Seems to Me . . . What difference does it make?


By Stan Welch – For probably the last twenty or more years, a common political refrain at election time has been, “What difference does it make?” “They are all the same.” “Six of one, half dozen of the other.” We Americans use such excuses to justify sitting on our increasingly fat behinds instead of getting up to go vote. We don’t have any trouble watching our sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and husbands and wives fly halfway around the world to die for other people’s freedoms, but we’re too lazy to exercise our own.

Well, folks, I’ve been doing a little research, and I’m here to tell you – it does make a difference.

I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon.

If I can seek opportunity, not security, I want to take the calculated risk to dream and build, to fail and to succeed. I refused to barter incentive for dole.

I prefer the challenges of life to guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment to the state of calm utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master, save my God.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations; to face the whole world boldly and say, “I am a free American.”

The italicized words that appear above are the words of the Republican Creed. This is the basic statement of the beliefs of the Republican Party. One hundred and twenty three words which pretty clearly state the Republican view of the government in our lives.

Now, without comparison, there is no judgment, no discernment. So I looked for the Democratic Creed. I’m not sure I found the one and only creed, since Democrats tend to state and restate every possible aspect of every possible issue. But the one I found was several hundred words and dealt with everything from Social Security to the rights of unions to organize. So it seemed legitimate to me.

One sentence alone serves the purpose of proving my point that there is a difference, however: We believe it is the responsibility of government to help us achieve a society where a sound education, proper nutrition, quality medical care, affordable housing, safe streets, and a healthy environment are possible for every citizen.

Anyone see the word freedom in there anywhere? No? Me either.

Now this is not an advertisement for a specific political party, because heaven knows Republicans and their party have done plenty to tick me off in the last forty years. But it is a comparison of two political philosophies, and a personal statement about which one I find sensible to pursue.

So, on the one hand we have a group of Americans that basically wants a minimum of government and who are willing to take their chances in a world that never has been and never will be either fair or safe. And then we have a group that, by god (little g) wants the government to make the world fair and safe, no matter what it costs or what freedoms are lost in the process.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That’s a lovely thought – a fair and safe society, where no one is hungry or sick or oppressed. There are really only two flaws with the idea. It is incredibly expensive and it is impossible to achieve at any cost. Other than that, it’s a hell of an idea. Maybe that’s why those old fellows who wore powdered wigs promised us the pursuit of happiness, instead of happiness.

Does anyone still have trouble finding a difference? Our nation, which was once the greatest economy on earth, is sixteen trillion dollars in debt. Is everything fair yet? Is everyone safe? Will another trillion do the trick? How about another ten trillion? No.

Can you see the difference yet, people? It seems to me the difference is simple – whether or not America will continue to exist as our fathers and mothers knew it. That’s the difference. So in November, take a few minutes and go make a difference.