April 1, 2017 | View PDF
Beyond my belief that our Constitution as our nation’s founding document limits by design the power and scope of the federal government for the protection of its citizens from tyrannical administrations, I also believe that it protects us from a dangerous mindset.
As a parent, one of my goals was to ensure that my son grew up with whatever opportunity I could afford him in order for him to have the skills set and ability to care for himself and his future family, completely independent of my care. That goal was never with the intent that I would ever heartlessly deny help should any hardship arise after he became an adult, but I count as my primary accomplishment as a parent that he is now able to successfully provide for his own needs as well as those of his young family.
Had I failed in my goal by consistently bailing him out of every negative situation, or in some way intentionally manipulated him so that he would be forever dependent on me, I would have denied him not only his freedom but his dignity as a human being.
I have to wonder if our ready acceptance of government provision for so much beyond the original intent of our Founders isn’t an underlying cause for our moral decline. No doubt it’s the reason for our escalating debt crisis which concerns our politicians during election cycles; unfortunately, once elected, any significant level of spending rarely declines but is simply circumvented to the newest pet projects.
In the meantime, an alarming number of citizens continue to be manipulated by those we elect and the mainstream media into believing that government knows best, and that it’s the role of government to direct our health care choices, “educate” via public radio or government funding for the arts (with primarily a left-leaning agenda), and provide subsidies for industries deemed necessary for “the public good.” The list goes on and on, and the trap for dependency is set – from the cradle to the grave – and at a financial cost that future generations cannot possibly endure.
Dare we wonder why so many in our nation lack the human dignity necessary to care for themselves? There is an undeniable benefit to an individual’s self-worth in being able to support one’s self financially and contribute to society, thus reliance on the government for every need has to take a toll on the soul. Do we also doubt as to why others become jaded and in-different to the needs of those who truly require assistance because they are weary of a government that forces them into legislation such as Obamacare or the mandatory funding of services such as abortion which violates their belief system while taxing them to do so?
As a culture, does knowing that the government is providing assistance to the poor tend to diminish our personal and Christian responsibility to those in need? I have to wonder if that knowledge doesn’t make our hearts just a bit hard towards those we see receiving welfare benefits, especially with the known abuses that exist in the current system and our lack of control over them.
Temporary aid to struggling families isn’t deemed the same as establishing a permanent welfare underclass, but there is far too much generational poverty in this nation for us to ignore that a learned dependence on the government might well be a permanent enabling component for millions of Americans.
But it’s not only a dependency from those who receive aid in the form of food stamps or welfare checks. Each time we turn a blind eye to government subsidizing a specific industry, we’re embracing the mentality that government has to “fix it.” When we defend our own sacred cows of federal funding, we’re just as complicit in our dependency, regardless of our justification.
The mindset of dependency doesn’t only threaten the dignity of a human, it can also fester resentment towards the source. In the analogy with my son, what parent among us hasn’t experienced the trials of a child longing for independence? I certainly remember my own days of resenting my parents for what I saw then as a hindrance of my freedom, and I dare say it’s the normal overwhelming desire of any teenager to make their own decisions free from parental oversight. If it’s our responsibility, and joy, as parents to teach our children how to responsibly achieve independence, why are we then so willing to lose control of our own lives with an ever-expanding government?
Marcia Chambliss serves on the leadership team of Smart Girl Politics, www.smartgirlpolitics.com, an online community for conservative women. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics.
The views of this editorial may not express the views of The Alabama Gazette.