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October 13th, 2010

It Is Time to Fight the War.

By Rob Gettemy

When Republicans debate with Democrats about how government can do this or that better, we’ve already lost.  While there are many worldviews, politically, it comes down to two.  One group believes that politicians somehow have more wisdom than the American people; the average person is simply not smart enough to make their own basic decisions.  They further believe that not only is the government responsible for basic protections, but it also grants all rights to citizens as well.  They believe we should be “managed” by government to do certain things for the betterment of society.

Some will say that they come at this view from a truly well-meaning perspective.  They truly want to help and protect.  Some will say that their motives are far more sinister.  They realize that by controlling people, they have power.  When they gather power, they can make the world what they want.  Honestly, I vacillate between thinking they are sinister and they are well meaning.  Either way, it is a destructive view.  These people want to nudge citizens through taxation, regulations and entitlements to lose confidence in themselves and turn to government to solve all problems.  In short, they want to socially engineer our lives.  They package this all in the cloak of helping…helping the middle class or helping this victim or that victim.

I don’t see the world in Democrat verses Republican terms.  (I used to see it that way.)  No, when I think politically, I see the world in Conservative verses Progressive terms.  My world view is far different than what I described above.  I believe like our founders that our rights come not from governments but from God.  I further believe that when governments start trying to improve our lives or grant us rights, they can only do that by infringing on the unalienable rights granted by God.

Progressives clearly have a world view that is antithetical to that of the founders.  Most Democrats, and sadly far too many Republicans, fall into that camp.  So, how do you know someone’s true world view?  I don’t profess to have all the answers.  In fact, I used to put a lot more trust in politicians I thought were like me.  The only test I know how to apply is when a problem arises, does a politician immediately think of a Washington (or Des Moines) based solution?  Or, do they trust the American people enough to stay out of the way?  Now clearly I am not talking about those duties the people have expressly authorized to government through the Constitution.  The government has a role in preserving the unalienable rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence.  The problem is, virtually anytime the federal government moves beyond its duties as outlined in the Constitution, they violate my or someone’s unalienable rights.

The problem with the government granting rights is that they can take them away.  They are in control.  Often times, when “our guy” or “our gal” is in charge, we look the other way when they violate someone’s rights because the rights being violated don’t affect me, or I even think it will make the world a better place.  We then open the door for everyone’s rights to be violated.  When we do that, we lose our soul as a country.  Most of us hate smoking.  In fact, before the smoking ban in restaurants, I’d go out of my way to frequent a private establishment that did not allow smoking.  But, I detest the government telling a private establishment they are required to ban smoking.

I argue with a friend about the hoax of global warming.  Several months ago, I made the point that a study indicated dogs have a bigger carbon footprint than an SUV.  I joked that soon they will be coming for his dog!  I found it funny that he very strongly said, “That is where I’d draw the line.”  The problem is that if we don’t draw the line at freedoms we don’t personally care about, eventually we’ll lose those freedoms that matter most to us.  A short quote by Martin Niemöller sums it up best.

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

So, to come full circle, on most things the federal government is involved in, when we proclaim the Republican government solution is superior to the Democrat government solution, we’ve lost.  We’ve been doing too much of that for the last 100 years.  As we’ve been dutifully fighting the battle, we’ve lost sight of the war.  I often use a football analogy.  The reality is the Progressives have been driving the ball for nearly 100 years since they installed the federal income tax.  They’ve used it and other laws to slowly eat away at our liberties to the point that more than half of us are net dependent upon the federal government.  They are on the one yard line and about to score.  I believe the Republicans will hold the line this year.  I pray to God that they will loudly and proudly fight the war of world views instead of simply fighting the battles.  The Progressives will let us win a few battles, but the war is ultimately what matters most.

On another topic, I want to be clear for the record.  Last week’s story had nothing to do with my race with Mariannette Miller-Meeks.  While I think of her often, she was not on my mind when I wrote the article.  I want to further say that I publicly and privately support MMM and have both spoken on her behalf and donated to her campaign.  Let this comment put to rest any lingering doubts about my desire to see my friend Mariannette defeat the far left congressman, Dave Loebsack.

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About the Author

Rob Gettemy
Rob Gettemy is the founder and owner of 1 Million for Jesus Christ, a Christian apparel company. In addition, Rob teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa and was a candidate for US House, Iowa District 2 in the 2010 Republican primary. Rob attended the 912 rally in Washington DC in 2009 and also attended the 8-28 event in 2010. Rob has been an outspoken critic of liberal policies his entire adult life.

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