Looking back at the good, bad and ugly for 2013
by Donald Conkey, columnist
December 25, 2013 11:26 PM | 796 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a couple of days America will be in full celebratory mood, welcoming in the New Year, 2014.

As I ponder this time-honored celebration, celebrated with gusto worldwide, I am wondering what we in America will be celebrating.

America certainly can’t celebrate the re-election of Barack Obama because, in my opinion, the first year of his second term has been a total disaster. We now know that he, his administration and the progressives lied to America regarding the content and intent of Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, with millions of Americans now without affordable health insurance, or at worst, with insurance not really affordable.

Nor can we celebrate the functionality of the federal government. Many had hope our elected leaders would be able to work together to resolve the pressing issues facing America and its people, but our hopes were dashed as we watched the philosophical divide continue, and yes, if this was possible, grow even deeper and wider.

This federal philosophical divide has become so pervasive that it has even affected the behavior of local elected officials. Our local divide was created by the efforts of progressives to implement Common Core nationwide without proper vetting.

Like the ‘unexpected’ regulations found in Obamacare, and now coming to front and center during implementation, a bill passed by using Chicago thuggery tactics, the local adoption of Common Core even before it was completely written is symptomatic of the governing philosophy of progressives, with many believing more and more the progressive goal is complete control of all American life and the destruction of America’s foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Even the relentless mockery and eventual destruction of a duly elected local public official is a harsh reminder of how cruel man can be to man. I often wonder if the pilgrims’ “witch hunt” trials could have been any crueler.

Through these negatives there were slivers of light that enabled me to see the future more positively. One was a talk by George Will, one of the Tribune’s regular columnists, to the student body of Brigham Young University in October.

During this talk, Will actually celebrated the impasse in the federal government. He stated that this was exactly how the Founding Fathers intended their new government to work. Few, if any public universities would have allowed Will the opportunity to deliver his 45-minute talk on how America has become a welfare state, supported by solid facts and figures and backed up by historical documentation.

Will’s remarks caused me to ask this question. What would America become if senators like Ron Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, supported by the growing influence of the Tea Party, were not there to challenge a bill that was passed by Chicago thuggery methods; a bill purposely designed to destroy the best medical system in the world, and finally, watching the “fundamental transformation” of America from a republic governed by the people to a government intent on re-enslaving its citizens because the elite think they know more how the individual should run his/her life than they themselves.

Will made another statement that every American should deeply ponder. He quoted a doctor, after showing him his newly acquired Medicare Card when he turned 65, a quote at the heart of the divide in America today. When shown the Medicare Card the doctor said, “Fine, now we can bill your children instead of you.”

Anyone who understands economics 101, and has even a little common sense knows that America must get a handle on its debt, or declare bankruptcy. Not a pleasant thought.

This is one of those “Laws of Nature” that Jefferson declared was one of the two cornerstones of America, the other being the “Laws of Nature’s God,” he who created the laws of economics.

The Obama administration has more than doubled the debt in five years. This debt is destroying America. “Historically,” Will said, “America has always borrowed for the future, to pay for an ongoing war, to build roads, etc., but today America is borrowing to pay the interest on its debt and to fund welfare programs.”

These few slivers of light offered by Will reinforced my firm beliefs that America will survive its current “fundamental changes,” and the people will eventually wake up and restore the principles of freedom the Founders embedded in America’s founding documents.

But it will not be done without pain, both economic and physical pain brought on by the people themselves.

Welcome to 2014 and Happy New Year.

Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.

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