Uniting America in Purpose

“As Americans we must unite and recommit to our founding principles of 1776 to support each other in our individual pursuits of purpose for the greater good.”

In the last three days, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton officially announced her candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Yesterday, former governor of Florida Jeb Bush followed suit. They have been called the Dynasty Campaigns. This is because the Clinton and Bush families’ names have been on the ballot for President off and on for the last 35 years. Members of these two families have served as President five of the last seven terms. It now appears the two likely nominees for 2016 are Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. What does this portend for the national political debate?

In 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain and the policies of King George III. European culture reflected dynasties of royal blood. The Crown controlled freedom and allocated it to factions of society that perpetuated the control of nobility. An individual’s destiny was largely determined by birth. Our forefathers declared in the Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the governed…” What united Americans in 1776 was the revolutionary idea that all people have a right of independence from the government to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

What was it then that made Americans willing to risk everything for independence? They were not starving, there was civil order, there was an educational system, the King’s soldiers were not going door to door pillaging, religion had its place in society, and private ownership was accepted.  What was it then? It was simply that freedom to choose one’s own destiny was paramount to living in an order controlled by the government wherein one could not pursue his or her dreams, unrestricted. From 1787, by the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, to 1974, the American public believed collectively, that freedom of individuals determining for themselves their purpose in life, without the restraints of government or a predetermined position in society, was the best governing system for the greatest prosperity of everyone. Since 1974, globalization has challenged, us as a country, to review our commitment to this principle. The President of the United States is at odds with his own party over extending this principle in a free trade agreement. Some citizens want to export. Some want to import. Some want to maintain the status quo.

At the founding of our Country, there was respect for everyone’s freedom and their right to pursue happiness as they defined it. The concept was notthat you cannot pursue your dream without yielding to the government’s dream.

Yes, the road of American history has had ups and downs, good times and bad. State conflicts, Civil War, civil rights, monopolies, Wall Street greed, and religious liberties are examples of issues that we have had to work through as a democracy. But I submit to you that, as a people, we have handled these issues as well as or better than any other society or culture in the history of the world. And we are making progress. But to maintain progress and to deal with the issues of Ferguson, gay marriage, right to life, and fair taxation, requires respect for everyone’s freedom, not just particular segments of society as dictated by the Crown (government).

Progressives speak of fairness in economic development. They seek an egalitarian world in totality, yet they give little consideration to the rights of a family owned business. When Hillary Clinton announced Saturday, she mentioned small business. However, the tone of her speech was that government, not free enterprise, must be trusted to produce fairness in society. When asked about this theme in her speech, John Podesta, Chairman of Clinton’s campaign, said on Meet the Press that her economic message is different from the conservatives. She speaks of representing everyone, but the policies that she advocates are that one segment of society must support another – government oversight as a priority. This is nothing more than historical Europeanism in reverse – the private business class supports the underclass. Where is the inclusiveness of benefits to all people in this policy?

Jeb Bush, the other half of the dynasty in presidential politics this year, spent the majority of his speech detailing how free enterprise and less government would serve the poor and minorities – free enterprise as a priority. He also said that one of his primary goals was getting government out of the business of making mistakes. The goal is not for government to determine how everybody should live. The goal is not for the King to establish a system wherein one segment of society is subservient to another. The goal is to provide independence for all people.

People are in need of government services. We should live by a set of rules that provides for order, civility, and love for one another. Part and parcel of this order is that citizens are responsible to some extent for their own actions, and that everyone should contribute something to their pursuit of happiness. If we want to provide housing for everyone, then we should tax ourselves and provide direct payments to housing for those who cannot afford it. We should not pass off this obligation of government to banks by telling them that they must loan money to people who can’t afford to pay it back. By funding the program directly, and not through the subterfuge of regulation, there is transparency in the government action. And as a people, we can better determine how to allocate resources to help each other and provide for the common good.

Progressives see independent business owners and innovators as the enemy who must be regulated in their activities and taxed for the redistribution of wealth. For some reason they view the private enterprise system as the enemy of egalitarianism. They do not apply this standard to sports or entertainment. For one thing, you cannot regulate creativity. The communists tried, but artists, athletes and mathematicians still performed.

Conservatives believe in the revolutionary idea of 1776, that overall in the unrestricted collective pursuit of happiness by individuals, the country is better served in its allocation of resources.   No one should be left behind. Basic needs must be met. But the goal is to provide the opportunity for everyone to pursue their destiny with their God-given abilities as they see fit, with as little government interference as possible.

As we approach the election cycle of 2016, the future of our country, and the experiment that we started in 1776, may very well be at stake. To unite America, we must find balance in providing government services and allowing for freedom. A new vision must be advanced that’s inclusive of all dreams. Either you believe in independence and freedom from the Crown, or you don’t. Europe has had over a thousand years to perfect their system. They are now looking to the United States for world leadership on government finances, world banking, and the Middle East crisis.

What then were our Founding Fathers declaring in 1776? To them, it was tantamount to life. Patrick Henry’s words echo today, “Give me liberty, or give me death” – liberty, as defined by freedom, freedom for the generations of individuals to pursue their God-given destiny. As Americans we must unite and recommit to our founding principles of 1776 to support each other in our individual pursuits of purpose for the greater good.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?