America is under intense attack — from within|Guest column

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I want my country back. You know the one of which I write. The country that has provided the highest standard of living for the most people in the entire history of the world. The country that gave freedom to the continents of Europe and Asia and to the far reaches of the Pacific through the shed blood of its soldiers, sailors and airmen. The country that provides unparalleled opportunity to succeed — or to fail — based upon individual achievement in a free market, capitalistic system. The country where hard work, self-discipline, self-control, success and sacrifice to achieve a marketable job skill are rewarded, not punished.

Not the country of financial bailouts for corrupt automobile unions and bankers. Not the country of class envy, victimhood and resentment promoted by self-serving politicians who propose to punish every measure of success through wealth redistribution and confiscatory taxes. Not the country whose congressional members have created an $11 trillion dollar national debt that now has the very real possibility of collapsing the entire United States economy. And, certainly not the country that is being led in a headlong rush into socialism by a pathological narcissist who cares only for his own promotion, and not for a free people, their constitution and the nation that has been a model of hope and opportunity for the entire world.

We now have an administration which looks out across America and does not like what it sees. It sees America’s noble history, its accomplishments, the experiment in freedom, but finds serious fault rather than pride. In its dysfunctional view, America is haughty, arrogant and has shamefully imposed its power and will, thus requiring multiple apologies. Finding ourselves in the worst recession in over 40 years with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security broke, it proposes to spend trillions of dollars (laughably, to hold down costs) in reforming the best health care system in the world. Tens of thousands of patients come to the United States every year for medical treatment fleeing the very health care system the president wants to impose on us. On us — but not the ruling elite and their families. They know, those who have bothered to read the legislation, that it is a bad deal and have specifically exempted themselves. You see, a hog will not butcher itself.

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The president’s own words belie his current assertion that his intent is not to put private health insurers out of business, but his insistence on a public option will do exactly that since the private sector which must turn a profit to stay in business, cannot possibly compete with a system funded by the federal treasury — bare though it is. We are clearly being herded over a cliff to government-run, socialized medicine where the emphasis on holding down costs will bring the same results now experienced in Canada and Europe —  interminable wait times for non-emergency procedures, rationing or, in many cases, denial of procedures and medication, especially for the elderly and disabled. We will become painfully accustomed to the term, “comparative effectiveness,” where the cost of treatment is divided by the estimated remaining life expectancy in years, and based upon the resulting quotient, a nameless, faceless bureaucrat will decide whether the patient receives treatment, or is sent home to cope for themselves.

The America I have known and loved is under intense attack — from within. An economy based upon free enterprise and individual initiative is difficult to kill, but this administration is trying. Whether it is the Cap and Tax (Trade) legislation now before Congress, government-run health care, confiscatory taxes or attacking the nation’s moral underpinnings, the assaults have been intense. The only thing missing from the circus in Washington is the paint on the clowns’ faces.

I have recently begun to re-read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, two majestic documents unique in the wisdom of their content. I am particularly struck by a passage in the Declaration that states, “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends (The rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The iron fist of total government control with its inevitable loss of freedom is quickly closing around the neck of our beloved America. The patriots of 1776 pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Current day patriots must now rise to that same level of commitment. I want my country back.

Robert Peters of Vicksburg is a retired engineer and a member of the Mississippi Tea Party. E-mail reaches him at