America needs to make right choice in November

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

by Pat Hartman

“Wake up, America” was the closing statement of the late Paul Harvey.

That statement is consuming my mind these days. I look for concern in the local paper and I see none, and I wonder if I am on an island with my thoughts.

We as Americans have a choice to make in a very short time for the direction of our country. I repeat, our country.

There are two different philosophies. One is the redistribution of wealth. It is government dependency. It is larger government and buying votes. It is giving everyone a “leg up.”

The problem is that while a few need this help for a time, they really want to make it on their own. Unfortunately, others find ways to abuse the system.

Where does it end?

We have government housing, food stamps, cellphones, fuel assistance and now Obamacare. We have three entitlement programs that we cannot afford. And, add one more.

Let’s see, if we can top $20 trillion in debt and be completely owned by China or anyone else willing to buy our debt. To over 40 percent of the population, this probably sounds like a good deal.

I guess it is if you don’t mind giving up your freedom as well. You think you are getting a “leg up.” What is really happening is that you are becoming dependent on the government to maintain your lifestyle.

If you never wish to improve and are willing to “roll the dice” that government will be able to afford to support this lifestyle, then you know how you should vote. Personally, I think it is cruel that the government is encouraging you to put yourself in this position.

Issues of women’s rights, such as abortion and contraception, are not going be altered in any way based on this election, especially if our country is broke.

They will be debated until the end of time, and individuals will continue to make their spiritual choice.

This election will not determine anything about these issues. They are being used as smoke and mirrors to cover up the issue of our economy, which is in the tank!

The other philosophy is to create an environment for businesses to grow, to encourage everyone to have skin in the game.

It is to go back to the principles on which our nation was founded, to follow our Constitution and stick to the principles that make this country work.

We do build our own businesses in this country. Many people make great sacrifices to do this. President Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

What has happened to us?

Perhaps I have a jaded viewpoint based on personal experience. My father’s mother died when he was an infant. He, Harvey Pope, was passed from home to home because his family was poor, and his father could not take care of him.

He tried to enlist in every branch of service in the military in World War II. He was finally accepted into the Navy only to later be released for medical reasons.

During this time, everyone went to war, or you felt like you were not doing your part.

Since he was unable to serve in the military, he applied to the College of William and Mary. He supported himself by stacking food in grocery stores, starting a cab company at college and other odd jobs. He earned his bachelor’s degree from William and Mary, and then his law degree from the University of Virginia without help from anyone.

It did not “take a village.” Our country simply provided the right environment to succeed, and he was willing to work.

We live in the greatest country on earth and we all need to be proud to be Americans! Anyone who doesn’t feel this way is taking our country for granted.

Our government needs to learn to live within its means like every family in this country. A $16 trillion debt is outrageous by any standard. We cannot support any of the causes that people get so emotional about if we are broke.

One final note — we don’t allow our allies to float out there alone. We protect our diplomats and should lead with strength not weakness! I pray that America makes the right choice in November.

PAT HARTMAN lives in Courtland and volunteers for several organizations. She can be reached at