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Letters to the Editor

October 23, 2012

Dependence takes away freedom

Though I was pleasantly surprised by Mitt Romney’s comments about dependence on government, he didn’t elaborate on its consequences.

Essentially, you stop being your own person, similar to the slaves, because it’s about control. Specifically, the character of dissent and resistance is lost because you become afraid to exercise them; afraid of angering your benefactor with contrary views and actions, lest you possibly lose your support. 

Lastly, you’ll lose your dignity and self-respect. In the broader sense, you lose the will to be creative, innovative and adventurous; to dream and dare; to take chances. American culture once had an abundance of these, and other, qualities. But no longer. Now it seems we won’t take risks without some kind of federal safety net. 

Imagine if the inventors of the car, airplane, phone and electric light wouldn’t have started without some federal cash. Or what if the pioneers of the 19th century had this mindset? If people had waited for a federal program to settle the West, how much longer would it have taken? A century? 

And we really don’t have to worry about the consequences of irresponsibility, with the government there to bail us out like parents would. Making responsible choices and being responsible for yourself compose the essential undercarriage of being free — neither of which we have particularly been encouraged to do in American society over the last 50 years. So genuine freedom frightens many. It’s a rather large obstacle to limited government when the response to most domestic and personal problems is essentially, “What’s Washington going to do about it?”

Such is the price tag for letting government be the daily provider, doer and fixer of things for us. But the Uncle Sam gravy train can’t keep rolling forever.

Robert Olejarz

Sidney

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