It truly is almost unbelievable. Our national debt is at $16 trillion and rising, with annual deficits of more than $1.5 trillion. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and at a level greater than what Greece was at when its economy collapsed. Our lauded entitlement programs are bankrupt, yet our politicians seek to expand them. Unemployment is still well above 8 percent, the longest such period of sustained unemployment at that level since the Great Depression. We're barely past Valentine's Day and gas is more than $3.50 per gallon, and expected to rise above $4 and possibly as high as $5 per gallon by summer. Iran appears the be rapidly closing in on getting a functional nuclear weapon and has been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world's oil supply flows. We have a president hell-bent on destroying the fossil fuel industry, much like his signature achievement, ObamaCare, is crippling the healthcare industry.
Our own government has been selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels and is now directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Mexicans and Americans, yet they act as if it were of no more import than having incorrectly filled out some government form (actually, they'd probably find that a much more grievous sin). The dollar is weak and the economy anemic, despite the trillions spent on the stimulus, auto union and Wall Street bailouts, and slush funds for the politically connected.
Yet with all of this, what stories are dominating the headlines? That would be the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum regarding birth control, and now the furor over Rush Limbaugh's comments about a college "coed" called to testify before Congress on the topic of birth control. The coed, Sandra Fluke, is a student at Georgetown University. She was called to testify by House Minority Leader, and former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Crazyland...seriously, how terrifying is it to contemplate that she was just two seats removed from the presidency for two years?) , on this matter of urgent national importance.
According to Fluke, it can cost a female coed as much as $3,000 for contraception during three years of law school. Really? Just how much sex is this woman having? A quick perusal of the contraceptives aisle at Costco shows you can buy condoms in bulk for just a few pennies each. If she is having sex so often that she can burn through $3,000 worth of condoms, what she really needs is a chiropractor on call and maybe a Sleep Number bed. How in the world does this woman ever find time to study?
Rush Limbaugh is now under fire for the following comment:
"What does it say about the college coed Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."
If we, as a society, had not been marinated in political correctness for a couple of decades now, we would acknowledge Limbaugh's comments as absolutely true, if not necessarily tactful. This shouldn't be shocking. In fact, it was corroborated by Fluke's own testimony, which said her research showed that "four out of every 10 co-eds are having so much sex that it's hard to make ends meet if they have to pay for their own contraception..." So stop having so much sex! You are a human being, not a rabbit on Viagra! Show a little self control. Try to remember that you came to school to get a law degree, not to put so many notches on your headboard that you turn it into a pile of toothpicks!
For me personally, I could not conceivably care less how often or with how many people the coeds of Georgetown University have sex. It makes absolutely no difference to me. The extent of my concern is feeling pity for someone so spiritually and emotionally unfulfilled that they have to erase the lines between themselves and the lower animals that have no impulse control.
However, when you start lobbying Congress to use government force to take my hard-earned money so that you can buy birth control to support your habit, then it becomes my problem. There is no way to justify taking taxpayer money to subsidize such reckless behavior. The last time I checked, abstinence was 100 percent free of charge, and has a 100 percent success rate with preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
Now don't get me wrong. I am far from perfect. I did more than my share of stupid things as a teenager; things that I would not want my children doing because I now know how stupid those things were (nothing worthy of being in a tabloid, but still, things that I realize now were stupid). Luckily, I married an incredible woman when we were 19 years old (we just celebrated our 20th anniversary) and she flushed the stupid out of my head. Marrying her was the best decision I ever made.
The point is, if we give in to political correctness and cover birth control for lascivious coeds who can't control themselves, where will we go next? Taxpayer dollars to fund chauffeurs for alcoholics who want to get wasted but not risk getting a DUI? Clean needles for drug addicts who want to get high without getting infected? Oh, wait, we already do that.
At the end of the day, this comes down to personal responsibility. America became the most powerful nation on Earth because our Constitution, which protected God-given rights, and then allowed us to succeed or fail based on our own hard work and ingenuity. It allowed us to learn from the mistakes of others, and to emulate their success. It encouraged creativity and risk-taking, but calculated risk-taking.
Now we live in a country where we are blurring the line between "wants" and "rights." We now hear people who advocate for a "right" to health care, or contraception, or high speed internet, or abortion, or child care, or housing, or transportation, or food, and my personal favorite for sheer brazenness and arrogance, the right to not be offended.
If we are being honest with ourselves, we will admit that what too many people really want are rights without responsibilities. We want to have sex with as many people as possible but without having the stigma of immorality. We want to have sex without being responsible for dealing with the price of pregnancy or disease. We want to buy iPads and iPhones and new cars and go on vacation, and let some other sucker pay for our housing and food and medical bills. We want to have all the desires of the flesh fulfilled, without the hard work and responsibility that accompanies it.
Yet thinking that we can have the rewards without the work, the rights without the responsibilities, is the apex of wishful thinking. There exist laws of human nature just as binding as laws of physics, and we can no more escape, in the end, the consequences of our decisions than we could escape the consequences of the law of gravity if we stepped off the top of the Empire State Building. The sooner we realize that, the better we'll be able to deal with our nation's problems intelligently.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.