Release....November 30, 2004

The Price of Being American

(What the Left needs to understand about the Right)

Written by JB Williams



Yes, being a member of the freest society on earth comes at a price, and each of us will pay that price one way or another. Being American means many different things to many people, but at a glance, the Right understands it means being free to be ourselves in every respect, and freedom is never free.


Itís important that we first agree on what America is. America is the most prosperous nation on earth. It is also the most generous nation on earth, and the most powerful nation on earth. All of its power, all of our generosity, comes from our prosperity, and all of our prosperity is a direct result of our freedom.


If men are not free to prosper, then a nation is doomed to destitution. The idea that wealth can be redistributed by force, that it should be, in the form of tax codes that penalize success, flies in the face of  American principles of freedom, as well as the laws of nature. There is a very basic reason why some acquire wealth, while others donít. It has to do with individual choices, the price of success.


Those who have become wealthy in America paid a price for their wealth, a price most people are unwilling to pay. Those unwilling to pay that price will pay another for economic mediocrity or even financial failure at the other end of the spectrum. For both, the grass always looks greener on the other side, but neither will accept the price of change.


Being the freest people on earth makes us both the most loved and the most envied and hated nation on earth, for all the same reasons. Most countries around the globe depend on America in one way or another. Though they are glad to have our support, they would rather not need it. Many resent the fact that they are in any way dependent upon Americaís power. After all, there are strings attached to our generosity, loyalty topping the list.


America has spoiled many nations with our generosity; those countries developing a knack for biting the hand that feeds them. In many ways, Americanís themselves have been spoiled by the fact that so many are able to enjoy the fruits of our forefatherís sacrifices, some forgetting that those sacrifices were ever made, ignoring that they will need to be made again.


Being free comes with a very high price, first paid in the blood of soldiers who secure and defend that freedom against those who wish to see America in bondage. Often, defending our freedoms at home includes securing freedom for others abroad, giving them a personal stake in a peaceful civilized world. Some believe this is too high a price for our own freedom, or fail to see the connection all together.


Then, the daily price is paid by every American in the form of individual consequences for how we choose to use our individual freedom. No ceiling means no floor either, as Americanís we are working a high-wire act without a net, taking risks without any guarantees. Many donít like this price eitherÖ


When all goes well, we want the credit and the fruits of our labor, the reward for the risks we were willing to take. But when it doesnít go exactly as planned, we naturally start looking for that safety net that was never a part of Americaís original design. Being an American has never been for the faint heartedÖ


As Americanís we are free to have no plan at all for our individual future, and equally free to enjoy the fruits of that effort. Sometimes no plan works out, kind of like winning the lottery, but when it doesnít, we are quick to search for someone else to take responsibility for the price that comes with failure.


The same is true for our friends around the globe. They envy Americaís power, our prosperity that affords that power, even more; they resent their own weakness by comparison, though they too, are unwilling as nations, as people, to accept the price of change. Itís so much easier to simply blame America for their position in the world.


Instead of adopting American principles that produced American prosperity and power, they prefer to weaken America down to their level. Because they are unwilling to pay the price America has paid for its freedom and subsequent prosperity, they prefer America forfeit its freedom and power in the world, in order to level the international playing field, and to no surprise, many Americans in search of a government issued level playing field at home agree.


Just as those Americanís unwilling to pay the personal price of economic freedom expect our government to elevate them by reducing the rich to equal status, the international community looks to reduce American prestige in order to elevate itself in the world.


The world has always had a dominant power. Throughout history, that power has usually been found in the hands of tyrants who used that power to enslave their own people and their neighbors. In Americaís case, we have used our power to free people around the globe, to empower people, to liberate nations from tyrannical regimes that brutalized their own. Yet somehow, this story has been perverted by the global press, including in America.


The fact that so many misunderstand Americaís motives doesnít change the fact that our motives are honorable; it just makes it more difficult to achieve our goal of a freer more prosperous and more peaceful world.


Hereís the rub, in order for America to remain powerful, it must remain prosperous. In order for it to remain prosperous, it must remain as free as possible. We can not allow our most successful risk takers in society to be targeted by those unwilling to take risks. Government canít level the playing field; people must remain free to choose their own destiny.


In order for the world to become more prosperous, more self-sufficient, more peaceful, they must adopt the same principles that made America the most prosperous and most powerful nation on earth, not expect America to concede its power to an international community that has no understanding of that power.


I am not defending wealth, I am defending the freedom to become whatever you want, including wealthy. I donít personally qualify as one of Americaís ďrichĒ, only as one who recognizes the choices I have made with my freedom, and accepts the results of my decisions.


Americaís Left needs to understand that most of us on the Right are just like them, except we accept the fruits of our decisions, and our responsibilities in the world. Itís time they did the same!


Itís time the international community stop expecting America to relinquish or apologize for its power, its prosperity, and its honorable intentions for a more prosperous and peaceful world. Itís time both begin to focus on what is right about America, what makes America work, how America improves the lives of many around the world. Americaís Right understands and respects these principles, and we intend to preserve them by any means necessaryÖnot because we are ďrichĒ, but because we are free to become ďrichĒ if we so choose.


Free to become whatever we chooseÖand you canít put a price tag on that!

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