Too Much Independence

July/03/2008 14:06PM
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As Independence Day approaches it is good to remember all that’s good about America. Demand is the best indicator of the worth of a product and demand to come to America is as strong as ever. Lot’s of foreigners and Americans are writing us off. History has shown we can come back from big problems. World wars, depressions, civil wars, and cold wars. If we look at the dollar as the best indicator of our global stock price, we have lots of short sellers right now.

As I reflect on recent threats to our country, September 11, 2001 jumps back into focus. Not only did we come together as a county but the rest of the world came to our side to offer their support. It was a sad, scary, but special time. The country was as unified as it’s been for a long, long time.

Thinking about that time prompted me to do some checking to see where we are on replacing the twin towers. I recall the debate about whether to replace or not replace and the result was to replace. To do otherwise we said was to concede victory to the terrorists. That was seven years ago. The result is a hole in the ground in lower Manhattan. Meanwhile, the building across the street which is totally private has been completely rebuilt. It’s 50 stories high and done. 

Since this date was the biggest threat to our independence for years, it makes one pause and ask, why can’t we finish this project? Is this a symptom of our problem on so many fronts? Are we so bound up in our shorts that we can’t so anything anymore? If so, how do we fix this?

I have a theory. Almost any project in America today has detractors. In the early years of my life, detractors were ignored. We didn’t’ ask the public if we should build the atom bomb. We built most of the interstate highway system in one president’s term. We built O’hare Airport in one year. We put a man on the moon  in 6 years. We can’t build two high rises in NY in 7 years. Why?

Detractors today want to win. They don’t want to have their objections heard. They want to win. Leaders today can’t abide detractors. They just can’t face it. It makes me harken back to Sheriff Joe in Maricopa County Arizona. He has been beaten up day in and day out by the media over his enforcement of the law passed by the State of Arizona regarding illegal immigrants. He continues unabashed to enforce the law he didn’t write or pass. His approval rating stays at 85% despite the endless barrage by the media, the governor, and the mayor of Phoenix. He does what the lawmakers asked him to do, he ignores the detractors, and he will be elected again by a higher margin because he is doing what the majority of the people want him to do. 

Are there no more Sheriff Joe’s in politics today? People who listen to the detractors but do what the people want them to do and what is best for the people?

If we try to do everything today based on what everyone prefers, we will do nothing. I want freedom, but I don’t accept that that means I get everything I want on every front. As the government at every level passes more and more laws to restrict my freedom, they accelerate the idea that everyone should get to input on every initiative. What the laws don’t restrict the detractors stop. 

Here’s my message for the Fourth of July. America is the land of free and the home of the brave. Let’s have more free by eliminating hundreds of laws that restrict my freedom. Let’s have more brave by listening to the detractors then saying, thanks we hear you, but we are going to put up these buildings. We are going to start today.

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