Friday, May 29, 2009
It greatly alarms me that Americans' constitutional right of freedom of speech is being squeezed out of our culture. Several years ago, I watched then-"20/20" correspondent Diane Sawyer interview Saddam Hussein, who was dictator of Iraq at the time. She respectfully confronted him for the atrocities and executions he used as punishments for people who merely spoke out against him, his rule or his politics. Surprisingly naive of America's constitutional basis, Saddam asked, "Well, what happens to those who speak against your president?"
(He clearly was expecting that such speech was also a crime in the U.S. and punishable by law.) Shocked by his sheer ignorance of the U.S. -- and somewhat at a loss for words herself -- Diane quipped back in answering his question, "They host television talk shows!" Saddam's facial expression revealed that he was totally confused by her answer.
Sounds so far-out, doesn't it? Offensive speech being punishable by law? But it might not be that far off for America, especially if the course of free speech continues on its present track -- a path of progressive restrictions, both from our government and our culture.
For example, presently bill S. 909 is on the fast track through the Senate, poised under the guise of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. While the bill purports to target crimes of brutality, not speech, once enacted, local justices could expand its interpretive enforcement to encompass a wider meaning than originally conceived. In the end, it could not only criminalize opinions (an unconstitutional act) but also provide elevated protection to pedophiles.
If our policymakers understood and followed the constitutional government our Founders laid down for us, they never would advocate any so-called hate crimes bill. As Rep. Ron Paul once wrote: "Hate crime laws not only violate the First Amendment, they also violate the Tenth Amendment. Under the United States Constitution, there are only three federal crimes: piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. All other criminal matters are left to the individual states. Any federal legislation dealing with criminal matters not related to these three issues usurps state authority over criminal law and takes a step toward turning the states into mere administrative units of the federal government."
The limiting of free speech is happening through not only legal ends but also social avenues. It was tragic to watch at the recent White House Correspondents' Association dinner how the present administration provided the platform for and then laughed at a parade of mean-spirited, cruel jokes about Rush Limbaugh, which made fun of his history of addiction to painkillers, wished him kidney failure, and suggested he might have been the 20th hijacker involved in 9/11. Is that even funny? Despite the fact that I believe even this offensive language is protected by the First Amendment, is it the type of belittling humor we should expect at a White House function? When the feds seek to silence their critics through intimidation and social demise, have they not failed to properly lead a blended nation and uphold the heart of the Constitution? Mark my words that the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine -- which would subject talk radio, among other media, to government regulation -- is right around the corner.
Government isn't the only one restricting free speech. We recently witnessed many in our culture clamping down on that basic American right via the travesty of the response to Carrie Prejean's -- who is Miss California and the Miss USA runner-up -- giving her honest opinion when a question was posed by a judge during the Miss USA contest. As a result of her respectfully giving her personal convictions, she's been persecuted and even has received death threats from those who oppose her. I don't care what your cause is. I don't care what your mission is. I don't care what the issue is. I don't care what your beliefs are. It is every American citizen's constitutional right to speak freely, without fear of repercussion. If the First Amendment is not there to protect anyone's offensive speech, then what type of speech is it protecting? It's simply un-American and unconstitutional to impede, harass, threaten or persecute anyone who is guilty of nothing more than sharing his opinion or even exercising his right to vote.
This is America, not Saddam's Iraq!
When free speech is restricted or punished, we can be certain that we've drifted from our roots.
Isn't it time we returned home to the Constitution?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Too long we have had those in the republican party who did not, and do not, uphold true conservative ideals. It is only too obvious by looking at what the republican majorities did the last time they were in power(and what they DIDN'T do as well) It is evident that many RINO's(Republicans in name only) have infiltrated the once dominantly conservative party.
It has caused me to ask often whether it may be time to join or try and create a new party. One that would represent my conservative values. A party that would try and realize the founders dream of what role government should play in the lives of Americans.
What so many have lost sight of is the fact that we rebelled against England because they were trying to control too much of our everyday life. When we finally won our independence we were a Free nation. But was that to last? There were some who would have been fine with starting our own American Royalty and installing a King(George Washington) This and many other ideas were squashed because the revolution was fought to allow the people of this land to be free and to prosper according to their works.
The fact was that having NO government would have left anarchy. Too much Government would have been what they had just fought against. These heavenly inspired men,( and yes I said it, HEAVENLY INSPIRED,) came up with a balanced government. They never once designed our federal government to be the oppressive and omniscient force that it is today. It was designed as defined in the United States Constitution to be a federal republic. The states would hold the power. That's right, the states! The federal Government existed mostly to make sure the states got along. It was also in place to make sure that no state stepped on the inherent rights of its citizens. They pledged to all of us that we would have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.
LIFE - No person or group would posses any right to take away the life of another. While slavery was a real issue that unfortunately could not be fully addressed, the keys were set in place to address it as we matured as a nation. We all have the right to live our life as we would so choose up until those choices infringe on anothers same right. And this is where government has a role. Only to ensure that one's rights are not infringed.
Liberty - We are free to make our own choices. Again, up until those choices infringe on another. With the liberty to chose comes the responsibility to own the consequences. What we have today are entire generations who cannot or will not take ownership of their own choices. For example, many liberals claim that what a woman does with her body is her choice. I would agree. Those same liberals say a woman can have pre-marital unprotected sex with any number of partners and it is her choice. I would agree with this. These liberals would then say that if she became pregnant because of these choices that she has the right to kill her baby in the womb(abortion). This I do not and cannot agree with. While she has the right to choose her behavior, once there is another life created, the decision to abort her baby infringes on the baby's right to life. Does not this life, which if not snuffed by abortion, have the right to it's life and the Liberty to pursue his/her happiness. (I could keep going, but maybe in another post)
Pursuit of Happiness - Just to make things clear, there is nothing, I say again Nothing, in the United States Constitution that guarantees somebody's happiness. What is protected is the right to pursue ones own happiness. And again, only as far as it does not infringe on anothers rights. I may have the right to start a business if that is my desire. What is not guaranteed, is the success of that business. Even if I work hard at something I cannot expect the government to ensure it's success. 16 plus years of recent modern economic growth under free market capitalism is ignored today. We want to now put everyone on a level playing field regardless of whether or not they are truly successful. If I produce widgets and I work really really hard but nobody wants one of my widgets, what gives the government any right to make sure I get a fair share of the market? They have no right. Free markets dictate what is bought and sold according to supply and demand. What sense is it to restrict the market from making what is demanded because we want to lift another business.
And then we are where we are at today. Many even in the GOP are just selling America "less" government that the liberals who are running the democrats party. What is it going to take for true conservatives, who are many and found in all party's, to stand up and demand LESS from government? What will it take to turn back towards the constitution and framers intents which are so obvious?
When will we gather together as Sons of Liberty. When will we raise the standard of liberty and proclaim our freedom and demand we get back to some semblance of what our founders envisioned and left to us?
We need to take back our political parties and make them accountable to us!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Please send your email today!!!!!
And/or please contact the Governor's office by phone or fax ASAP.
Phone number: (850) 488-4441 or (850) 488-7146Fax number: (850) 487-0801Send your email to the Governor at this address: Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com BACKGROUND:Right now, the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program is backlogged and overloaded, due in part, to the refusal of budget officials and the Legislature to allow the Division of Licensing to use its own trust fund money to hire more employees and expand/upgrade equipment. Crates of unopened mail containing license and license renewal applications sit in storage. The backlog of mail sitting unopened, at times, has extended beyond 90 days while existing licenses are expiring because renewal applications haven't been opened and processed. Currently (although the Division of Licensing has been working weekend shifts to clear the backlog), it is taking 13-14 weeks to process a "perfect" application once it has been opened. That is an unequivocal violation of the law that requires issuance or denial of a license by a specific time –– a violation of law that legislative leaders are condoning by their actions.
THE LAW REQUIRES THE DIVISION OF LICENSING TO ISSUE A LICENSE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE APPLICATION -- or deny the license "for cause", based upon the criteria set forth in the law. Theft of operating funds by the Legislature is not "just cause" for failure to issue licenses or renewals within 90 days. While applications sit gathering dust, legislative leaders took $6 million of approximately $8 million held in the trust fund. That $6 million is supposed to be used to pay employees, buy upgraded equipment, upgrade or replace computers or software and to otherwise administer the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program.BUT, feigning a desperate need for funds for education and health care, legislative leaders recklessly and ruthlessly confiscated trust fund money. Why? Because they were building a so-called "working capital" fund for the 2010-12 legislative term, reported now to be in the neighborhood of $1.8 BILLION DOLLARS. This so-called "working capital fund" is for the use of future legislative leaders.They didn't take that money for education. They didn't take that money for health care. They didn't take that money to save jobs. They didn't take that money to avoid pay cuts, or budget cuts -- they took the money to help build their own fund. While Senate leadership reportedly fought to stop the ruthless raids on trust funds, in the end, they simply caved and let the House of Representatives prevail.
The bad behavior doesn't end there.
Obviously fearing the Governor would use his line-item veto to stop trust fund raids, proviso language was inserted in the bill in a clear attempt to intimidate the Governor. The proviso language, states that if any portion of the moneys swept from this and other trust funds does not become law (meaning it is vetoed), that portion of the money shall be deducted from the EDUCATION BUDGET. This is clearly designed to keep the Governor from vetoing trust fund sweeps, and prevent trust fund money from being taken back out the House leadership's so-called "working capital" fund. Money in the concealed weapons trust fund came from gun owners. No money to administer and run the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program has ever come from general revenue, or any other state fund or revenue source. The taking of these gun owner user fees is an unauthorized tax on the exercise of the Second Amendment.AGAIN, Please call, fax and email Governor Crist IMMEDIATELY, and ask him to veto the $6 Million raid on the Concealed Weapons & Firearms Trust Fund!Send your email to the Governor at this address: Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com
Please send your email today!!!!!
You may also call the Executive Office of the Governor at: (850) 488-7146.
If you are reading this and it makes you angry, turn that anger into action. This is not just Florida's problem. We need to come to the defense of all gun owners. The old adage is as true today as ever: UNITED we stand, Divided we FALL!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
by Newt Gingrich
Posted 05/06/2009 ET
If there was one feeling that inspired almost a million Americans to come out for the Tax Day Tea Parties last month it was this: That our government, supposedly created of the people, by the people and for the people, is busy picking winners and losers.The feeling that our politics are increasingly rigged against us didn’t begin with President Obama.
Deciding to bailout Wall Street rather than let deserving companies go bankrupt began under President Bush. But the Obama Administration has elevated rewarding some Americans and punishing others to a governing philosophy.And as he has expanded the size and the scope of government, President Obama has only increased his ability to reach into our businesses, our communities, and even our homes to separate Americans into two groups: Those who will benefit from the new order, and those who will pay the bills.
What follows is just a partial list of the winners and losers of the Obama Administration so far, organized by the government policies that will decide their fate:
The Chrysler Bankruptcy Pt. 1: From the Rule of Law to the Rule of Politics
Winners: The United Auto Workers
Loser: The Rule of Law
Bankruptcy was once a legal process in which an insolvent company, an impartial judge and creditors voting in good faith worked together to make the best of a bad situation. Under the Obama Administration, the Chrysler bankruptcy has become a political process in which government has bought off some creditors, demonized others, and predetermined a favorable result for an important political constituency. What happened last week with Chrysler was an unprecedented case of executive branch involvement in a bankruptcy proceeding. The Obama Administration bullied smaller investors to fall in line with TARP-funded creditors in a deal that ultimately benefited the union bosses who bear so much of the responsibility for Chrysler’s downfall to begin with. In the end, the losers weren’t just the secured creditors and the taxpayers who have footed the bill for all these bailouts, but the rule of law itself.
The Chrysler Bankruptcy Pt. 2: America, Get Ready for the “Model O”
Winners: The People Who Are Evading Responsibility for Chrysler’s Bankruptcy
Losers: Consumers Who Want to Buy Good American Cars
The end result of the rigged Chrysler bankruptcy is that two political entities whose priority is winning votes (the Federal Government and the UAW) now have majority ownership of a commercial entity whose priority should be making good cars.And despite his protestations that he wants to get out of the auto business, President Obama has some definite ideas about what kind of cars Chrysler should make. Announcing the bankruptcy, he blamed Chrysler’s troubles, not on its uncompetitive labor costs, but on its “failure to make the fuel-efficient cars like its foreign competitors.”Politicians, not businessmen and women, are calling the shots at Chrysler. America, get ready for the Model O.
Cap and Trade: Punishing Americans With High Energy Taxes
Winners: Government Favored “Green Industries”
Losers: Anyone Who Heats a Home, Drives a Car or Has a Job
I’m in favor of doing all we can to protect our environment, but I have a fundamental difference with Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House: I believe in incentivizing Americans to produce the innovations that will protect our environment, not punishing Americans with taxes, regulation and litigation.The Administration’s cap and trade legislation makes losers of the American people by imposing a $1 trillion-$2 trillion energy tax on an already struggling economy. And the winners? They’re the lobbyists for favored special interests and “green” industries who are already lining up in Washington to collect the spoils.
Closing Gitmo: Terrorists from Guantanamo Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You
Winners: Terrorists and Anti-Americanism Worldwide
Losers: The New Neighbors of Terrorists and The American Tax-Payers
You may have missed it in all the news of the week, but the Administration has a truly mind-boggling idea about how to solve the problem of the terrorists left homeless by closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay: Send them to a neighborhood near you.That’s right. As many as 30 detainees at Guantanamo are slated for release into the United States, including a group of Chinese, al Qaeda-trained jihadists who are reportedly being encouraged to settle in Northern Virginia.And not only is the Obama Administration releasing these terrorists into the United States, it’s proposing that the U.S. taxpayers foot the bill. Here’s how Dennis Blair, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, rationalizes their plan for welfare for terrorists: "If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life," Blair said last month. "You can't just put them on the street."
Picking a New Supreme Court Justice: Playing Favorites Through the Courts
Winners: Anyone the President Deems Deserving of Judicial “Empathy”
Losers: Everyone Else
President Obama has announced that his criteria for picking a Supreme Court Justice to replace the retiring David Souter are jurists with the proper “empathy” and those who don’t regard justice as “abstract legal theory.” Empathy for the less fortunate should have a central place in our public policy. But feeling the people’s pain is the job of the people who make the laws. The job of judges is to interpret the laws without regard to the race, color, creed or station of the individuals involved.When we start picking judges based on their “empathy” for certain groups, the rights of favored groups inevitably collide with the rights of others. That’s why we have – or should have – equal justice before the law.
Demonizing Wall Street: Putting Talent and Resources Where Washington Wants Them
Winners: Professional “Community Organizers” and Other Government Activists
Losers: Young Americans Who Want to Chose Their Own Careers
President Obama frequently urges young Americans to emulate him by making the choice to forgo a lucrative career in finance or law and choose public service instead. But now he’s put the full power of the federal government behind his favored career path for young Americans.Speaking last week to the New York Times, President Obama said that his anti-business, high-taxing, and high-regulating crusade against Wall Street “means that more talent, more resources will be going to other sectors of the economy. I actually think that’s healthy."The message will not be lost on young Americans: Do what the President thinks is “healthy.” Be an Obama winner, not a loser.What is at Stake Isn’t Just Tax Dollars and Jobs But FreedomThe list could go on and on.What is at stake isn’t just the tax dollars, the jobs and the opportunities of those Americans who come out on the losing side of the Obama Administration’s policies -- as important as these things are.What is at stake are moral issues of fairness and freedom. As Arthur Brooks, the President of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote last week, it’s immoral for the government to “confiscate more income from the minority simply because the government can. It's also a moral issue to lower the rewards for entrepreneurial success, and to spend what we don't have without regard for our children's future.” Americans don’t mind working hard and competing to win. We don’t even mind losing sometimes. What we mind is government making the call. That was the real message of the Tea Party movement, and it’s one President Obama and his aides would do well to hear. Remembering Jack KempI end today on a note of sorrow and remembrance of a great man.Callista and I were deeply saddened to learn of Jack Kemp’s passing last Saturday. America knew Jack Kemp as a public servant of boundless wisdom, energy, optimism and compassion. Callista and I were fortunate to know him as a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this painful time. You can read our full statement here.Your friend,
Monday, May 4, 2009
On Gun Sale Restrictions
...NEWS YOU WON'T FIND IN THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA
This is taken from Senate.gov – the website of the Senate of the United States of America:
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
WASHINGTON , D.C. – Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) today joined Paul Helmke, President of the and victims and family members of the tragedy, to introduce legislation to close the nation's "gun show loophole."
"There is no rational reason to oppose closing the loophole. The reason it's still not closed is simple: the continuing power of the special interest gun lobby in Washington"said.
Why the focus on Gun Shows? Because these are transactions by private citizens. So even if you are thinking "I don't go to gun shows" you are a target if you are a gun owner.
How will you protect your right to leave your guns to someone in your will? How will you protect your right to give a .22 to your son for his 16th birthday? Are you prepared to lose the right to give a revolver to your daughter to protect her home? If your wife takes up your side-by-side to protect against an intruder, threatening her in your own home, will she be the criminal because the gun did not belong to her and it was illegally transferred? (Can you picture this on TV: "Mrs. Harris - did the gun belong to you?" "Well actually, it's my husband's." "So you admit that you had a gun that was never legally transferred to you, is that correct?")
Washington. So without the gun lobby in Washington, D.C. we would lose our !mentions the 'gun lobby' in
Who is the gun lobby? You are!
Without you there is no one from stopping this legislation.
The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), (D-RI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), (D-MD) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and (D-NJ).
To stop this legislation please, join THE NRA now – Human Events can offer you a full year membership to the for only $25. All the benefits; a great magazine, insurance, access to NRA shooting programs and the pride of knowing you are part of the committed Americans that are willing to take a stand and support the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Thank you for supporting the 2nd Amendment. Please take a look below for our Buck-A-Book program for readers of this email – it is our way of saying thanks. And don't forget to join in the discussion on this week's question on the Range Officer blog.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Dear Fellow Conservative:
Well, the "first 100 days" of the new Obama administration are over -- and already he is well on his way to "remaking" America, as he promised to do during his campaign.
Not "restore," mind you. Not "rebuild." "Remake" -- as in, turning America into something it wasn't before.
And if we allow him and his fellow Democrats to continue along this path, the country you and I know and love will simply no longer exist. Everything we conservatives have fought to defend and preserve will have been lost.
In its place will be a country we scarcely recognize. What will it look like? Let me give you a glimpse...
During his campaign, Barack Obama often spoke of his desire to "remake" America, to be a "transformational" President.
And over the next few months, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress plan to deliver on that promise.
Under color of "solving" an economic crisis that their buddies helped create and their policies will only make worse, they are engineering the most radical change in the relationship between our government and its citizens in America's 233-year history.
This is not "change" as you and I want it.
And if they succeed, the country you and I know and love will no longer exist. Everything we conservatives have fought to defend and preserve will have been lost.
In its place will be a country we scarcely recognize. What will it look like? Let me give you a glimpse...
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where a majority of citizens receive lavish government handouts and benefits but pay no federal income taxes, meanwhile voting themselves still more benefits from the shrinking minority who do pay taxes -- at ever more "progressive" rates
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where "universal health care" means waiting months, even years, for urgently needed treatment -- unless you happen to be politically powerful or connected -- and where all your private medical information is on a government database (don't worry: they promise never to use it against you!)
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where "green" ideologues and other nanny-staters dictate what we drive, what we eat, home energy usage, the size of our houses, and even how many children we can have
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where our major industries, crippled by government mandates, taxes, and regulations, end up becoming taxpayer-supported dinosaurs that can no longer compete in the global marketplace
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where all employers will be forced to hire and promote not according to ability but according to race, gender, and ethnicity -- all in the name of "diversity"
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA where our once-great centers of finance, industry, culture, and innovation -- from New York to Silicon Valley -- will have gone to seed, while only Washington, D.C., and its environs prosper
IT WILL BE AN AMERICA, in short, where only politicians, government bureaucrats, and their favored constituencies are able to thrive -- and where the only "liberty" that remains is the government's unlimited freedom to control every aspect of your life
I ask you now, my friend: Would you want to live in such an America? Would you want to bequeath such an America to your children and grandchildren?
Neither would I. But guess what? We don't have to. Because believe me when I say...
But we'll have to fight. And we'll have to pull together -- as conservatives, as patriots -- as never before.
Because make no mistake: Our would-be masters in Washington will stop at nothing to secure the power they've come to think of as theirs by divine anointing. They will do everything they can to harass, intimidate, and marginalize any conservative opposition that stands in their way.
Already, they're preparing to use the full force of federal power to stifle their most influential opponents -- by reviving the "," for instance, to silence conservative talk-radio... by enacting "card check" laws that would expose anti-union workers to intimidation and harassment... by passing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act to force pro-life medical professionals to refer patients for abortions.
And who will stop them? The "watchdog" mainstream media? The ACLU? Don't make me laugh.
But all is not lost -- far from it. For as bleak as things may seem right now, freedom of speech and of conscience is not dead in America. It's just gone underground...
... to The Conservative Underground -- where people like you and me are free to think, say, and believe whatever we wish, no matter what the forces of political correctness may have to say about it.
Here in The Conservative Underground, you're free to speak your mind even if...
- ... you don't believe that Barack Obama is the Second Coming of J.C. (unless that J.C. is )
- ... you don't believe that America needs a "New stimulus package" -- to solve today's financial crisis (knowing that, in fact, it will only make things worse) " -- in the form of a trillion-dollar "
- ... you don't believe that bans on and off our coasts serve America's need for -- or that wind and solar power are better for our country than nuclear power
- ... you don't believe that the is a "living document" that means whatever any Supreme Court majority declares it to mean
- ... you do believe in all the old-fashioned virtues and principles -- such as faith, family, freedom, and self-reliance -- that made America great, and can help restore that greatness once again.
If those are the things you value most -- and that you think are still worth fighting for, no matter how bleak things may seem at the moment -- then let me be first to say...
Friday, May 1, 2009
There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But it's not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise -- the principle at the core of American culture.
Despite President Barack Obama's early personal popularity, we can see the beginnings of this schism in the "tea parties" that have sprung up around the country. In these grass-roots protests, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans have joined together to make public their opposition to government deficits, unaccountable bureaucratic power, and a sense that the government is too willing to prop up those who engaged in corporate malfeasance and mortgage fraud.
The data support the protesters' concerns. In a publication with the ironic title, "A New Era of Responsibility," the president's budget office reveals average deficits of 4.7% in the five years after this recession is over. The Congressional Budget Office predicts $9.3 trillion in new debt over the coming decade.
And what investments justify our leaving this gargantuan bill for our children and grandchildren to pay? Absurdities, in the view of many -- from bailing out General Motors and the United Auto Workers to building an environmentally friendly Frisbee golf course in Austin, Texas. On behalf of corporate welfare, political largess and powerful special interests, government spending will grow continuously in the coming years as a percentage of the economy -- as will tax collections.
Still, the tea parties are not based on the cold wonkery of budget data. They are based on an "ethical populism." The protesters are homeowners who didn't walk away from their mortgages, small business owners who don't want corporate welfare and bankers who kept their heads during the frenzy and don't need bailouts. They were the people who were doing the important things right -- and who are now watching elected politicians reward those who did the important things wrong.
Voices in the media, academia, and the government will dismiss this ethical populism as a fringe movement -- maybe even dangerous extremism. In truth, free markets, limited government, and entrepreneurship are still a majoritarian taste. In March 2009, the Pew Research Center asked people if we are better off "in a free market economy even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time." Fully 70% agreed, versus 20% who disagreed.
Free enterprise is culturally mainstream, for the moment. Asked in a Rasmussen poll conducted this month to choose the better system between capitalism and socialism, 13% of respondents over 40 chose socialism. For those under 30, this percentage rose to 33%. (Republicans were 11 times more likely to prefer capitalism than socialism; Democrats were almost evenly split between the two systems.)
The government has been abetting this trend for years by exempting an increasing number of Americans from federal taxation. My colleague Adam Lerrick showed in these pages last year that the percentage of American adults who have no federal income-tax liability will rise to 49% from 40% under Mr. Obama's tax plan. Another 11% will pay less than 5% of their income in federal income taxes and less than $1,000 in total.
To put a modern twist on the old axiom, a man who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart; a man who is still a socialist at 40 either has no head, or pays no taxes. Social Democrats are working to create a society where the majority are net recipients of the "sharing economy." They are fighting a culture war of attrition with economic tools. Defenders of capitalism risk getting caught flat-footed with increasingly antiquated arguments that free enterprise is a Main Street pocketbook issue. Progressives are working relentlessly to see that it is not.
Advocates of free enterprise must learn from the growing grass-roots protests, and make the moral case for freedom and entrepreneurship. They have to declare that it is a moral issue to confiscate more income from the minority simply because the government can. It's also a moral issue to lower the rewards for entrepreneurial success, and to spend what we don't have without regard for our children's future.
Enterprise defenders also have to define "fairness" as protecting merit and freedom. This is more intuitively appealing to Americans than anything involving forced redistribution. Take public attitudes toward the estate tax, which only a few (who leave estates in the millions of dollars) will ever pay, but which two-thirds of Americans believe is "not fair at all," according to a 2009 Harris poll. Millions of ordinary citizens believe it is unfair for the government to be predatory -- even if the prey are wealthy.
Political strategy aside, intellectual organizations like my own have a constructive role in the coming cultural conflict. As policymakers offer a redistributionist future to a fearful nation and a new culture war simmers, we must respond with tangible, enterprise-oriented policy alternatives. For example, it is not enough to point out that nationalized health care will make going to the doctor about as much fun as a trip to the department of motor vehicles. We need to offer specific, market-based reform solutions.
This is an exhilarating time for proponents of freedom and individual opportunity. The last several years have brought malaise, in which the "conservative" politicians in power paid little more than lip service to free enterprise. Today, as in the late 1970s, we have an administration, Congress and media-academic complex openly working to change American culture in ways that most mainstream Americans will not like. Like the Carter era, this adversity offers the first opportunity in years for true cultural renewal.
Mr. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute.
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