When I was a young boy, I asked my mother if I could have a bicycle for Christmas. After careful consideration and deliberation which lasted about 3 seconds, she graciously explained to me that a bicycle might not make for the best gift, seeing as how not much bike-riding occurred in the more frigid months of the year.
Undaunted, I penned my petition to a Mr. S. Claus. I’d never heard of him denying any kid’s request.
I also spoke with my father about the matter, who reflexively directed me back to my mother. When I next broached the topic with her at the dinner table, I was met with a sigh, and an instruction to eat my vegetables.
In our home, we had separation of powers.
I circled the prized item in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue, leaving the page folded down, and the book strategically placed where it would be seen. I made sure my brothers knew of my wish. I was evangelical in my yule tide fervor.
On Christmas morning, I found my proposal had been vetoed. Oh, there were other gifts, to be sure. It was still a tear-free, joyous day, with the usual lot of toys. But I’d been taught the lesson I could not identify until years later, which would be a study in delayed gratification, an idea foreign to many Americans of our day. The bicycle did make its appearance eventually, when the thermometer had assumed a kinder, gentler position.
We live in a day of instant gratification. Time waits for no man. Few men wait on time anymore. We shave with disposable razors, eat instant potatoes, cook in microwave ovens, and put turf on our lawns. Who has time to cut grass?
What do we want? Everything. When do we want it? Now!
The late Truett Cathy methodically built the hugely successful Chick-Fil-A empire, ever refusing to unlock the doors on Sunday. True to his religious beliefs, he steadfastly saw it as a day of rest, when no work was to be done. His convictions have been rewarded by his legions of devoted customers, who have been known to visit the restaurants en masse, using it as a rally point to make a political statement.
Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. The world still turns.
This insistence that we want this, that and the other thing in 30 minutes or less is a philosophy embodied by the leader of the not-so-free-anymore world who, despite the will of the citizenry, continues shoving his ideas for everyone’s lives down our collective throats in his trademark brazen and petulant manner.
We will have Obamacare. We will have blanket amnesty. We will have tax hikes. And no, we will not listen to the other co-equal branches of government who may wish to chime in on the given subject. In his infamous tilt toward monarchy, Obama declared “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” making clear his intention to use executive orders to circumvent congress, thereby foisting his latest design on American lives.
Curious thing, these EO’s. There seems to be no small amount of ambiguity about their purpose. If we need to order paper clips or coffee filters, or if it’s time to change the oil in the presidential limo, they could be handy. If we’re ramming unwanted policies upon those who do want them, they become tools of a tyrant who is showing utter contempt for those he views as mere subjects.
I’ve often heard people bemoan gridlock in Washington. Gridlock, of course, can be our friend. If gridlock can help put the brakes on bad legislation, it is certainly useful. In the current climate, Obama, despite the recent election smackdown he refuses to acknowledge, continues his rampage across the pages of the very constitution he vowed to defend, and with minimal opposition. Impotent Republicans, despite having their tickets overwhelmingly stamped on November 4 to stop him, cannot seem to even achieve the lofty heights of gridlock.
“Yes, we are golden. Now watch us roll over and play dead.”
Of course, Obama has a base who are not concerned with the Clintonian concept of “stroke of the pen, law of the land,” now faithfully employed by ol’ #44. The fact is, those who have sold their birthright of liberty for a bowl of government-provided porridge are not quite so motivated to shout Patrick Henry quotes from their section 8 rooftops.
Hopefully, the next president will use an – you guessed it – executive order to undo these more reckless ones.
Until then, devotees of liberty must avoid the presidential pen, while praying no one answers the presidential phone.
© Copyright 2014 Tim Holcombe