“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Once upon a time, a young Army captain named John M. Grist came home from World War II. He met a young Florida girl named Claire Terrell and shared with her his dreams of a home with a white picket fence and a warm, loving family.
I must say that home life with Mom, Dad, and my little sister, Jeannie, was very much like a television show called “Father Knows Best.” Working dad, stay-at-home mom, a safe, comfortable middle class life, and a brother and sister who loved each other - even when they were arguing.
We had something else in the 1950s. We had a president who, as an Army general, had led the world to victory over Nazi Germany. Dwight Eisenhower was “Ike” to all of us. He became a safe, strong, solid American leader with a resume that few could equal. America was prosperous during these times, and hope for the future filled our lives.
The next president was John F. Kennedy, a young war hero who distinguished himself as a Naval officer in the South Pacific against the Japanese. His inaugural speech included the challenge to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” He inspired an entire generation of young teenagers like me.
John F. Kennedy was a Democrat, but can you imagine any Democrat of today making that same challenge? The statement would likely be reversed and more like “Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for you.” Sadly, Kennedy’s own brother, Ted – not a war hero by the way – would be one of the leaders of the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
This party is now made up of Progressive Socialists who seek to move Americans from a life of ambition and self-sufficiency to a life of government dependence. Instead of heeding John F. Kennedy’s words, the Democratic politicians who claim his heritage have betrayed them. They demonize success and the successful while seeking power and privilege more than what is best for their country. They ignore the warning of Dwight Eisenhower about “…the disastrous rise of misplaced power,” and they work to grow and expand a gargantuan government.
When I compare such men as Eisenhower and Kennedy with the shallow, inexperienced man who occupies the White House today, I am filled with disappointment that my fellow citizens could have elected – and reelected - a man of such little substance who seeks unbridled power and control over the lives of Americans.
Barack Obama never stood in uniform on a battlefield with a rifle. He never had to get up early to open a business. He never had to meet a payroll, stand military inspection on a parade ground, or fight to keep himself and his friends from being killed by evil men. How he became our president is a mystery, and he has never been a leader. Being in charge is not the same as being a leader.
We all know the histories of men like Eisenhower and Kennedy. We know how they grew up, where they went to school, how they developed their ideals, what they studied, what they wrote in college, and who their friends were. We know very little about the details of Barack Obama’s life. Now why is that?
Never in history has a president spent millions of dollars to hide his past. We do know fragments of his life – raised by Marxist parents and grandparents, mentored by a Marxist, preached to by a Marxist, and educated as a foreign student even though he would later claim birth in America. Barack Obama is an enigma known to the world as America’s president, but known only superficially to America’s own citizens.
Where is the old-fashioned America I knew? There was a time when Americans would not permit the limitation of their rights under the Constitution or allow government intrusion into their lives. Now the Progressive Socialists – with help from some Republicans – have made it possible to:
- Detain you without trial or indictment;
- Search your home, business, bank records, or phone records without a search warrant;
- Restrict your rights under your own religion;
- Force you to buy health insurance (you didn’t really believe it would be free, did you?);
- Determine what food you can eat or drink (or what size cup you can have);
- Watch you from drones at 20,000 feet or from cameras on the street;
- Give money to one party or another in multiple wars – even when there are no good guys on either side;
- Destroy the economy an inch at a time by printing trillions of invisible dollars;
- Kill unborn children while protecting the eggs of a sea turtle or some desert lizard;
- Stop providing education money for war veterans but give aid to educate Pakistanis or purchase military hardware for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood;
- Have a president who will bow to the dictator of Saudi Arabia, welcome terrorists to the White House, and who will apologize to the world for what he perceives are the wrongs of America – even though we have liberated more people than any other nation in history;
- Allow uncontrolled illegal immigration from other countries – i.e. If you can’t make it in your own country, come here and we’ll give you free money and health care – and make American citizens pay for it;
- Have a president who supports the thugs and anarchists of the “Occupy” movement, but who criticizes the honest, hard-working Americans of the Tea Party movement;
- Have a president who complains about the tax cuts of the sequester and ends White House visits by tourists, but who spends a million dollars for a golf trip;
- Have politicians who not only want to take away our right to defend ourselves under the Second Amendment, but who believe that the Constitution needs to be “updated” or ignored altogether;
- And on, and on, and on….
Although we wonder sometimes where the patriotic, freedom-loving America of the old days has gone, I know it is still there. It exists in the Little League games, in the Fourth of July celebrations, in the church pews, and in the Sunday family picnics. The Progressive Socialist politicians – like those in New York, California, and Colorado - are not who we really are.
I won’t give up on the country that so many of us have fought for, and I won't remain silent while the Progressive Socialists steal our liberties one law, regulation, or executive order at a time.
Charles M. Grist