom Generation, a generation that failed to achieve the reproductive fecundity (which may not be such a bad thing) of the Greatest Generation, and now the till is empty because our elected representatives were incapable of maintaining our retirement accounts with integrity. People of the Depression era remembered bank failures, well hey, so does this generation, but the failures of that era weren’t made right by Uncle Sam so Congress in its wisdom passed banking laws that protected individual deposits at banks having a federal charter and this was good.
First tier medicine is expensive so our elected representatives enacted Medicare and Medicaid for those who couldn’t afford to be ill. Some people (including the very elderly) are unable to physically work but that doesn’t obviate their need for nourishment so we have Food Stamps, pardon me SNAP (Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program) because we don’t want people to feel bad about using Food Stamps. Charity from the individual and charity from the church is small time compared to that possible by Uncle Sugar.
Entitlements? I cannot find anyplace in the framer’s documents regarding entitlements. Yet, there are now more than 200 Federal entitlement programs. Entitlement programs consume more than 60% of the budget. Is it any wonder that our citizens look first to Uncle Sam for help?
One need only look at the Indian Reservations to see the end result of government ‘help.’ Government help is destructive of initiative, destructive of character, and destructive of individual rights. An employee of the US Department of Agriculture told me that a bad day in the department was when their famer died. That’s right folks, there are more employees of the Department of Agriculture than there are farmers. Each family in the US would have to cough up about one half million dollars to pay off our national debt but hey, everyone wants something for nothing.
We are not indentured but our children sure are. Because most families cannot even pay their doctor bills, we now have the ultimate entitlement in Obamacare that will either totally break the federal till or greatly diminish the current standard of medical care – and our standard of social security, and our standard this, and our standard that, ad nauseam until these United States are just one more third world country.
The Ship of State can be turned around. It is not too late and it can be accomplished peacefully at the polls. I’ve said it before and say it again; any politician serving more than two terms is a professional politician whose primary goal is to get re-elected.
Turn these professionals out. Turn them out now! On a local level, ask your sheriff, county judge, mayor, and other elected officials, specifics about his party platform. If he cannot intelligently discuss the platform, he is just using that for cover and is a worst species of politician. He is a cheat. Remember readers, every people have the government they deserve.
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Well said, Panhandle Rancher. I certainly respect your views and your service. I am a Baby Boomer, but I learned well from my Depression Era grandparents. Todays society does not pay attention to the lessons from those who have lived through the tough times. Most career politicians do need to go, I agree. But with such a negative climate, who in the world wants to get involved in politics anymore? I certainly wouldn’t want all my negatives exposed to the world. And I likely could have a positive impact. But I’m not willing to have myself and my family subjected to that kind of scrutiny. So I would like to see another blog adressing how good people won’t go forward because of exactly that. As I said, I appreciate your opinions.(BTW, I have never been convicted of a crime, but my personal life is just that, and I prefer to keep it that way)
I think that there is a chance that a “good” person would come forward to lead….and sacrifice…for the benefit of ALL – not just himself. As you pointed out – it may mean that he or she takes some shots and risks their family being exposed to things not-so-fun, but they may be willing to do that for the good of all of us.
As to politicians, we need to get every vehicle a bumper sticker that reads:
One term then OUT! No second chances!
Let them only serve one term then boot them out. This way, the lobbyists will have no incentive to lavish money on those they want to have re-elected. And the ‘politicians’ will never be tempted by the money and offers they get now to seek re-election.
Maybe we could get back to the ‘civil servants’ working to better the country, rather than trying to line their pockets to the detriment of the country.
A truly wonderful post. I think though that if the ship of state is to be turned towards safer waters it will require that the deck hands have an understanding of the dangerous waters they currently sail. That ‘self preservation’ will push them, even force them to overthrow the ships captain and his closest allies and to take control of the ships helm themselves….. and the responsibility that comes with seizing that control…. I’m not all that confident that the deck hands are up to the task. Certainly recent polls show that we are currently/finally in a slow simmer and expectations are that it will turn into a rapid boil in 2014… I can hope, but our flights of fancy are turned so easily and the next election is a year away. Perhaps the sheep finally smell the slaughterhouse all around them.
I used to be a big supporter of term limits, now I think not. There is a considerable record of elected officials, without the fear of re-election and the need to pander to their electorate diving headlong into self gratification. Plus, their are some we should keep in office, some who have proven time and again that they stand for us.
I agree with many of Panhandle Rancher’s thoughts. While I admire his optimism, I no longer believe we can “turn it around”. I have also lost faith in the authenticity of the elected votes. There was a huge wave of discontent in 2010. It fell short of changing power in the Senate, though. Where did all that momentum go in 2012? The economy certainly did not improve. We also found out more about the nefarious plans and operations of the Obama Administration. So, how then did Barry win again? I say, THEY (the Democrats)CHEATED! I think we had election fraud on an unprecedented scale. The Democrats actually picked up seats in the Senate, too! Forgive me, but I just have trouble accepting that Americans were more afraid of a rich, successful businessman and former Governor than of a lying, druggie, Marxist Moslem homosexual. Hey, I could be wrong. Perhaps the millions of Americans who preferred a slum lawyer to a war hero got what they asked for in 2008, a government check instead of an employer’s check. What they don’t realize is, with the Socialism that Barry wants, the government eventually runs out of other people’s money. The economy collapses under the weight of insurmountable debt and everyone that depends on Uncle Sam gets cut off. That includes me, as my family survives on my military pension and disability payment from the Veterans Administration. Despite being a Conservative, I am NOT opposed to SOME social spending. I think that all these programs, Welfare, WIC, food stamps, etc should be a temporary “hand up”, not the permanent “hand out” that they are now. Even worse in my mind, is our government paying BILLIONS of dollars to MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Justify that, White House, while a million disabled veterans wait a year for a decision, medical treatment and remuneration for their service connected injuries and conditions!
When I ran for office, someone saw fit to dump a truck load of garbage just off of a lease road on my ranch. By the grace of God, I had lived life such that there were no skeletons to be exposed. Why don’t more run for public office? I think those timid many, secretly believe they couldn’t do a better job. Everyone can benefit from re-reading Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena Speech.