A few months ago, Democrats unveiled their promise to America when they revealed the “Life of Julia” storybook ad, depicting a woman who enjoys cradle-to-grave assistance from the government. Implied in this, of course, is that without government, Americans are vulnerable to the harsh realities of life. The message is that you can’t do it on your own, and you need the government’s help.
Barack Obama doubled down on that message in July, telling an audience, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The implication is even less vague here. Barack Obama suggests that even if you think you can do it on your own and have seemingly proven that fact, not only do you need government’s help, but the government has already helped you and you couldn’t have done it on your own.
This week, with the unveiling of their DNC video, Democrats gave Americans this message again in the clearest terms imaginable. Not only can you not do it without the government, and not only has the government already helped you even if you think it hasn’t, but “the government is the only thing we all belong to.”
“Belong.” This implies possession. There is no ambiguity here. The Democratic message is that “we the people” are possessions of the government, and are beholden to see to its success as a collective machine.
There is nothing- I repeat, nothing- that is more antithetical to American values than this gross assumption of ownership by a government. Our founders believed, above all things, that we “belong” to our Creator alone, who has granted us inalienable individual rights, and that a government’s only reasonable function is to protect those rights. Among these is the fundamental right to individual property ownership, a concept which cannot exist in a social contract that includes our servitude to a government that can take away one’s property, absent his consent, for the purpose of providing that property to someone else. Our freedom, our birthright-- established by God, nurtured by America’s founders, and protected by brave men and women-- will cease to exist.
It is such a fitting juxtaposition to set the DNC’s message of our “belonging” to the government alongside Clint Eastwood’s message last week at the RNC, when he said to his audience, also in the clearest of terms, that “you, we-- we own this country.” This polar dichotomy is the single best representation of the fundamental choice that lies before us in November. Do you believe that you belong to the government, or do you believe that the government belongs to you?
And do you feel the need to elect a savior, or do you feel the need to elect someone who will protect your ability to save yourself?
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.William Sullivan
This commentary first appeared in American Thinker, found here.