Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:44 am

Shapiro: America's Big Choice

By Ben Shapiro

What happens when a free people decides it was never free to begin with? What happens when a nation decides that individual liberty is a myth, that the endless vicissitudes of life form an impenetrable wall to success, that we are all controlled by outside forces?

We despair. We turn to the power of the masses.

This is where almost half of America currently stands. It came out this week that Mitt Romney made this claim back in May, and he was exactly right. That doesn't mean that every American who doesn't pay federal income tax -- veterans, recipients of Social Security -- has given up the American dream. But it does mean that the vast majority of Americans who, on net, receive government benefits and beg government for more, have given up on that dream.

Traditionally, Americans have thought of themselves as John Wayne types -- hardy Westerners forging out with their families, exploring the great unknown, bending nature to their will. Lone guns. Individuals. We have scorned the communalism of other nations, scoffed at the forced homogeneity of fascism and socialism. We have always relied on our neighbors and ourselves.

But now, almost half of us are convinced that we have the lost the ability to forge out on our own. Perhaps it's because we no longer believe that there are worlds left to conquer -- perhaps when we filled out the land from sea to sea, when we penetrated space only to find her cold and uninviting, we lost our will to explore. Where before, we saw individual success as benefitting the community -- pioneers made the land safe for future settlers -- now we see individual success as taking away from the community. We used to see the world as an ever-expanding pie; now that pie is shrinking. We used to dream of a place beyond the horizon of our vision; now we know that that place already belongs to someone else.

And so we feel helpless. We feel that our success diminishes others, and that their success diminishes us.

So what are we to do? We're supposed to leave our individuality behind, and instead join together. As President Obama says, we're "stronger together." As Obama said in his nomination acceptance speech, "America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together."

But for us to come together, we need a leader. A great, big, powerful leader, who will help unify us. Somebody who, by his very presence, can demand our attention and symbolize our common goals.

Now, if this whole scenario sounds scary -- if it sounds scary to jettison the individualism of American values in favor of a helpless collectivism in search of a Great Leader -- it should. It's fundamentally at war with what the founders sought to establish: a nation of individual responsibility, personal responsibility. A nation of non-victims. And while President Obama cynically claims that his supporters aren't victims, his entire campaign has been based on turning them into victims -- victims of Wall Street, of luck, of chance, of fate. Were they not victims, they would not need an all-powerful government to rectify their victimhood.

So we must decide. Are we a nation of victims? Or are we a nation of free men and women, striving against all odds to succeed thanks to our initiative? Are we only powerful when made part of that great collective, or are we more powerful when we pursue our individual aspirations with the gusto of the dreamers?

This election isn't about hope and change. It's about hope versus change. More specifically, it's about individual hope versus collectivist change. And the outcome is very much in doubt.


Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the four-time bestselling author of "Primetime Propaganda."


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  1. downdraftComment by downdraft
    September 21, 2012 @ 11:34 am

    Ben Shapiro, 28,….pretty bright for a 28 year old…hope we have more like him.

    Lets go over it again…one more time, because we may never have the freedom to do so again if we fail our America.

    1 What must a person do to bring a great nation to it’s knees?

    First, if elected, he starts with attacking the livelihood of the citizenry…i.e. JOBS

    Second, he destroys the financial stability of the nation…i.e., its monetary foundation..

    Next, he makes those who once were independent spirits, i.e., true Americans, become fully dependent upon the government, taking handouts just to keep his and her family with food and shelter…

    Next, he builds up a new majority voter-base composed of those who don’t work nor pay taxes, by increasing their “handouts”…

    Then he gets the others who are without jobs to believe they too are “Victims”…thus they join the new voter base…

    Next, he antagonizes the new voter base to the point of civil disobedience by denying them freedoms, or some other constitutional right…

    Next, he eliminates all challengers to his “throne”…assassinations not excluded…

    He declares a state of emergency…Martial Law…

    Sans freedoms, sans voting rights, just military suppression…

    And who do we see at his beckoned call?

    Hillary, Pelosi, Reid, Holder….perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood overseeing the entire group…

    And he now rules us all…and we bow to him!

    So…John Wayne…is this your decision, your choice, what you want for your children or grand children,…???

    You still have time…and I speak to both Democrats and Republicans…you can still save this America who was intrusted
    to you…

    …if you have the appropriate Male parts!

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    • JDZComment by JDZ
      September 21, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

      There is a lot of truth to this feeling of despair or, maybe even stronger, the fear of losing your safety net (SS, Medicare, welfare, food stamps, immigration status, etc) that is affecting human behavior and decisions. And guess what, it is these human instincts or behaviors that the liberals in this country have become masters at manipulating to their advantage. The liberal/socialist/communist political strategy is built around the manipulation of the masses using fear, despair, hate, race, and the demonizations of those that would stand in their way to move their agenda forward, and they are winning in this country as of now.

      The minority progressive/socialist ideological leaders, who are against our traditional American values and system, have slowly taken control of much of the country. They now have most of the media, the public educational system, the entertainment industry, the public service unions, and a long list of wealthy philanthropists who are with them for various self serving reasons.

      Their key strategy has been to build a huge population of Americans who depend on government to survive most of their lives. Once they get the majority of voters taking welfare, food stamps, free medical care, and the other high profile entitlements like SS and Medicare, they can play into their normal human instincts and manipulate these voters and scare them into voting their way.

      We now are very close to this tipping point as Romney admitted in the recently exposed commentary he made at what he thought was a private fundraiser. He is actually correct that many Americans (he said he thought as many as 47 million) may vote for Obama because they have given in to this entitlement mentality which Obama is pushing. I hope Romney is wrong, but I understand his concern.

      When the demographics change to where there are more “takers” then “makers” (more not paying federal income taxes then paying taxes) then we are at that tipping point where the voters taking government subsidies outnumber those paying for the subsidies. We are almost there.

      What makes this so critical is that once the voters forget how our economy works and keep voting for unaffordable government programs which leads to more government debt because there are not enough “makers” (tax payers) to pay these entitlements…it is just a matter of time before the house of cards crumbles. This is exactly what happens eventually to every socialist government and what is happening to America right in front of our eyes.

      The Romney/Ryan election may be our last chance to make an attempt to stop this before it is too late.

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  2. downdraftComment by downdraft
    September 21, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    JDZ …nice comments…

    Surely you and I can’t be the only ones who have this observation and deep concern…

    …surely there are some youngsters out there who see clearly what is happening to their country…

    Further, are there any out there, of those who see the dangers before us all, who would do what has to be done?

    We could use forceful protest…but then the police or military use heavier force…we out here are not privileged like those current “protesters” who fit Obama’s plan for internal conquest…

    We could go to the polls but soon Obama’s Black Panthers will stand in the passageways to balloting & will be out in force…BUT AIN’T NOBODY WHO IS GOING TO INTIMIDATE ME FROM VOTING….

    I will defend myself and others against anyone who dares threaten me or others…

    Lets not forget that HOLDER is the top “sheriff” and The Black Panthers are his boys and he backs them…

    An even bigger concern is “just who in the hell represents us, and do they have the power and strength to stand up boldly for us?”

    Americans took things into their own hands from the British, and many died for all of us here…will we do that now, for our country, our freedom, our Republic?

    I am certain Obama’s government Goons have targeted those who dare challenge him…beginning with Mitt Romney,Michele Bachmann, Newt…you, me?

    There was a time when people took action against those within our government became traitors,…we hired them to defend our Constitution which they boldly (?) promised…

    Where and who are they?

    One Senator?Congressman immediately saw Obama as a LIAR…and while Obama spoke his lies at the State of the Union, this man yelled from the chambers and while on TV: “LIAR!”

    He was chastised and told to apologize…where is he now?

    This has all been potentially depressing…but “Who is representing us?” is the most depressing…


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