The times that were “a changing” have changed yet again. There has been ample evidence of that change in recent events, more than buildings toppled on Sept. 11, 2001. A whole paradigm, a way of viewing the world, especially politics, has been altered forever. The signs are everywhere. However, many are steadfastly refusing to heed them.

The political naivety that resulted in the leftward lurch in the aftermath of the Sixties counter-cultural revolution has finally run its course. The experiments in socialism were tried and were eventually proven to be failures. The Great Society didn’t create a great society at all, but rather gave birth to whole generations of fatherless families. These gave rise to the inner cities becoming dominated by gangs of uncivilized hooligans fighting for domination of the illegal drug trade.

The failure of socialism is still not admitted by the left, as well as many Democrats, which is why they are so angry about the results of the 2002 election. They can’t accept that socialism is losing the debate. This is the source of the current insistence that government pick up the tab for health care. It is the only arena left where socialism can still seek validation. It has been refuted everywhere else.

Never considered by the left is that Medicare, Medicaid and the host of government health-care programs are the reason health-care costs have risen so dramatically and continue to rise drastically. The more government attempts to socialize medical care, the faster costs rise, yet they do not make the connection.

The inevitable progression of the spike in costs is as follows:

The true cost of providing “free” care is completely ignored. Payment caps eventually drive up costs for everyone else, and since the government will only pay a scheduled amount for a given procedure, the hospital loses money that it cannot bill the government. So to make up the loss, that cost is passed on to others.

In response to this increase in prices, insurance companies follow the government’s lead and adopt similar fee schedules and price caps in an effort to contain their costs, and health care providers see their incomes fall even more. It is an inevitable and endless spiral.

The end result: if a patient is not in a government program or part of a health plan that has these cost containment rules in place, that person can expect to pay $5 for a 10 cent aspirin. The health-care provider has to recoup its losses somewhere. This is the real reason for the exploding price of health care. It is the inevitable result of government health-care programs.

The more government gets involved with health care, the higher costs and prices will rise, since the government price scheduling never fully pays for the services required.

The only other solution is for government to completely take over health care, which would result in the rationing of health care. Hospitals would come to resemble motor vehicle bureaus, with their long lines, and people in pain would end up waiting for years for simple medical procedures because care is rationed. Socialism always ultimately fails.

The last 40 years of the socialist experiment have proven to many of those who once bought into it that it does not work. This is the real reason for the gradual shift to the right in the last decade or so.

People who once thought socialism would work have learned through bitter experience it does not. The only thing left was for some catalyzing event to solidify the shift. Then came the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The failure of the Vietnam War had brooded over the national conscience for three decades and made us unsure of ourselves. The patriotism that many could never bring themselves to fully express was brought home in a million tons of dust, a smoldering Pentagon, and a plane filled with heroes crashing in a Pennsylvania field. The wound to the national soul that day lanced the boil of anti-American socialism left over from the counter-culture revolution of the Sixties and the Vietnam war. The attack on American values would no longer be accepted as the norm.

The pathetic showing of the anti-war protestors, along with their equally distasteful tactics, is representative of this shift. Pro-America rallies were convened to dispute the idea there was no support for the troops or the war. Everywhere smug speeches and ugly accusations, long the socialist liberal standard, were reviled and rejected by the mainstream in America. Actors and actresses, musicians and movie makers, found they will pay a heavy price for bashing America.

What these people who continue to bash America fail to understand is the once unquestioned self-righteousness of the hate America socialist left was forever dethroned with the innocent deaths of 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.

Having learned the failure of socialism through undeniable experience, the only option remaining was to toss aside doubt and embrace patriotism for this great nation. Learning we were hated, and targeted for murder simply for being Americans, shattered that doubt.

Americans are once again proud of their nation and unabashed in their patriotism. And with this comes a rejection of those who find something wrong with this nation, for being what it is, for us being what we are. This is what changed on Sept. 11, 2001. America ceased to be an abstract idea and became what it truly is; it became us, it became me. To attack America, to attack this president for defending this nation; is to attack us, is to attack me.

This nation marks its beginning by celebrating a tax revolt, the Boston Tea Party. The founding principles of this nation are in direct opposition to excessive taxation. The principle that the individual is responsible for him or her self is fundamental. This is the source and reason for the Bill of Rights.

Socialism holds the opposite, that the individual is responsible to the government, and the government is responsible for the individual. Private enterprise and socialism are antithetical. They are philosophical opposites.

Socialism is utterly dependent upon increasing taxation. It stands in total opposition to free enterprise. This is why socialist lefties continually attack America, corporations, the profit motive, making money and business. Socialism is the philosophical opposite of free enterprise and personal responsibility. And it works by questioning and ridiculing those very values, the values that make America the great nation it is.

Only the majority is no longer guilt ridden over loving our country and cherishing those values. We want our country back. We want to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor and not have it go down the rat hole of somebody else’s good intentions. Socialism has failed and we know it. It is time to bury its rotting corpse.

We are no longer interested in being told we are wrong for wanting to keep what we have earned. We are no longer interested in lectures from overpaid dilettantes, whom our labor and purchase of their wares makes possible, telling us why we should be ashamed to be what we are. The guilt trip socialists have laid on the American people the last 40 years is over. It died in the horror of that fateful day.

Thus we now get angry when socialist apologists attack America, its president and its values. We get angry when politicians tell us we must pay more of our hard earned money in the form of taxes for boondoggle schemes that are guaranteed to go drastically over budget and ultimately fail. We are tired of the socialist lies that socialism works and is good for anybody but the politicians that implement it. We are fed up with being told that Capitalism, what makes America the great nation it is, is evil. We are sick and tired of our elected officials telling us we must pay to support those who won’t be responsible for themselves, whether we like it or not.

And what the liberal socialists, typical Democrat politicians, and other fellow travelers are counting on, isn’t going to happen. You see, they are so very sure that the American people are going to return to the same old complacency that existed before Sept. 11, 2001. They think that they can resurrect that old doubt if they just keep repeating the same tired lines. They have been playing the same game for so long they can’t imagine it won’t work in the future. They think they can continue to bash America, its president, its values, and work that old guilt trip. In this though, they are very, very wrong.

The times aren’t a changing, they have changed. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, were a profoundly emotional experience. It was a sucker punch to the gut of America, the likes of which haven’t occurred since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. You don’t just “get over” something like that. The emotional changes it wrought aren’t temporary, they are permanent. This country will never be the same.

There is no going back. The America bashers will be answered at every turn. With logic, reason and, what they fear most, patriotism. People such as myself will not quit tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. We will call them on every statement, every assertion and on every lie. We understand the price of what the socialists and the America bashers bought us with their thoughtless rhetoric. We saw it made manifest that sad September day.

Since then, every time I heard of a soldier’s death in this war it hit me in the gut, like watching those towers fall. That has never happened to me before in my life. I can never forget the people who died for me, for my freedom, by the simple chance of fate.

I owe it to them, and their children, and their relatives, and to their memories. I owe it to them because they died and I didn’t, and now I must carry on, for them. And for me. Because I know, because I have been there, through it all. And I can never forget how we got here. It was due to the doubt and weakness that America indulged in, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. That doubt in our nation, purpose and values, engendered and exploited by those very same socialists for the last 4 decades. But no more, I am not alone and we’ve had enough. The times they have a changed. Prove it next election.

”’Don Newman is a free-lance writer living in Honolulu. He can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:newmand001@hawaii.rr.com

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