The grand promise of the undefined yet cure-all elixir of "change" is now, rapidly, revealing itself. A sampling of the Change includes: policies and laws that violate the Constitution and Bill of Rights through selective privilege and benefits; numerous economically-burdensome regulations justified in the name of necessity, security, or environmental emergency; and, fiscally irresponsible mega-stimulus spending.

The evolving government takeover of the financial, housing, and auto-manufacturing sectors through massive bailouts are destructive and manipulative actions which our nation cannot afford. The transfer of our nation's wealth and resources away from the people into the hands of government is lowering our country into an unsustainable welfare state. Socialism has always existed somewhere in the world throughout history but it has never been sustainable because it is inherently a consuming state of affairs.

Our form of government has already morphed from being truly representative (a Republic) to being ruled by simple-majority (a Democracy). This shift has set the stage for a 21st century return to feudalism, which will serve only the very top of the wealth and power pyramid.

Real capital is created through free-enterprise, productivity and profit, not simply by printing more money for deficit spending. If it were possible to borrow and spend our way to prosperity, we would be there by now. Governments cannot create wealth; they can only facilitate its preservation, or its destruction. Unbridled spending coupled with increased taxation is never the answer to economic difficulties, unless the goal is the consumption of wealth. Capitalism and free enterprise do work and are sustainable as long as both the populace and government understand the keys to its existence and success. Freedom and abundance are built upon individual and economic liberty, free expression and association, private property, free enterprise, and limited government. Our Declaration of Independence established that government exists to protect each individual's unalienable right to his life, liberty and property; not to take them away.

Regrettably millions of Americans believe that the act of taking from one to give to another is a justified redistribution in pursuit of economic equality. But what happens when there is nothing left to take?

Perhaps Dr. Adrian Rogers said it best: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Let us celebrate our differences by encouraging unsubsidized productive effort and voluntary trade; by rotecting the freedom to think and to express; and, by adhering to principles that guarantee to each of us freedom of action. A society that promotes foundational rights - to be who you are, to own your own self and the product of your energy, to possess the authority and the responsibility for your actions - promotes genuine freedom, peace and prosperity. Now that is real change worth supporting!

(Heather Lenahan is a piano teacher, farmer and classical musician. She lives in rural Joseph.)

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