Barnes: America’s Growing Addiction to Socialism

As many of you can imagine, voters in our country are in a perpetual state of disbelief.  No matter who they vote in, they are disappointed in the ability of the politician to neglect the promises that put them in office.  I think the blame may be misplaced.

Our citizens have an ever-increasing appetite for government, err taxpayer, funded programs.  Many of these programs are made to appeal to our emotional side and to induce a sense of necessity.    The programs include a myriad of government services.  While some of these programs provide a valued service, ALL OF THEM are predicated on the state’s ability to take money from one person and give it to another.  This is where the voters begin the spiral of dependency.

Now, you may be thinking that you don’t mind the cost.  That is likely due to the incremental nature in which these programs are implemented.  A small additional property tax here and a little tourism tax there doesn’t exactly scream SOCIALISM. Though, when you take a step back and look at the overall picture, our socialist tendencies become apparent.  We have been towed down a road, hoodwinked and taken for fools while our liberties have been eroding.

We have not only paid for these government services, but we have been swayed into needing them and in some cases made to love them.  How many advertisements do you see promoting the triumphs of government programs?  Those commercials were likely paid for by your tax dollars.  Everyone appears to know someone that is employed by tax dollars.  While I am also in the camp that supports these normally underpaid social service workers, I can’t say that I agree with all the flattery bestowed upon them.  We’ve gotten to the point now that so many folks are employed by the government, that cutting a program means cutting a friend’s job.  Nobody wants to take their friend’s ability to support their family.

The idea that your friends deserve public money drives us further into the spiral.  We begin to ask politicians what they are going to do for us.  We demand favors of these politicians.  Voters support the candidate that is going to GIVE them the most.  The frequency in which voters support candidates based not on their principals or ideology, but on their ability to “bring home the bacon” is growing.  In addition, those employed by the growing government have the ability, and motivation, to support candidates solely on their ability to preserve government jobs.

Among millennials, socialism is becoming increasingly acceptable as a form of governing.  This is unacceptable in a nation that has given so much for the ideal of Liberty.  It is time for voters to regain their pride.  It is time to stop asking for handouts and start leading by example.  The next generations are watching us.  They are watching us vote for ‘friends’ or for ‘favors’.  They are watching us tout grant money for local programs.  Grant money came from taxpayers.  It is not free money.  There is no such thing as FREE money.  The government cannot give you something without having first taken it from someone else.  By promoting grants, bailouts and social programs, we are showing our youth that it is OK to take money from others as long as it supports a program YOU agree with.

If you want better candidates, we need to become better citizens and voters.  We need our pride back.  We need to be responsible for ourselves again.  We need to elect responsible citizens to represent our principles.  Voters get the representation they deserve.  We need to accept our lack of principled leadership is due to our lack of principles as voters.  Individual responsibility is one of the many costs of liberty, embrace it.

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