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COMMUNITY VOICE

Americans were looking for the easy way out when we lost our way

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:01 am

Is the sun rising or setting on our democracy?

The debates we’re having today are polar opposite from the one in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention. What a difference 226 years makes; the difference between patriotism and selfishness. We have come a long way. Yes, it is hard to admit and even harder to accept. But it is the truth.

We got spoiled, spoiled rotten with all the inheritance of our forefathers. We lost our way as we were looking for the easy out. We got lazy, looked down on hard work. We do not raise our kids, we just have them. We sold our soul for gadgets and trinkets. We forfeited our values for slogans and empty promises.

It is not easy to admit such a blunder, and much harder to write them down as I am among all of you. But, admittedly, we must as it is the only way back to our foundation, following the footsteps of those who led our country to such prosperity.

Have you been at Valley Forge? We need to go there in December, when the cold wind goes right through us and the snow sticks to your eyebrows. We need to go there, covered only with a horse blanket, feet wrapped in rags, no gloves, no hats. We need to go there, with leftover grub in the belly. We need to go there not just for a minute, not just for an hour, but until we feel ashamed by the abuse and sacrifices made on our behalf.

Only then can we leave that sacred place, with the images of the Ghost of Valley Forge deeply engraved into each heart. I have been there, in the cold, in the January wind. I heard that little drummer boy beat the rhythm of freedom loud and clear. We have to go there to ask for forgiveness.

It takes brute courage to be a leader. Honor and courage are just two of the jewels of leadership. At the beginning of this “battle” over the budget and the Affordable Care Act, I encouraged our delegates to “fight for Indiana with all your might,” because just to be in a fight halfheartedly is no fight at all. So, if you must fight, fight with valor!

“It is honorable to go down with the ship” because your cause is just. A good fight will bring out your opponent to the clear. Your opponent cannot doubletalk or swindle out of the shadows. Did you notice that in the Washington debate? I did. The purpose of the fight was not really the passing of the budget, but the defending of the undefendable ACA, at any cost. Did you notice the fight was not between the two bodies of Congress (as expected)? The fight brought out the third participant from the sideline, and the majority leader of the Senate became the “hatchet man,” the weapon bearer for “Chicken Little,” who proclaimed that the sky is falling – again.

That cry of doom reminded me of what I heard before: The banks are failing, the auto industry is going belly up, we are going over the cliff, our full faith and credit is in jeopardy (knowing well that it has nothing to do with money), and so on. Now, we know that the battle really is over the ACA, as it is, no debate, no compromise.

After all, what a noble undertaking, who can speak against the sick and poor? The ones who speak for this seemingly worthy enterprise know only what they are told about it. As I am, we are not totally informed of this legislation that has a life-changing potential. Don’t you think that if it is so important and so powerful we the people need to be told? It is odd to me that the architect of this plan would be so compassionate to help the needy so much, but never lifts a finger to defend the unborn..

There is time and money to advertise the unaffordable health care of our country overseas (Mexico) where our borders are not secure, immigration laws are not defined, undocumented immigrant status problems and related issues unsolved.

While the ACA is unaffordable for you and the nation, it sucks the lifeblood out of the American Dream. Those who have not reached that desirable goal are placed on the governmental umbilical cord, to be cut loose when their utility is exhausted. Can you see how we manipulated our language? Obamacare does not care about anybody; Affordable Care is unaffordable.

Like a glimmer of hope in any fight, there are knights in shining armor, heroes rise. One of those knights is Rep. Marlin Stutzman. He became a role model for others to emulate. The congressman instructed the administrator to withhold his pay for the duration of the government shutdown. He put himself on the level of the people. I wonder if any of the big players in this battle made such a decision. I admire you, sir. Your leadership is by example. I salute you!

By now, you think that I am an ungrateful, disloyal person. But it was just as hard to write this as it is for you to read it. But writing it I had to do. I must look into the mirror every morning as you have to, and I must see what is in it. You are not alone. Now you have to connect the dots. You have only one year.

I pray to God the sun will rise once again upon our country. May God help us. God bless America.

Tibor Bierbaum is a resident of Fort Wayne.