By: Amy Lutz
In a recent interview, President Obama commented, “This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades.” The President used this statement to emphasize the dire need for us to return from the brink of economic destruction. Yet, he failed to cite why exactly the “competitive” spirit that built our great nation has faltered in recent years. The omission of this important fact was not one of forgetfulness; rather, it was one of intentional suppression. The main culprit behind America’s “softening” and decreased competitiveness lies solely in the liberal policies of the President and his like-minded predecessors, Democrat and Republican alike. The forces of political correctness and welfare dependency have lulled Americans into complacency and laziness. We have no change of retaining our capitalistic competitiveness and free market liberty if these concepts continue to blur the psyche of the average American citizen.
As political correctness sinks infects public dialog like a toxic disease, how is it possible to truly say what you mean and mean what you say? It’s no longer to bluntly state the truth when you are forced to subscribe to the left’s “inoffensive” “inclusive” vernacular. How can we face the concept of terrorism head-on if we are stuck discussing an “overseas contingency operation?” Is it even possible to critique global warming when the ambiguous “climate change” is Al Gore’s newest catch phrase? Liberals are so concerned about offending anyone that they have shrouded their own indecisiveness in moral relativism and created a bland public discourse exempt of any threat of opinion or controversy. No wonder America has gotten “soft.” Our society has become so afraid of rocking the boat that we’ve stayed on the shore and halted any chance of creating positive change through competitive rhetoric and discussion.
Just like our vernacular has morphed over the last couple decades, so have our mindsets. At the dawn of our great nation, the federal government weighed lightly on the minds of early Americans. The free market and individual responsibility thrived because they were not yet impeded by an over-bloated bureaucracy. People learned how to take care of themselves and their neighbors. When Americans faced crises, they picked themselves up and did not turn to the government for a handout. As our history progressed and politicians got their hands on our system, that mindset began to change. Government presence in daily life increased and personal innovation and responsibility faded away. As more and more Americans became dependent on welfare programs, we came to expect more of our politicians; and less of ourselves. When crises strike, the question is now: what is the government doing to help? It used to be: What am I doing to help? Pure initiative and individualism, the bedrock of our capitalist society, are now rare. They’ve been slowly replaced with “social justice” and “wealth redistribution.” The American resolve, hardened through years of work and entrepreneurship, has weakened and become not a present example of greatness, but a distant nostalgic memory. Sure, many citizens still retain the American resolve and personify the American character, but this is an example our liberalized and politically correct culture no longer supports.
So, President Obama, I hate to say it, but you’re right. Americans have gotten soft, but that does not mean that we cannot reintroduce American determination into our vernacular and collective state of mind. Yet, if we ever intend to do that, you must step out of the way. We will not be able to retain our competitive spirit if the federal government is suffocating the free market. We can’t have an honest debate if every other word is deemed “offensive.” The restoration of the American character cannot come through AstroTurf movements or political rhetoric. It comes from the hearts and minds of individual citizens. Mr. President, you can’t save America through stimulus packages, political grandstanding, or efficient Teleprompters. In order to restore our nation, you only need to do one simple, uncomplicated thing. You just need to let go.