By: John Andrews
Responsibility, the quintessentially American determination to do the right thing by choice, underlies our nationís historic greatness. Its rebirth pulled the USA from the brink of decline after 1976. In this new century, it is our best guide toward 2076.
Doing the right thing by choice, and then owning the consequences of your choice -- that's personal responsibility. There's no other antidote to the debt candy and the entitlement addiction gripping Democrats and Republicans alike. No other antidote to the fiscal deficits engulfing state and federal budgets. No other antidote to the moral deficit of throwaway marriages, negligent parenting, rigged school tests, hacked cell phones.
Deficits abound, but it's ultimately the responsibility deficit that will sink us unless we get a grip. Its symptoms are everywhere: in dishonest pension promises; in Orwellian day-care regulations; in sanctimonious politicians with zippers down; and in an Obamacare law that embeds big business and big labor with big government, waivers the connected, dehumanizes the patient, cooks the books, and calls it reform.
The American experiment asks a brilliant, daring question: How much success can freedom produce? The answer, for the first two centuries, was an astounding amount. But the 1960s and '70s revealed a serpent in the garden. We learned that freedom and success can be their own worst enemies. Responsibility has to temper and guide them. History's drama turns on our continually forgetting and relearning that. It was responsibility reborn in citizens' hearts and minds, not mere electoral victories, that turned twilight in America after Vietnam, Watergate, assassinations and stagflation into morning in America with booming growth, renewed confidence, and Cold War