Ideas are powerful. A set of ideas is what we call an ideology. An ideology forms a basis for an economic, social or political theory. The current political environment of our country is in an ideological gridlock that will define our future. It appears that an ideology of big government is growing, and our president favors it.
But if we continue to follow this ideology, we can be certain that our children and grandchildren will suffer greatly from our reckless refusal to change.
Gratefully, a number of primarily younger political leaders get this fact. These leaders have come to office with an ideology opposed to politics as usual. Among other things, they see where our addiction to debt and big government is leading us and they’re resolved to fight it. I don’t expect them to be popular, but they’re very likely the kinds of leaders we need.
They’re also up against great odds. Can they convince Americans to break from their dependence on big government? Will we have the discernment to see through the rhetoric of leaders who champion big government? Do we have the resolve to make the sacrifices necessary to turn things around?
I still assume that most responsible Americans don’t trust the ability of our government to handle anything in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Yet many still fall for the smooth talk of political leaders who promote their programs under the guise of looking out for the less fortunate or the uninsured.
I also believe that most Americans see the need for assistance programs for truly needy people. But it doesn’t take much to see how carelessly and even recklessly many of these programs operate. Let’s reject any political candidate who promotes programs that create more government dependency.
When a leader tells you he’s looking out for the less fortunate, check his personal charitable giving record before believing a word he says. You’ll find it interesting to know that the political leaders who talk most about being champions of the poor are typically the least charitable with their own money. Many of those who talk the most about compassion are only willing to look out for the needy with your money.
If you surveyed Americans, a majority likely believes that the Democrats are the most compassionate toward the needy. Yet the charitable records of the most vocal Democratic politicians do not signal compassion. Worse yet, their brand of charity is mostly about using your money and creating greater dependence rather than teaching responsibility. This is not a partisan observation but an easily verifiable fact.
Can we at least agree that we don’t need any more political leaders who use our money to create greater levels of government dependence? It might sound noble to say we’re providing health care for all, but without fundamental ideological changes, in the end Obamacare will be another top-heavy, inefficient program used to create more dependence on government. It will become another burden (perhaps the largest one ever) on the shoulders of Americans, and will bury us more deeply in debt.
I am pleading with you to put aside party loyalty and recognize this truth. It doesn’t take special powers of observation to see it. We will not turn things around unless we can get enough people to move beyond partisanship to see through the sham and shame of big government ideology.
Of course, because of the monster we’ve created, change can’t happen overnight. A system of dependence can’t become one of personal responsibility without a painful weaning process. And the process must begin with Washington itself.
I doubt many Americans believe that we need to increase the number of government workers in this nation. We need to downsize government, but it’s going to take time, and it’s going to hurt before it helps. Yet it must be done if we hope to save this nation from ruin. We’ve already buried at least the next generation under reckless debt.
Change won’t happen, of course, if we keep falling for the smooth talk of deceitful political charlatans who use our money to appear compassionate and to create more unnecessary dependence on government,
We need to get rid of political leaders who promote themselves and their big government programs at the risk of our children and grandchildren.
Steven W. Cornell is senior pastor at Millersville Bible Church and a correspondent for Lancaster Newspapers Inc.