Memorial Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day are all holidays to celebrate America’s greatness.

Yes, I did say greatness. America’s founders, the pilgrims, arrived at our shores with one vision. Having escaped European tyranny, they dedicated themselves to establish a society that ensures freedom for all through hard work, justice and community.

Imagine, if you can, what would have happened if they had said, “Here we are, let someone take care of us.” Regretfully, we don’t have to imagine such a scenario because it actually happened. In their idealistic frame of mind the leaders advanced the idea to establish community gardens, where all would work together planting and maintaining a common garden. All would then be entitled to help themselves to any produce that they needed. What a benevolent intention. Who would not be happy with such a visionary plan? However, it soon developed into an entitlement program where some dutifully planted and cared for the project but others simply helped themselves to the produce.

Thus, the community idea quickly gave way to a system of free enterprise that divided the garden into individual plots, where plot owners could plant, sell or trade “their” produce as they chose.

If American history were a compulsory subject in public schools, today’s charlatans of social justice could not freely beguile our young people by spouting mesmerizing idealistic slogans. Recently a politician went as far as to claim that “entitlement” is a Christian concept. Well, Christ said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but to God what is God’s.” He did not say, “Put a chicken in every pot.”

America brims with examples of people who apply themselves, to secure freedom from want and comfort for themselves.

Conversely, a system that promises equal standards for all, regardless of input, condemns the loafers to a life of misery and dependency as well as insulting them for a “lack” of ability.

Social justice seeks and is grateful for equal opportunity. Socialism seeks, indeed forcibly demands, parity in wealth, i.e. “entitlement.” It exposes its ingratitude for the vision and opportunities that America provides for all. Each generation successively sought, step by step, to improve the common good from justice to well-being.

Lincoln expressed his hope that the soldiers who died in the Civil War and fought for justice did not die in vain. It is up to us to ensure that they did not.

It’s really simple. A politician who promises anything for free exposes himself as a liar. He knows well that nothing in life is free. In order for him to “give” you something that he doesn’t own he has to steal from someone else first.

Doesn’t that digress to the earlier referenced concept of Christianity — “Thou shalt not steal”?

B. Schadler lives in Green Valley.

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