THE PRICE OF LIBERTY
Giving in is the same thing as giving up
Giving in is the same thing as giving up
When is saying “no” really “yes”?
Let me explain. If you are like me, you probably find yourself saying “no” more often these days than usual. “No” to continued deficit spending by the federal government, “no” to government-run health care, “no” to higher and higher taxes from Baton Rouge, “no” to illegal immigration or sanctuary cities … the list seemingly goes on and on.
But we are positive-thinking people, you may say. For us, the glass may always be half-full. Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day. Every cloud has a silver lining. Our attitude determines our altitude. We turn lemons into lemonade, and when one door closes, another one opens. If we can dream it, by golly, we can do it. A positive anything is better than negative nothing.
So you understand, then, how weary it is for us, you and me, as well as millions of our fellow Americans to wake up each day and make a difference in the direction our country is traveling, in a world that seemingly is spinning in the opposite direction. There are just too many opportunities these days for commonsense thinking folks, where saying “no” seems the only rational response to the constant barrage of policy initiatives from this administration, even from millions of Americans who ordinarily believe the sun will come out tomorrow. What we are really saying is that we are “for” a better way … a better day....the way I fi gure it, saying ‘no’ is about defending our country against the policy initiatives, from the left side of the aisle to the other side of the globe, that seek to destroy our American free market system, dismantle private health insurance, redistribute wealth, increase taxes, reward irresponsibility and redefi ne the American dream.
Our chorus of “no” to those policy initiatives from Washington, or higher and higher taxes being levied from Baton Rouge, has become so routine that Democrat talking points now repeatedly characterize the Republican Party as the “Party of No.” But that’s just not true. Is saying “sure, no problem” always better?
Consider parenting, for example. We tell our children, as our parents told us, the wisdom of what they should not do. That they should not stay up until midnight on a school night. They should not eat a candy bar before dinner or talk with their mouth full. That if they cannot say anything nice about someone, then they should not say anything at all. That they should not put all their eggs in one basket. Sure, it may not have made as much sense to us as children, but for most of us, it made much better sense to us all grown up. Mark Twain said it best: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
For those voters whose ideology is quite different than the current climate of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, you may already have grown tired of saying “no.” But as a child, what if your parents had given up on saying “no” to you? What if they had given into silence about the things that matter? Grown weary of the debates and disciplining that shaped who you are today? Frankly, as a child, being told “no” taught us responsibility, honesty and manners. It taught us that we have choices in life and that there was a difference between what we may have wanted … and what we may have needed.
You see, the way I figure it, saying “no” is about defending our country against the policy initiatives, from the left side of the aisle to the other side of the globe, that seek to destroy our American free market system, dismantle private health insurance, redistribute wealth, increase taxes, reward irresponsibility and redefine the American dream.
If Republicans are relegated as belonging to the party of “no,” then count me in. We’re the party of nononsense, then. Historically, honest discourse and opposition by Republicans to ill-conceived Democrat policies resonates with the voters. In fact, it led to Republican landslides in 1938, 1946, 1966, 1980 and 1994.
So, if you grow weary of saying “no,” or uncomfortable expressing your opinion on this matter or that, from the barber shop to the coffee shop, remember the words of Thomas Jefferson when he said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” And our country needs that now, perhaps more than ever before.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman and attorney. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in The Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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