Our nation’s origin is rooted in the belief that all people have been endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights based upon self-evident truths. Unfortunately, these two aspects of our founding are lost on young Americans. That is, many millennials don’t recognize that every right comes with a commensurate responsibility, and they no longer believe in self-evident truth. Instead, they believe rights and privileges come by way of entitlements, and that all truth is relative.
So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Well, the pilgrims initially attempted to create a society and economy based upon a communal-type arrangement of share and share alike. This arrangement was more akin to a socialist style economic model than a free market based one. That is, the noble goal was to have everyone share equally in the bounty of the harvest. However, as is always the case, some people worked really hard for the good of the community while others figured “why bother?”
Well, it didn’t take long for the community at large to realize that unless everybody did as much work as possible, the community as a whole would suffer mightily. That is, people who shirked their collective responsibility endangered the well-being of the entire community. The pilgrims discovered that the moral high ground in this situation required some tough love in the form of the biblical imperative that “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Thus, our forefathers learned to live out their spiritual world view in practical ways. They gave thanks to God for the food they had to eat, but they also worked as hard as humanly possible because they believed that God promised they would reap what they sowed. They did not, therefore, countenance for long their fellows who insulted the providential beneficence of God by way of laying illicit claim to the fruit of their neighbor’s labor and sacrifice. Unfortunately, today, young Americans are tempting fate as they seek to jettison their liberty while shirking personal responsibility in exchange for a mirage of equality by way of socialism. They no longer believe in God; they believe in government.
Today’s entitlement generation, despite the luxuries afforded them by virtue of living in relative abundance, is nevertheless living a life of envy rather than thanksgiving in their pining for socialism. They believe that society owes them everything, including free college, free health care, and a free universal basic income. They believe government can give them an equal share in all the blessings of modernity by way of illicitly and inordinately taxing rich people and corporations. They actually believe taking money away from those who earned it is the ethical thing to do as the ends justify the means. They selfishly countenance the belief that equality of outcomes is morally superior to equality of opportunity.
Winston Churchill said it best: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and host of The Andy Caldwell Radio Show, weekdays from 3-5 p.m., on News-Press AM 1290.