WASHINGTON, December, 30, 2013 — Pundits and average people alike have lists of the top stories of 2013. There are many that grabbed our attention, our hearts and our fears throughout the year.
What can we actually learn from these events that rocked the globe or changed our world? History is always going to repeat itself if we do not learn from these events, and this year has brought us many opportunities to examine our government, ourselves and our planet.
The failure of healthcare.gov
As the government tries to take over one-sixth of the nation’s economy, we learned that it cannot even build the website. With reportedly $600 million spent on a website that still does not properly accept payments or send information to health insurance companies with confidence, this demonstrates the failure of government takeovers. In the private sector, a website like healthcare.gov never would have cost ten percent of what the government spent, and it would have worked. This has nothing to do with whether you support Obamacare, and everything to do with the government’s inability to take the place of the private sector and function as a business.
Obama’s sinking “trustworthy” poll numbers
President Obama’s Teflon-like presidency has been due primarily to his relatively high levels of trust with the American people. When you are trusted, you can say nearly anything, including that a video killed four Americans in Benghazi and that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Finally, Americans are becoming wiser to his pattern of not telling the truth. When you trust a person, he or she is nearly infallible, especially when the person is the president. However, this fortunately is no longer the case with Obama, as over half of this nation no longer finds the president to be trustworthy. We have all seen that you can lie to the American people, but we are now also learning that this eventually will catch up to you. Political leaders all need to learn from Obama’s loss of trust from the American people, and recognize that ongoing lies will always come back to haunt you. Sometimes, it just takes awhile. Politicians, whether in office or running for office, should tell their constituency the truth or face the consequences long-term.
Boston Marathon bombings
Every time President Barack Obama says that there has not been a terrorist attack on American soil since he has been president, he is having another “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” moment. Boston, Fort Hood and other attacks are all terrorism-related. The Boston bombings demonstrated clearly for this nation that terrorism continues to be an issue, and that our intelligence agencies are still discombobulated over a decade after 9/11. With all of the warnings and information from the Russians, the horrific events in Boston never should have happened. In addition, we all saw video footage of how willing people were to remit all of their individual rights back to the state, as heavily armed police went door-to-door searching homes without argument from the residents. We always want to focus on safety, but we cannot allow the example in Boston to set a precedent for the next terrifying event. Without individual warrants, police should not have the right to search a home, just as the NSA should not have the right to tap one’s phone lines or read emails unless a judge has specifically provided approval for that one person.
Ted Cruz and his 21 hour speech
The Washington Times reported Oct. 17 that Ted Cruz achieved a victory following his magnificent floor speech, coming in at just over 21 hours on the floor of the United States Senate without sitting down or using the restroom. As we examine the few months since his stance, it is evident that the travesties of Obamacare never would have been in the forefront without Sen. Cruz bringing and keeping them there. The website would have been in the news, of course, but the administration continues to argue that the rest of the law is a positive, and a benefit to the American people. However, Cruz pointed out, before most mainstream news outlets admitted it, that people are losing their insurance who had it previously, that business owners are cutting the hours of employees in order to be exempt from the mandate, and that we are all in fact being hurt by this law. While Obamacare has not been defunded, the president and the Democrats have lost their moral high-ground on this issue thanks not just in part, been entirely due, to Cruz and his efforts. Standing up for what you believe in actually does pay off in the long run.
Edward Snowden and the NSA
Regardless of whether you believe Snowden is a traitor, a patriot, or just an American citizen doing his duty, he has released information that has forced us to examine our individual liberties and the powers of the government. Frankly, the nation would be stronger if more people told us when the government was violating our rights, forcing those in power to verbalize and argue their support for their violating our constitutional rights. We always hear that someone can make a difference in the world, but in this case, one man has made a fundamental difference globally. Snowden has been fighting what some would classify as a new world order, and the establishment has fought him in order to continue their actions without any regard for their legality. We now know that our government was not telling us the truth about the NSA programs all along, causing more Americans to have a healthy skepticism of our leaders, what they tell us, and what liberties we allow them to destroy. Liberty is a zero-sum game: when we give it up, it goes to someone else. Every time we lose individual liberty from the government, the power moves to that government. Snowden forced us to recognize that this transfer of liberty is happening more often, and in more ways, than we ever knew.
As we consider all of the top stories from 2013 and move into 2014, keep in mind what you personally, and we collectively, can learn from each of these events. As George Bernard Shaw said, “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” Let us learn from each of the top stories of 2013, and continue to examine events in the upcoming year so that we do not meet the fate of those who refuse to learn from history.
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