Just after Obama was elected president, I asked my niece, Sarah, to tell me, in one word, why she voted for him. She thought about it for awhile, and then replied, "Equality."
Sarah is a newly minted Ph.D., a recent product of government schools and a very smart woman. Not surprisingly, she has adopted the progressive's outlook as her own. To her credit, she is concerned with others less fortunate than herself. She is genuinely compassionate and strives to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, like millions of Americans, Sarah has been led to believe that Obama has the ability to make life more just. She seems to believe that the leftist template of "social justice" will finally result in equality and justice for all. I give her credit for her concern and I applaud her interest in others. I also look forward to the day when she has enough life experience to realize that life will never be fair. That people will never be "equal."
Fairness and equality are subjective concepts whose definitions differ depending on whom is doing the defining. The kicker is words that can mean anything end up meaning nothing.
Equality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is a lovely concept, but the devil is in the details.
Here's a news flash: Life isn't fair and people are not equal. And history shows that any and all attempts to make it fair and equal - from socialism to communism to Marxism - have been dismal failures. What Sarah wasn't taught in school is that countries that are free are not equal. And countries that are equal are not free.
America is unique and prosperous because our country offers the only equality achievable by man: equality of opportunity and equality before the law. At least we used to. In an effort to make life fair for all, Obama's agenda has resulted undermining two of the most important pillars of our society - the rule of law and the right to own private property.
Unelected czars have been given the ability to change the rules on a whim. Government bureaucrats have been given unprecedented power over the formerly free market; with the ability to confiscate (nationalize) any business that doesn't conform to ever-changing standards imposed by political fiat. Our own Department of Justice has flatly stated that the rules governing election fraud are there only for disenfranchised blacks, not whites.
By arbitrarily changing the rules that govern our society, Obama and his fellow progressives have thrown the country into turmoil. Imagine being in the middle of a high stakes game and all of a sudden, the rules change. Heads they win, and tails, you lose. How "fair" is that?
In Obama's world, some people are more equal than others. (Can you spell "unions"?) By stacking the deck in favor of one group at the expense of another, in the name of fairness and equality, Obama's policies have resulted in a less equal and less fair America.
What my niece Sarah doesn't realize is that all rights come with attendant responsibilities. One man's right not to be offended means that another man's right to voice his opinion is infringed upon. One man's right to free housing means another man's right to keep the fruits of his own labor is diminished. As Thomas Sowell states, there are no solutions, only trade-offs.
Obama has convinced many Americans that he has the ability to bestow unlimited rights. Like a weekend dad, Obama feeds his 'children' ice cream, lavishes them with toys, and lets them stay up all night. He leaves to mom (Republicans) the much harder task of teaching the reality that there are no free lunches, that rights are not free when they are paid for by others, and that life isn't fair. It never has been, and never will be.
Thousands of small businesses and millions of Americans are sitting on billions of dollars, refusing to invest their hard-earned money because this administration has stacked the deck in favor of whoever has the most political clout. Why risk capital when the rules can be changed on a whim? Why hire a new employee when it is impossible to estimate how costly their health-care package will be?
I only hope that my niece Sarah, and the rest of America's progressives, realize sooner rather than later, that all of man's attempts to attain utopia, world peace, and equality for all are not only futile, but risk destroying the hard-won equality of opportunity and equality before the law that America has spent over 200 years developing.