What Role will American Exceptionalism and Work Ethic Play in the 2016 Election?

Written by Nicholas Wishek


We hear a lot from both parties about what is wrong with America and how they have the solutions necessary to correct the problems if only they are elected next November. Lord knows that there is enough that needs improving to give both sides plenty to campaign on.

What should be clear, given the popularity of non-establishment candidates in the Republican race and Sanders in the Democratic one, is that people are fed up with business as usual by both parties. Polls show the majority of Americans believe the country in headed in the wrong direction.

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Two big contributors to our current difficulties not often talked about, especially by the Democrat party, are the decline of the American work ethic and the subsequent deterioration of the belief in self-reliance. These principles helped make our country great. The Democrats don’t want to mention work ethics and self-reliance since it has been their progressive polices that have resulted in the decay of both. Establishment Republicans aren’t all that much better; their policies are just moving more slowly toward the same result.

So, since no Democrat is going to endorse policies that will encourage either hard work or self-reliance, of the outside establishment candidates that leaves Donald Trump, [score]Ted Cruz[/score], Dr. Ben Carson, and [score]Marco Rubio [/score]as the best choices to promote those traditional American values.

The case must be made that hard work will increase your chance of achieving the American Dream.

Rubio, Carson, Cruz and Trump GOPAs an example, I can cite my wife’s family. They were Hungarian refugees who fled Soviet control after WW2. In the 1950’s when my wife was just a child, they came to America with their two children. Her father was in his 40’s and didn’t speak English; her mother’s English was broken, at best, and definitely limited. They immediately went to work; there was no government assistance at all. Her father, who’d lost most of the use of his left arm (and he was left handed!) during fighting on the Eastern front, painted houses and hung wall paper, basically one-handed. Her mother worked on an assembly line all week, then cleaned houses on the weekends. Bottom line – they gave both children a good start in life, and they left a decent inheritance for them as well.  They achieved their American Dream because of their hard work.

Not everyone is capable of such commitment.

People are people, after all, and not all are that ambitious, but for those who are willing to work hard, the government needs to get off their backs. Punishing hard work with repressive taxes and excessive regulations won’t encourage that ethic. Those who might work hard for themselves won’t work as much for strangers. Since Democrat policies demand ever more taxes, people have a disincentive to work harder when they keep less and less of what they earn. All this goes along with the decline of personal responsibility under current progressive policies.

Democrat policies make it easy not to be self-reliant. People can turn to the government for a passible standard of living. How many receiving government assistance of one form or another would commit to work requirements of 40 hours a week to get their free stuff? Ask yourself how many food stamps recipients would stay on food stamps if all they got from the government was a bag beans or sack of rice and some government cheese? Since you can live reasonably well receiving assistance, why work hard? Instead, depend on government help.

In the next election the Democrats have no one who wants to do anything to change the way things are going. Establishment Republicans don’t have much better solutions to offer. That makes the choices Trump, Cruz, Carson, or Rubio. Trump talks a good game about making America great again. However, he’s short on how he’ll do it. You have to take him on faith. Cruz has legitimate conservative credentials, but is he electable? Carson has good ideas, too, but is less likely able to win the general election.

That leaves Rubio as the best choice.

While he has been smeared over his stand on amnesty, he was smart enough to realize that Schumer and the Democrats weren’t going to honor their promises to secure the border and backed off the deal. With a father who tended bar and a mother who worked as a maid, he, like Carson, is able to relate to those principles that made America great. And it helps that Rubio is an eloquent speaker who can make his case to the American people. Finally, polls show him being most likely Republican candidate to defeat Clinton. Hopefully he’ll do well enough in Iowa to start gaining momentum.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

About the author

Nicholas Wishek

Nicholas Wishek. Retired teacher. 40 years classroom experience. Served in California National Guard 6 years. BA in history, MA in education. Married 35 years. Two sons. Many columns published in OC Register 2009-2014.

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