Saturday, August 13, 2011

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor...

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shores
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

For many of our ancestors, this inscription on the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor brought comfort, encouragement, and a promise of a new life free of political or religious persecution.  America was the modern-day promised land to these immigrants, many of whom left a dismal home-land for the promise of a new and better life.  While the dreams of some immigrants were crushed in the East Coast sweat-shops and tenements, many others endured and overcame such tremendous oppression with an unstoppable pioneer spirit of survival and independence. 

Many of those pioneers headed west in further search of the American dream.  They conquered the wilderness, survived hostilities, plowed the land, raised families and built the cities we live in today.  They were tired, they were poor, they were homeless, and they were tempest-tossed.  In spite of these hardships, they remained focused on their dream and their mission to build a better life for their families.  They would either succeed or they would die trying.

I am very sad to report that the rugged pioneer spirit of survival and independence is nearly extinct in America today.  It has been largely replaced by a spirit of entitlement and socialistic equality.  Under the watch of the American people, we have allowed our nation to become a land of instant gratification rather than a land of opportunity.  Through many generations of government-run social assistance programs, many Americans today believe that our government is responsible for providing their daily sustenance. 

While there are many legitimate beneficiaries of our nation's social assistance programs, I believe they are far out-numbered by those who simply choose not to become productive members of a capitalist society.  Why should they?   Our nation's social assistance programs allow a “poor” family today to enjoy a better standard of living than if mom and dad both went to work for minimum wage.  

Regardless of citizen status, our nation has now extended an open invitation for everyone to participate in these social assistance programs.  This has attracted millions upon millions of illegal immigrants who have crossed our (largely unchallenged) borders to feed themselves on our incredible and unprecedented American generosity.  Under our watch, our government has become a "sugar daddy" for anyone in the world who claims they are disadvantaged or persecuted.  This has produced an out-of-control population of unproductive, non-contributing government dependents who believe they are entitled to an even share of the hard-earned contributions made by the American taxpayers. 

In fairness, America is still the "promised land" for many.  There are still refugee immigrants who enter our nation legally, with a promise of a new life free of political or religious persecution.  These are the true tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free that we welcome in New York Harbor.  These are the immigrants who are willing to endure hardships to earn their portion of the American dream.  Unfortunately, our government is in the process of redefining the American dream as a elusive shadow of the past.    

I submit that we no longer need to look any further than our own back yard to find tired and poor huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.  The American taxpayer has become tired of carrying the financial burden for government incompetence and inefficiency.  The American taxpayer is becoming increasingly poor in both wealth and hope.  Our nation is crowded with huddled masses yearning to breathe free of government intervention in the personal choices of their daily lives (that should be protected by the 10th amendment,) and our own shores are now teeming with refuse downtrodden by oppressive government bureaucracies and policies.  

While our government sends obscene amounts of taxpayer dollars overseas in foreign aid, there are millions of homeless people on our city streets who have somehow "slipped through the system."  Most of these homeless people are too proud to accept government assistance, and our hedonistic society conveniently ignores their plight.  We, the people, seem to be more worried about our lifestyles than our lives, or the lives of our outcast neighbors in need. 

Rather than uniting our nation in resolution of our vital issues, we have allowed ourselves to be continually tossed back and forth by a tempestuous, scandalous, government.  Rather than effectively managing our our elected government employees, we, the people have nearly allowed them to extinguish our lamp of liberty and permanently tarnish America's golden door.

History has shown us that people will tend to remain complacent, often tolerating a lifetime of fractional ongoing governmental abuses, rather than taking the action needed to change the offending government,  But when a government consistently violates the trust of the people by diluting, compromising, and challenging their rights, it is the right of the people to protect themselves from such hostilities. It is the duty of the people to move beyond their frustration at this point, and to take responsible action, de-authorizing the offending government and providing new safeguards for their future security.

Enough is enough.  I believe we have reached the point in our history where we must either stand up for our rights with strength in unity, or prepare to surrender.  We are out of time, and surrender is not an option in my mind.  To regain our American prosperity, I believe we must act quickly and purposedly to view our issues in the larger scope of humanity, agree to disagree on non-vital issues, accept corresponding victories and defeats, and proceed with a clear focus on the truly important principles of democracy and vital issues of magnitude that unite us.  Maybe then we can rebuild the international respect and honor our nation once earned and held, preserving our dignity, and refueling the lamp Miss Liberty holds high in New York Harbor.

Brian Buckta
Written Impressions
103 S. State St.
La Farge, WI  54639
(608) 625-6372 / cell (608) 606-2062

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