By Mark Alexander
As a measure of community service, I round up my Boy Scout Troop periodically to meet with my friend, and Patriot Chaplain, Lurone Jennings, an inner-city community pastor.
We gather early on Saturday mornings to serve families who are struggling to make ends meet, most of them elderly and living in squalor. After cleaning around their shacks, providing meals and praying over those families, we always reconvene with Pastor Jennings for a time of fellowship.
Recently, I asked Lurone to explain what factors he thinks have contributed most to poverty in our city and nation. Without missing a beat, he said, "Poverty Pimps," referring to those who are elected to public office on the promise of a handout rather than a hand up -- this from a man who has devoted his life to serving those most irreconcilably ensnared by those pimps.
Handouts, of course, are a much easier sell than hand-ups, but the consequences in terms of human dignity and society are devastating.
Promising to give a man a fish rather than encouraging him to take up fishing to provide for himself is one of the clearest philosophical delineations between the worldviews of contemporary liberals and conservatives.
Lurone explained that, while New Deal and Great Society liberals may have had good intentions, the net result of their socialist endeavors has been the institutionalization of poverty, and the victimization and enslavement of what has become the Left's most reliable constituency of any stripe or association: black folks.
These days, a candidate for office can count on receiving 90-plus percent of the black vote in any election, so long as he has that all-important "D" next to his or her name.
Generations of Americans have become accustomed to being given, or at least promised, fish caught by someone else. Today, Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist bourgeoisie have banked their entire political fortunes on classist rhetoric, promoting disparity in order to foster dependence.
Once was the time that the Democrat Party was the embodiment of individual responsibility and states' rights. But the party was led astray by "useful idiots" on the Left, and by the end of Franklin Roosevelt's reign, the Party had been turned on end.
Indeed, the most famous of former Democrats, when asked why he left that once-proud party, replied, "I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me." That, of course, was Ronald Reagan.
Now, the Democrat Party, with Obama and his Leftists cadres leading the charge, is determined to break the back of free enterprise and thereby ensure an impoverished voting majority. And they're well on the way to doing so.
The objective of Obama's "fundamental transformation of the United States of America" is to replace free enterprise with a "social democracy," which Merriam-Webster aptly defines as "1: a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means; 2: a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices."
Unfortunately, whether it's Marxist, Nationalist or Democratic Socialism, the terminus of statism is tyranny, for as Historian Lord John Acton noted, "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Eighteenth-century philosopher and political economist Adam Smith once wrote, "It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people." In his 1776 masterpiece on man and economy, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," Smith set forth that Liberty and free enterprise go hand in hand, and that should any potentate of state attempt to centralize the economy, that would most certainly be the end of Liberty.
Today, we Americans, in this last "Shining City on a Hill," stand at the precipice separating Liberty from tyranny.
In a few short weeks, we'll learn whether our nation is going to plant its feet firmly, shout "Enough!" and fight for the restoration of Essential Liberty, or be pushed yet another step closer to the abyss of totalitarianism.
With less than a month until the midterm referendum on the most menacing socialist agenda in U.S. history, I'm reminded of a pamphlet published in 1916 by an outspoken advocate for Liberty, William J. H. Boetcker. He entitled his tract "The Ten Cannots," and it fittingly contrasts the competing political and economic agendas of the right and left in this era: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves."
In the meantime, let us stand firm against the Poverty Pimps, and, noli nothis permittere te terere (Don't let the bastards get you down)!
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.