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Column

‘Ask what you can do for your country’

When President Kennedy gave his inaugural speech in 1961, I was especially impressed by his challenge: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Two years later I volunteered to join the United States Army. I signed a blank check pledging my service, and yes, my life to my country for the next three years. At that time, I was about half-way to earning my college degree. Three years later I was honorably discharged from the Army, on our daughter’s first birthday.

As we approach this election, I am concerned that President Kennedy’s advice has been turned around. Many are demanding, that our country do things for them. An example of this takes me back to my college education. The only way for me to be able to attend college was to work my way through, providing income to support my family, and also to pay for my tuition and other college expenses. This meant that I worked full-time and attended college part-time. One year after my discharge from the U.S. Army I was able to complete my college education. I graduated from the University of Iowa debt free. I had a job waiting for me in my field.

The 2020 Democratic Party platform supports total forgiveness of student loans for those earning less than $125,000. This is insane! It is still possible to work your way through college. To expect the taxpayers to fund a college education is ridiculous. Free tuition will reduce the value of a degree, and many will drop out without personal loss. Often a one- or two-year vocational program would result in a good job and a rewarding career, with little or no student debt. I know many young people who have a vocational education and terrific career jobs. By the way, many government employees would be required to administer this program.

I need to talk about the so-called “Green New Deal” featured in the Democratic Party platform. First of all, let me remind you that I am a “conservative.” That means I care for our world and try to do everything reasonable to protect and preserve our environment. As a Christian, I trust in the words of the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, where God gives dominion over the earth to man and tells him to subdue it. God gave the earth to man to live in and for his use.

While in college I took a course called “Climatology.” We studied how climate constantly changes and is impacted by many complicated forces. The Democratic Party is convinced that climate is being changed by the action of human beings. They have produced many theories about how human activity is causing tremendously adverse changes in our climate. They cite as evidence the supposed increase of storms, floods, droughts, etc. and the tremendous damage they create.

Look at the evidence of climate variation over the last several thousand years, instead of just the last couple of hundred years. We see that just in the southwest area of the United States there have been periods of plentiful rain and periods of drought. Several hundred years ago the area supported the flourishing agricultural based culture of the Anasazi peoples. The evidence shows a period of prolonged drought destroyed their ability to produce enough food to support them and they disappeared.

Much of the increase in damage caused by recent hurricanes can be traced to the vast increase in the population along and very near our coastlines. More people, more buildings, equals more storm damage. The vast increase in drain tile installed by farmers drains rain water very quickly into our rivers. This, coupled with mismanagement of flood control structures, will inevitably increase the occurrence of floods.

I believe the “student loan” and “Green New Deal” and other similar issues are being used as a Trojan Horse to enable more government control, which will create vast amounts of new regulations about what we can and cannot do. The new regulations will require vast numbers of new government employees to direct our lives. Be very careful of what you vote for. Remember George Orwell.

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Mike Lang is the chairman of the Union County Republican Party.

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