Today in Philadelphia, PA presidential hopeful Senator Barak Obama gave a speech on the issue of race in this country. His speech was in response to the racist comments made by his preacher, Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, and the backlash against him and his campaign because of these comments. Sen. Obama’s speech was a very heartfelt and moving about the state of race relations in this country, but they did very little to dissuade this writer that his beliefs do not fall far from his pastor’s proverbial tree.
In his speech, he spoke about the condition of poor America. Though he tried to say this was synonymous with black America, what he said is true of every depressed area. He bemoaned of worn school buildings and kids on street corners. He decried the lack of funding for our education system, and how the welfare system is broke. No one, conservative or liberal, denies these things. What half of the country disagrees with Sen. Obama about is that we believe the worse fix for these problems is government involvement. More freedom, liberty and lives have been stolen by governments around the world, and were done all in the name of altruism. More Government is not what the American people need.
By giving his speech today, Senator Obama did a good job trying to placate to his base, and deflect the heat that is coming from his pastor’s comments; however, he did little to convince conservative America that he is not a tax and spend, protectionist, isolationist liberal. He also did a great job setting the trap for anyone who disagrees with him to be called a racist, because according to his speech, if you disagree that Government is the best way to solve this country’s problems, then you are a part of the old guard and thus, part of the problem.
What America needs is less Government intrusion, and more personal responsibility. The president best serves his country if he encourages personal involvement in our communities, and works with the Congress to ensure fiscal responsibility by limiting assistance to those who desperately need it (i.e. the homeless, the elderly without support, the mentally ill, at-risk children. etc.). George Orwell was correct when he labeled Big Government, “Big Brother”. Like a big brother, Government never does anything for free, they always require something. Ask any non-profit or business that receives aid from the Government, and they will tell you of the hoops they have to jump through in order to receive and keep the money they receive. Eventually, these organizations and companies lose their freedom to operate how they wish, and give their decision making capability to the government thousands of miles away.
America has dealt with the race issue better than any country in the world. We fought a civil war that cost millions of lives, and we have spent billions of dollars trying to rebuild a race of people. What other country has paid such a price? Yet, as the old adage says “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” In America anyone can become what they wish, and achieve any goal if they choose to work hard to achieve it. In this country it is only when you allow those negative influences around you to dictate your station that you fail. It is the promise of success, coupled with hard work, that is the American Dream, and it is this dream that the president must encourage in the people of this country, not government intrusion disguised as a promise of hope.