The following is a guest commentary authored by Richard Gates.
During the recent Republican National Convention, Ronald Reagan was quoted by several speakers, some citing Reagan by name, others just blending the words in their own speech. Yes, even the title of his 1963 convention speech, “A Time for Choosing,” was reiterated.
Of the numerous speeches that Ronald Reagan gave since that convention speech on behalf of then candidate Barry Goldwater, it has remained his most famous and referred to speeches in conservative politics.
The title was clearly about picking the right candidate, but the issues contained within were timeless. Reagan, also known as “The Great Communicator,” was known for his uplifting speeches. This speech in particular was a strong denouncement of politics as usual. Reagan pointed to the massive spending, the unbalanced budget, national debt, the threat of communism, and then followed with a message of hope and optimism.
As we move towards November’s General Election we are plagued by many of the same issues, or issues that are similar in nature. It is indeed “A time for choosing” — again.
In the fifty plus years that have since passed we have watched the steady decay of our liberty through the slow erosion of our values and idealism. Both major parties adopted a new world order philosophy that collided head-on with Reagan’s belief in American exceptionalism.
As more and more regulations began to strangle new businesses or those too small to hire teams of lawyers in order to comply, illegal immigration continued to grow bringing in cheap labor that would crush the job market and almost eliminate good paying jobs to support a healthy middle class.
Bureaus and federal agencies enacted thousands of regulations and rules that had the force of law, imposing fines and even prison. Yet none were ever passed by the one agency that has the authority to write law, the U. S. Congress.
In recent years, senior managers of many of our federal agencies were found to hosting lavish and gluttonous workshops and parties in expensive resorts all on the backs of tax payers. The IRS was caught targeting conservative and Christian groups that applied for non-profit status.
The scandals went all the way to the White house and President Bill Clinton, who would later be impeached for lying to Congress.
Poor judgment and even more horrific foreign policies put us in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan for years. NAFTA, the North America Trade Agreement, was a windfall for Mexico and a disaster for the American economy.
We now have record numbers of people on the food stamp program and on Social Security Disability, and the lowest number of people in the workforce in several decades.
Student loan debt now exceeds all credit card debt in the country. Economic growth has been an anemic 2 percent and sometimes less. 70,000 pages of tax code and the highest corporate tax rate on the planet are driving businesses to other countries. Environmental regulations are destroying businesses, jobs, and families. (i.e. Coal miners). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that for June 2016 there were 22.1 million government employees while only 12.2 million employed in manufacturing for the same month.
So, it is without a doubt a time to choose. It’s time to make a choice between more government or more freedom. Or, as Reagan put it, “Up to man’s age old dream, the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'”
The choice is the same now as it was in 1963.
It is time to use common sense. To end generations of over-regulation, ridiculous taxes, and criminal waste of our tax dollars. Time for the federal government to return states rights and to stay out of our way while we better ourselves.
This nation was built by heroes and patriots, by Americans of all types, shapes, and sizes. Americans can accomplish anything when the government stays out of the way and lets them create prosperity in their own way.
Today, one candidate is clear about the problems and the solutions. The other candidate is clear about her desire to increase our debt, hand out more free stuff, further divide us into this group or that.
With millions of government workers and so many regulations that no one has a firm answer on how many millions there are, the government has not solved the issue of good healthcare, quality education, good employment opportunity, or even develop a viable plan to take care of veterans and insure that Social Security remains solvent.
Hillary Clinton is far down that downward path that Reagan spoke. Clinton’s list of promises look a Christmas list with all the new programs, free college, have government take over student loans, and even more government control on the already failed Obamacare.
Of course, she promises to tax the rich and to impose even more corporate taxes, even though our corporate taxes are already the highest in the world. These will accomplish nothing except drive businesses out of business or out of the country.
On national security, she includes the promise of more gun control, including practices that would deny some people a guaranteed constitutional right with absolutely no due process.
In short, more government, more laws, more taxes.
Donald Trump is the change-agent we need who will implement common-sense solutions to many of our problems.
Trump has campaigned vigorously on cutting taxes and regulations, enforcing our borders and existing immigration laws. Strengthening our immigration policy to prevent terrorists from entering the country and protecting our Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment.
November will be the time of choosing for ourselves and our future.
Richard Gates is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, during which he spent four years in Korea. Gates is also a Tea Party activist and a twice-run candidate for public office.