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He doesn't represent the middle. There isn't one anyway.
Another column written by a right winger who tries to frame the debate using false premises. "Entitlements" is a loaded lie word that the right loves. The idea that someone can only be "for" either "entitlements" or for "competition", but not for both is another lie. It would be nice if the right would stop wasting America's time. Most of us are not that stupid.
Jefferson's deism accepts the probability of a Nature's God--however one may want to define He/She/It. That is how he phrased it in the "Declaration"--Nature's God. Jefferson saw a creator as removed from the world once the creation act was completed (Deism removed). In this view, God does not 'guide' the acts of men--men make choices and control their own destinies. Men most benefit if those choices are based on reason and logic--that is the influence of the Enlightenment...Jefferson neither the saw the need for nor the reality of the modern concept of personal savior.
As for the Christian religious fervor...it came later. The original Founders were dead. The Founders may have been religious men in private, but being keenly aware of the religious strife that tore Europe apart for centuries and slaughtered millions, they kept those beliefs largely to themselves. They did not want a repeat of the Schmalkaldic or Thirty Years Wars in America--nor of all the other conflicts and persecutions that occurred in between. Most of all, they were practical, worldly men.
As historian/essayist Richard Brookhiser has stated, the Founders were more religious than the Left wants to acknowledge, but less so than the right wants to believe. In any case, they carefully separated their private religious beliefs from their political discussions. They knew from Europe's violent centuries of religious strife what mischief comes from intermingling the two. Too bad today's self described righteous won't accept this accommodation--the Founders did.
Yea one could argue religion is dividing this country more than politics.
I had to check to make sure that this ridiculously biased article wasn't written by Paul Ryan or Rand Paul. The entire piece is a testament to Ayn Rand's "altruism is evil" philosophy.
Stephen B. Young claims the high ground of mainstream centrist thought, but his bankrupt economic ideology ("[R]ights are merely powers for us to use on our own behalf. What we get in the exercise of our rights is not equality but inequality of outcomes."), his Randian individualism ("[O]ur self-evident right is to pursue happiness on our own, not to take sides against us when we prove too successful [nor] demand it from our neighbors or from the state"), and his anti-social social agenda ("The role of government ... is to protect us in the exercise of our rights, not to take sides against us ... when we attempt to live in accordance with the moral desires of our chosen creator, which is part of our right of liberty.")
Americans rejected your ideology in November, but you need not fear that government will take sides against you and your ilk, Mr. Young, when you "live in accordance with the moral desires of your chosen creator". The central priority of every organized religion is the Golden Rule, the command to love one another--to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, care for the sick. What Creator would be so small as to establish "sexual conduct and gender roles" as priorities?
When Young and other conservatives complain about "entitlements" they mean Social Security and Medicare -- you know, the basic services that almost ALL of us will need to rely on in our retirement. Obama believes that we need to protect and strengthen these programs, not just because it is important to care for our elders, but also because it is important to both the economic stability and basic decency of our country. Only in some Paul Ryan / Ayn Rand fairytale is this sort of social safety net (which every advanced country has) somehow at odds with competition. Obama's position is only divisive to conservatives who have gone off the rails into extremism. Everybody else basically agrees with the President.
What a ridiculous article, an article which itself promotes divisiveness and shuns inclusion while blaming the president for be devisive while promoting equality. Rove's practice of attacking one's strenghts on steroids. This line of attack has been evident for years, luckily the majority of americans see through their attempts to blame "others" for all the ills of our country. Inclusion, cooperation, and community will always be the way forward; fear and divisiveness the path to chaos and ruin.
Many seemed to have missed the point of the article, no one is addressing the idea that Obama's agenda is completely different than what he campaigned on...he always talks about bringing people together and coming to the middle when running a campaign but once in office he pushes left wing, big government programs and demands higher taxes. Also, the idea that the founders were against using the government as a charity is a fact. Today we have social programs which are not going anywhere...despite what liberals suggest Social Security and Medicare cannot and will not be abolished anytime soon. The adult conversation that we need to have is about how to keep those social programs solvent, the Republicans have put forth plans to do that...the Democrats have no formal plan (no budget proposal from the Senate, no tax increase voted upon) but there are some "ideas" that have been suggested. I think the biggest fault of Obama so far has been ignoring Simpson-Bowles I understand that Republicans didn't embrace it with open arms either but their budgets are much more similar to Simpson-Bowls (match up about 75-80%) versus anything Obama has put forth. In fact, the Republicans have made more attempts and have more plans to keep Social Security and Medicare out of bankruptcy (running in the red) for a lot longer than any formal proposal put forth by Democrats. Most people want smaller government, most people want government to stop giving subsidies to special industries and most people want more economic freedom...those are found to be true in every poll when you ask Americans. I'm not a big fan of the religion in politics (I'm very liberal when it comes to individual freedoms) but the Republicans are much more moderate when it comes to fiscal issues that Democrats. We need a new political party which ignores the social issues (not like much can be done anyway since the Supreme Court has major decisions on those issues in the past and upcoming soon) and shows the clear difference between what Democrats want on fiscal issues and what normal Americans want on fiscal issues.
This is a textbook example of conservative rhetoric. Steve Young takes what Obama actually said and turns it on its head to mean exactly what he did not say or mean. Let me explain.
In his address, the President stated that we had to come together to face common problems---we were in this together, not separately---and our problems were so vast that we could not engage in petty bickering. He appealed to common, shared values that were expressed early in the Declaration. And he celebrated tolerance & diversity. He pointedly stated that we are not a "nation of takers."
Steve Young turns this upside down. Obama is waging a cultural war that divides Americans, he proclaims. He twists Obama's belief in the great ambitions of the Declaration---life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness---as a demand for government-based "self-evident entitlements." It's bizarre. Right wingers have been doing this for years---ignoring facts that are not disputed---as for example, that lowering taxes will increase revenues and eventually balance the budget.
I will conclude with two points: (1) the cultural wars are over, Steve. For the large part, liberal won. Whether you like it or not, we have gays in the military, will have gay marriage within the decade, women's rights, etc. The dispute over gun control will play out over the next 30-40 years, but at the end, we will look at the gun packer as we today look upon the smoker. (2) You quote the Declaration as saying that "the people have the right to alter government if it becomes destructive of their rights." No, Steve, the actually words are that the people may "throw off such government." Only you and a few Texans believe that the people have the right to revolt. The rest of know our American history better---we recall the Civil War.
When did blaming people for "not paying their fair share" become a unity message?
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