Barack Obama and his administration, along with the democrats in congress, are proof that there are two Americas.
The one America is full of a liberty-loving people. These people understand that freedom isn’t free. They work to produce the goods and services they use to trade with their countrymen so that they can enjoy the fullness of the earth’s bounty. They rejoice when someone gets a good job, or buys a nice house or a car, or saves up enough money for a handsome retirement. They look up to Bill Gates and other successful people who earned their money through hard work and intelligence. They hope that they and their children can be successful in whatever they put their minds to.
To this America, government is a necessary evil. It would be nice if everyone would always act in good faith, but this is simply not the way the world is. And so we build governments, carefully maximizing our freedoms while keeping our governments in check.
The other America pays lip-service to liberty, but secretly, and sometimes openly, despises it. They see successful, wealthy people and compare them with the poor and ask, “What did the rich man do to that poor man to get so rich?” They use government to make life fair, or at least more fair for themselves. They punish successful people and drop pennies in the beggar’s cup. When someone stands up to them and their corruptions, they bully them with outright lies and vile insults. When possible, they use their power to crush their opponents, in particular their domestic political rivals.
I cannot begin to imagine the insanity of the second America. To me, I can’t fathom spending my life in the vain pursuit of power over my fellow-citizens, and the outright lying and shenanigans it takes to obtain power. This is perhaps because of the way I was raised, or perhaps because of the tenets of my personal faith.
Or maybe it’s something more. Maybe it’s because I haven’t abandoned reason and logic and faith in something good, and they have.
What would drive so many people to insanity? I can only think of a few things. Let me list them here and see how close I am.
- Wickedness. This isn’t the kind of wickedness where you have fits of rage or you are tempted and happen to succumb to the temptation at the time. This is the kind of wickedness where you actually spend most of your waking moments trying to think of new ways to express your vilest thoughts in action. These are the kinds of people like NAMBLA (a group of homosexual pedophiles) and Planned Parenthood (formed to eliminate all people of African descent through contraception and abortion) or other groups with even more sinister goals.
- Greed. This isn’t the kind of greed that someone like Bill Gates has, where he pursues excellence and he drives to make his company the most successful by creating and marketing the best products he can put together, selling them at the most competitive prices. This is the kind of greed that says, “My entire self-worth is defined by what I have, and so I need to have more to be a more important person.” This may be expressed in the pursuit of money or even political power.
- Envy. This envy is taken to a whole new level, where our happiness is defined by having more than what they have. If we look around and derive satisfaction, or more likely, dissatisfaction, based on what others have, then we are guilty of this type of envy.
The above are all things that our Savior preached against. It is said that our personal virtue is the bedrock of our individual liberty. We cannot hope to be wicked, greedy, or envious and still expect to have all of our personal freedoms intact.
When you hear from the pulpit that our wickedness will be our destruction, it’s often hard to see how the two things are connected. It is especially difficult for the wicked to understand.
However, just like a nuclear fusion process one hundred million miles from here is responsible for the Oreo cookies we buy in the store, the connection is very real and very important.
We cannot maintain our liberty and forget our virtue. We must maintain our virtue to preserve our liberty.
Let us maintain our virtue.
Let us not be a part of the second America.