Frank McEnulty: Personal Responsibility

I’ve chosen to expand on my beliefs concerning personal responsibility because that is the topic on my website that has generated the most comment.

Throughout all the discussions about the subprime meltdown Congress has been trying to figure out how to bail out all of those people in trouble because they took on a risky or too large home mortgage in the last few years. This is a perfect example of politicians using our money to bail out people for their own (often greedy) mistakes. Chris Dodd, the Senate Banking Chairman, said, “I’m determined to do everything we can to allow people to stay in their homes”.

I’m sorry, but where is the personal responsibility in buying too large or too expensive a house, getting involved in a “bad” mortgage in order to qualify for the payments and then crying when things go bad. It is not my fault, your fault or the government’s fault that someone bought a house they really couldn’t afford. But Congress feels they have to do something because it isn’t their money and why should people be responsible for making mistakes.

For those of you who have visited my website at you will recall that I wrote the following brief statement about Personal Responsibility.

Personal responsibility is just that – personal. If you do something stupid and you get injured or hurt, then it is your own fault. It’s not McDonald’s fault if you get fat, it’s not Phillip Morris’ fault if you smoke and get lung cancer, it’s your fault. The second biggest problem facing America is that people want to find someone to blame for everything that happens to them. Well sometimes it’s your own fault, sometimes it’s just bad luck and sometimes it is truly someone else’s fault, but let’s get away from this victimhood mentality and back to standing on our own two feet and taking responsibility for our own actions.

I would now like to expand on that statement to give you more of a feel for how I would lead the country as your next President.

John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural speech on January 20, 1961 made the following, very famous statement, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” To me this is one of the greatest calls for personal responsibility made in America in the last 50 years.

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some

2,000 years earlier:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.”

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

“From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

Based on how our politicians operate today I would say that we are getting closer and closer to fulfilling Mr. Tyler’s prophecy.

In today’s pandering to the electorate by politicians of all stripes, no one ever calls for people to think about what they can do, as an American citizen, to make the country a better place. Rather, today’s politician wants everyone to look upon them as their own personal savior and make them totally beholden to them for whatever they think they can get from the government for “free”. That’s how politicians buy the votes. It’s gotten to the point where a lot of people believe they are entitled to having the government take care of them whenever they make a mistake or are just too lazy to do what is right and work hard.

As President, I believe that the individual has the ultimate responsibility for his or her own welfare. Most of what happens to almost everyone in their lives is a direct result of what they do to themselves. Having kids when you are a teenager will mess up your life. Drinking too much or taking drugs, will mess up your life. Dropping out of school will mess up your life. Smoking and eating way too much will mess up your life.

Unfortunately, our politicians try to make most of the above seem to be someone else’s fault. The politically correct will tell you that if you tell someone they are doing things wrong you’re being unkind. Who are you to judge them? Who are you to tell people how they should live their lives? Well, I think the American people have the right to judge people’s actions when they result in those very same people asking (demanding) that the government spend our tax money to support and help them because of their bad decisions. If you mess up, you are not entitled to having the government bail you out. You made the mess, you fix it.

As President, I would vow to never pass a law that takes responsibility for ones bad actions away from the individual and makes it someone or something else’s fault. The biggest problem in America today is the failure of individuals to take responsibility for their actions and the feeling of entitlement so many people seem to have today. As an American you are entitled to act freely as a person desires. However, no one should be allowed to go begging to their elected representative when their bad choices, bad decisions and just plain laziness catch up to them.

One of the major reasons I decided to start this Presidential campaign was that I felt a personal obligation to do something to try and make America a better place to live for my children and all future generations. That will only happen if this slide towards victim-hood is reversed and people start to take more responsibility for their own actions and the results that occur.


Frank McEnulty


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