American exceptionalism is not passed on in the genes, nor is it a characteristic conferred upon a favored few by the ruling class. American exceptionalism embraces the notion that every human being has an equal opportunity to exercise his God given abilities in pursuit of his dreams; to improve his personal condition which contributes to society and the welfare of others.
The Declaration of Independence is the genesis of American execpetionalism. The Declaration stated unequivocally certain fundamental and philosophical truths: that every man is created equal, that man is capable of self-governance, that man is rational and reasoned, therefore capable of improving his own condition and acting in a manner consistent with his desires while not infringing upon the rights of others.
In a broader context the Declaration provided the framework for a system of governance that eschewed status societies where a privileged few exercised dominion over the masses. The Constitution established a contract society where the governed delegated a limited set of powers to a federal government. A government designed to secure mans’ natural rights and constrained government by the rule of law. A government meant to keep man free.
In modern day parlance, the founders and framers created the ultimate risk/reward society. Man was free to live his life, exercise his personal and economic liberty, and pursue happiness according to his desire without government intervention. In other words, man was free to succeed or fail on his own. Undoubtedly, some would succeed, some would fail, and others would muddle along.
Moral hazard existed in every man’s life. There was no government safety net. Government was not formed to keep man safe from the pitfalls of life. There was no government welfare system, food stamps, or unemployment insurance. There was no JeffersonCare. I’m confident that Virginia statesman Patrick Henry never said “Give me liberty or give me healthcare!” The notion that government could compel man to purchase a product under threat of coercion would have appalled and outraged the founders. One needs to look no further than the Boston Tea Party as proof.
Every man understood he was personally responsibility for his own life and to make of it what he wished. Mans’ desires were diverse and plentiful. Every man chose his course and lived with the consequences of his decisions. What each man produced from his physical and/or intellectual abilities was his property. Man was free to associate with others to barter or trade his property for another’s property, to pursue the goods and services he determined best meet his personal conditions.
Government did not direct man in pursuit of his personal and economic liberty. Government did not prohibit man from choosing his profession. Government did not limit the choices available to man. Government did not require licenses and permits, certifications, audits, or paperwork. Government did not choose winners and losers amongst industries or within an industry. Government did not interfere with mans’ life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.
Today, we have only the illusion of a free society and free markets. Mans’ freedoms and liberties are severely curtailed by government. Mans’ liberty to choose his industry is limited. Mans’ liberty to interact in free markets is limited. Mans’ natural right to his own property is violated. Statutory laws and regulatory actions, many not made in pursance of the Constitution, by government prohibit, limit, and coerce man which violates the fundamental truths that every man is free to live his life, exercise his personal and economic liberty, and pursue his own happiness.
Are my assertions flawed? I think not. Here are a few examples:
- Automobile choice is limited to what government determines is acceptable. CAFÉ standards imposed by government result in more injuries and deaths. Read this article for more proof.
- Our choice of energy is limited, and the cost is greater, because government regulates fossil fuels under the hoax of global warming.
- Our choice of shower heads and toilets are limited due to government regulation.
- Our choice of light bulbs is limited due to government regulation.
- Our choice of profession is limited due to government regulation.
- Property ownership is limited due to government taxation.
- Our natural right to own firearms and carry firearms is limited due to government.
- Government compels us to participate in the ponzi scheme known as Social Security.
- Government compels us to participate in the Medicare system.
- Government compels us to buy health care insurance under ObamaCare.
- Government discriminates against us through a progressive tax system.
- Government confiscates a man’s property that he rightfully possesses and gives to another that has done absolutely nothing to deserve it.
Man is not free, is not at liberty to exercise the very rights government was instituted to protect. Man has a limited set of choices proscribed to him by government. Government limiting mans’ choices restricts freedom and liberty by substituting a false set of choices; government proscribed choices where the ruling class determines what man can and cannot have, as well as limiting the choices of man. Government has created restrictive boundaries around all aspects of mans’ life. In other words, government has boxed man in forcing him to live within a very narrow set of laws and regulations.
Government is no longer constrained by the Constitution. Instead, government uses the law to constrain man. Man no longer relies upon his own ability to determine his course in life. A large segment of society voluntarily relinquished their freedoms and liberty in return for government largesse. Individual responsibility is conveniently exchanged for government welfare programs, sold under the guise of compassion and equality, to an unwitting but fully complicit populace addicted to handouts, freebies, and benefits paid for by the sweat and equity of others.
The ultimate risk/reward society has transformed into a do-nothing/subservient society perpetuated by the ruling class that desires to entrench themselves in power. The seed of American exceptionalism planted by the founding fathers and framers requires hard work, sacrifice, and individual responsibility for man to enjoy the fruits it produces. Too many people are either afraid to try and succeed, and possibly fail, or seek the lazy way in life. The desire to nurture the seed of exceptionalism has vanished in too many people. Society is enthralled in the decline of American exceptionalism.
A person relieved of all personal responsibility and willing to submit to government for basic necessities will never prosper and forever be stuck in mediocrity. No chance of success. No chance at failure. He simply subsists as a ward of the government. The trade-off proposed by government requires a person to give up liberty for security, prosperity for subservience, opportunity for mediocrity, and personal responsibility for government benevolence. Because too many people are willing to partake in this exchange, we are witnessing the rise of American mediocrity.