Ideals of Gettysburg Address under attack
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In the speech, which is only 10 sentences long, Abraham Lincoln resolved “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
But now, the concept of a government of, by and for the people could soon become a distant memory.
Last April, Kimberley Strassel, in her weekly Wall Street Journal column, reported that one of Obama's campaign websites posted the names of eight private citizens who had donated to the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. One of those donors was an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot. Since his name was released, a series of events has occurred.
In less than two weeks, he caught a private investigator from Washington, D.C. digging through his divorce records. More recently, Strassel’s wife reports that Vandersloot was notified by the IRS that they were conducting a two-year audit of his taxes. Mr. Vandersloot’s taxes have never been audited in the past. And then, by some strange coincidence, the Department of Labor decided to review the temporary work visas of the three Mexican immigrants who have been legally working on his cattle ranch for the past five years.
The letter from the Labor Department “requests an array of documents to ascertain whether Mr. VanderSloot’s ‘foreign workers are provided the full scope of protections’ under the visa program: information on the hours they’ve worked each day and their rate of pay, an explanation of their deductions, copies of contracts...”
Now, we have the mayor of Boston vowing to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the city after the company's president spoke out publicly against gay marriage. The mayor has no say or veto power over businesses opening in Boston, but as Frank VanderSloot found, the government can make your life miserable through audits, inspections, rules, regulations and paperwork.
Sorry to say, President Lincoln, but your Gettysburg Address promise of a government by the people, for the people and of the people is fast fading away. By its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2013, this concept of government could very well “perish from this earth.”
Printed in the July 26, 2012 edition.