Since 2008 when President Obama took the oath of office, and the Democrats controlled the Senate until Congress reconvened in 2015, there has been a disturbing shift in the bedrock moral and ethical values that have served our nation for nearly two and a half centuries. Let me keep this simple. Our Founding Fathers risked everything to establish a new nation that would not be ruled by a king, or by an oligarchy, nor by a state imposed religious doctrine.
Early authentic documents clearly state they came to spread the Gospel in a new world and to establish a form of government by the people and for the people. They envisioned a fresh start, a new beginning where there would be freedom of opportunity.
I believe the key word is freedom of opportunity rather than equal opportunity. Under the Obama administration the word equal has become corrupted by its misuse and misunderstanding. Whether that has been intentional or not I can’t say, but I can definitely describe the utter nonsense that has served as the basis for enacting policies intended to “level the playing field,” and promote social justice in the name of equality.
Equality is an emotionally charged word, partly I believe because of the way our Declaration of Independence calls attention to it. “… all men are created equal.” I surely do believe that God created us as equals, in His eyes and for His purposes, in part meaning that none has a greater worth than another. Only one name being above all others; otherwise, you and I are valued by our Creator as much as any earthly king, president, or rock star. But equality ends there; in this life, on this planet, it should be clear to anyone that we are not equal except when we step up to the starting line. That is where the playing field is always level.
Let me keep it simple again. In this life one must be prepared to make choices; the freedom to choose is one of God’s greatest blessings, but if we choose poorly we’ll find nothing but emptiness. Humans were born to create, to use our imaginations, to exercise our intelligence, and to find solutions and answers to problems that confront us as “fallen” creatures. Given that as our purpose, inevitably we’ll find the need to learn skills of collaboration as well as competition.
For example, on the golf course when each member of a foursome steps up to tee off, at that point each has an equal opportunity to put the ball in the fairway and with the greatest distance. There will be no equality in the result because of obvious disparities in all the variables regarding their individual ability, execution, and preparation leading up to that point. So, hackers like me are given a specific number of strokes to automatically lower our total score because otherwise without the added advantage of the “handicap” we couldn’t enjoy golf as a social recreation. It doesn’t work that way when competing for a livelihood.
In the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) when you step up to the equal opportunity tee box, a harsh reality becomes apparent. When the money is on the line, either you can compete or not. In my case, I was forced to look for another line of work. And, guess what? The same rules apply. One of my childhood friends, Larry he goes by Lawrence now) and I had equal opportunities to choose our pathway to adulthood. We both played sports in high school, both went to college, and both achieved advanced degrees in our respective fields. Larry chose technology and engineering. I chose education.
Through his own effort and diligence over time, he applied his imagination and intelligence to create several software programs of great value to the military and to businesses on an international scale, and in the process became Lawrence, a millionaire. In applying my skills and persistence over time, I carved out a successful career as an educator, and in the process my name stayed the same!.
Do I begrudge the difference in our resulting incomes? No. Do I believe the government should take some of Lawrence’s earnings and give them to me “to level the playing field?” No. The idea that our government would have us believe is that Larry and I should have equal outcomes in our lives is complete nonsense! We were never equal except in our worth in the eyes of our Creator, and at the point we stepped to the starting line and the opportunity to discover how well we were prepared to compete.
Do I believe there are those who need support and assistance because of obvious disparities in terms of a specific physical, mental, and/or emotional condition that impairs their ability to compete, to create, to contribute. Yes. Obviously the collective we, as in “community,” are called to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. But, we are also advised not to give to those unwilling to help themselves. If you don’t have any skin in the game, you don’t deserve the fruits of victory. We ought not give people “free stuff” for two common sense reasons. 1.) There is no free lunch. Some one pays. 2.) People don’t take care of what they don’t earn. The net value of unearned gifts is in their depreciation.
I’m of the opinion that the twisted logic of the kind of equality advocated by President Obama in the State of the Union address is immoral, unethical, and serves only to degrade the worth of an individual and minimize our collective power of creativity, imagination, and intelligence. It’s a policy designed for losers.
The writer lives in Surfside Beach