March 9, 2010

Band Aid on a Trauma Victim

Imagine you're watching your favourite surgery-room drama.  The first few minutes focus on some inane, soap opera like drivel between the unendingly clever yet woefully jaded head doctor and a female underling who is both too young and far too attractive in scrubs (seriously, does she spend five hours in makeup before hitting the floor to get covered in blood and urine?).

Just then, the door bursts open and two EMTs with chiseled abs and perfect hair wheel in the victim of a brutal beating (who also has pretty nice hair).  The victim, blood spewing from multiple knife wounds, is sped into the nearest operating room while the music gains a few drum beats.  The doctor, now with his face mask on and somehow scrubbed up and ready to go in less than five seconds, enters the room.  His eyes grow wide as the camera pans in.

"Band aid."  The hot underling immediately complies.

"He's still bleeding.  Another band aid, Jessica."  The patient groans and a knife wound, loosely held shut by a band aid, starts to come back open.  "I'm losing him; I need more band aids!"

After a few commercials and some horribly out of place witty banter over a dying trauma victim, the doctor succeeds in patching up the victim.  With lots and lots of band aids.

If this were a real television drama, it wouldn't even make it on the air.  Why, then, do we not only accept but demand that our country be ran in the same way?  Bailouts, stimulus packages, electing politicians who promise to do the least amount of damage; they're all band aids, and meanwhile the country is bleeding out.

Just like the trauma victim needs the holes patched up so he can heal, the country needs its wounds closed so it can heal and grow.  But band aids (i.e., quick fixes) won't do it.  We need to address the hemorrhaging in a drastic way, and then make sure it doesn't happen again.  A band aid might work to stop small cuts, but deep rents in tissue that threaten life require a lot more circumspection and intentionality.

Our Republic, to this author's mind, is floundering.  We the People have given up our right to self-govern for the promise of a few quick benefits that naturally come from a huge tax pool.  What we need to do is step back, asses the real problems, and start stitching them up.

To fully understand the problem with our government (mostly Federal, but the States have manifold issues, too), we first need to define the purpose of our government.  Why does our government exist?  We are a nation of laws and rights; what role does the government have in these things?  Without waxing too historic on it, I'll simply hand out the answer: government is here to, through the use of law, ensure our rights.  Not to grant, deny, manufacture, or interpret our rights; ensure them.  Period.  Taxation is a necessary evil in order for the government to have the ability to enforce the laws designed to protect our rights.

Ask yourself: does this sound like what most politicians promise for us?  Does this sound at all like the debate we currently have on a surfeit of issues confronting our nation?  Why not?

The answer lies in the beauty of our nation: Personal Sovereignty.  The problem lies in the logical conclusion of Personal Sovereignty: Personal Responsibility.  We have abdicated our God-given right to Personal Sovereignty because of the fear of Personal Responsibility.

Personal Sovereignty says that you can make a business for whatever purpose you like (provided it does not infringe upon the Personal Sovereignty of others).  We like this.  Personal Responsibility says that, should the business fail, you will possibly be left poor and struggling.  We don't like this.  Socialism says that, as long as your business conforms to the will of the powers that be, you can run it into the ground and someone will be there to help you pick up the pieces when it inevitably falls apart.  Apparently, if recent history is at all a guide, we like this a lot.

Socialism has cut deep wounds into our once great nation.  America is bleeding out red, white, and blue into the soil.  A great many costly band aids have been applied, yet still we bleed.  We bleed our jobs, we bleed our currency's value, and we bleed our Personal Sovereignty.  It's time we stop patching the wounds with ineffective, short term solutions and start addressing the real problem.  Are we up to the task?

I suppose time will, as always, tell.  I for one will be eagerly awaiting the end of the next commercial break, and hoping our intrepid doctor, Personal Sovereignty, is able to man up and start stitching.

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