Red Alert!

July 19, 2012 by  

{The following is the text of a speech given by Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever to attendees of the party’s “Red Alert” Dinner on April 21, 2012, at the Primrose Hotel, Toronto, Ontario Canada}

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If there is one thing all of the news and speculation about Ontario’s 2012 budget has made clear, it is this: we, in Ontario, are at war. It is a civil war being fought among the millions who call Ontario home, but it has only two sides. As in any war, both sides want what will make them happy, but the two sides differ both in what they mean by happy, and in what they are prepared to do to obtain the happiness they want.

Both sides remember how it used to be. Mom took us out and bought us clothes. Dad handed us a plate of food straight from the barbecue. Mom and dad gave us money for treats or a movie, and gave us bicycles. In an arm-wrestling match with Dad, dad somehow lost to little 8 year old. Mom seemed awestruck as she told us that the finger-painted portrait we made of her looked so good it was almost a photograph. And every day, mom and dad told us that we were special, and smart, and attractive, and loved, and that the world was our oyster. And, for the time being, a happy existence required us to expend little if any effort. As children under parental care, life was Heaven on Earth.

As we all got older, we learned a few things. We learned that heated houses won’t float to us on the tide. Cars won’t grow on trees, and are not fueled by rain. Chicken and beef entrees won’t fall onto our laps from the sky. Satellites and rockets to Mars won’t build themselves. Knowledge of logic, calculus, and scientific evidence will not enter our minds via osmosis from the pillows on our beds. And while winning a footrace might win you a medal and put your face on the cover of a magazine, simply watching the race on television will get us no such public admiration. In short, we learned one very important and unavoidable truth: the things upon which a human being’s survival and happiness depend can be obtained only by exerting effective mental and/or physical effort. And if we don’t put in the effort ourselves, we’ll be miserable and might even die unless somebody exerts that effort and assumes the role that our parents used to fulfill.

That reality presents every adult with a choice: to think or to drift mindlessly; to exert mental and physical effort to create and foster the things we want, or to find some way of having others exert the effort for us. Each of us must ask ourselves: Will I assume the responsibilities of adulthood, or will I find ways to continue to live as a child?

In the political war that is currently being waged in Ontario, our answer to that question places us on one side of the war, or on the other. It is therefore a war in which one side is comprised of individuals who embrace reality and act accordingly, and the other side is comprised people who, hating the facts of reality, are determined to find ways to deny them, to somehow defeat mother nature, and to continue living a life in which one can get goods and services, and admiration and self-esteem without having to expend the effort unavoidably involved in producing those things. We, the lovers of reality, life and happiness on earth stand on one side; on the other side slouches the resenters of reality; the opponents of effortful thought and action; the something-for-nothingers: the Reds.

This war was not started by we lovers of life and freedom. We can and do produce and earn all of the material and spiritual values that give us happiness. We do not want or need anything from the Reds. But the Reds literally would suffer and ultimately die without the rest of us. Failing to accept the responsibility of producing the values they need to survive and thrive; desiring to live life on mental auto-pilot; the Reds depend upon the rest of us to do the thinking, to make the hard decisions, to expend the effort, and to produce for them everything their oh-so-little hearts desire.

Now, we lovers of freedom are always prepared to extend charity to a stranger in distress – both gladly and inconspicuously. From time to time, when it is not undeserved, we extend such good will toward our fellow human beings not as a duty, but as a courtesy and act of civility. And a responsible lover of freedom, when in distress, receives charity with thanks, with admiration for the giver, and with an intention to return the favour in time.

But the Reds don’t want good will, which is why they never extend it to strangers. And the Reds reject the very idea of charity, truth be told. A Red perceives an act of charity as an unwelcome reminder that the person given the assistance has been unable or unwilling to exert the effort that nature requires. If receiving charity, a Red feels bad, guilty, irresponsible, and incompetent to live on this earth when he accepts charity. The charity he receives brings to his consciousness the fact that he is in distress because he did not exert himself; because he rejected nature’s requirement that an adult think and produce if he is to live. It brings to the fore both the pain of his own low self-esteem, and the resentment of the high self esteem of the person extending charity to him. He resents the charitable person’s good will.

No, the Red does not want our charity. He does not want our good will. But he does want our material and spiritual values. To deal with his feelings of guilt and low self-esteem he wants everyone, including himself, to believe that giving him our money, our respect, and our love and admiration is our duty. He wants an alternative reality, in which he has a right to the money in other peoples pockets, in which he has a right to everyone’s respect, and in which he has a right to be loved and admired. He wants an alternative reality, in which the money, respect, and admiration we have to offer actually belongs not to us, but to him. He wants an alternative reality in which he is not receiving unearned things for free, but is simply collecting from us what already belongs to him in the first place. In short, as an adult, he wants a world in which someone else assumes the role of mommy and daddy, keeps him secure, and tells him he’s smart, and great, and deserving, and admired, and respected; he wants a fantasy world that will allow him to continue living the life of a child without feeling any guilt or inferiority about it.

Now, nature presents the Reds with a problem. The Reds have to get everyone else – the productive and responsible adults – to play along. The Reds have three options. One option is simply to take out a gun and threaten to kill those who will not hand over the loot. Some Reds go this route. The problem, however, is that even most Reds recognize that pulling out a gun and threatening a person’s life won’t help them preserve their delusion of personal accomplishment and self-esteem. Besides: murders, muggings, and thefts would require Reds to put down their converters and get off of their couches for a while.

A second option for the Reds is to try to convince us that we are immoral or that, after we die, we will suffer an eternity of pain and anguish unless we hand over the loot, pronto. That effort has been very successful for centuries, but it’s not perfect. Some of us producers simply are unwilling to take lessons in morality from a 40 year old child.

That leaves the Reds with option three: electing other people to do the dirty work involved in option one. Electing other people to make laws not for the defense of every individual’s life, liberty, and property, but for the redistribution of wealth under threat of fine or imprisonment. Electing people who will cite morality, or claim that “we’re all in this together”, to justify perverting the function of government, and changing it from a defender of the honest and effortful, to a weapon used to ensure that the Reds don’t have to assume fully the responsibilities of adulthood.

Thus we are left with the inevitable result of so many able bodied people choosing not to engage in the thinking, choosing, and productive effort nature requires of adults. In Ontario, nobody pays doctors and hospitals for the health care they receive. Any resident of the province need only show up and say: “make me well”. Nobody pays tuition to the public schools their children attend. Any child need simply show up and say “teach me”.

And oh, what the Reds want everyone’s children to learn in those schools. In recent years, children have been required to watch movies like Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”, so that they can learn that the decision to exert oneself and to engage in productive thought and action is a decision that condemns humanity to global suicide. In the name of building student self-esteem, the focus has moved from achieving grades to just showing up: grading systems increasingly have moved toward systems that hide failure, and that minimize the perception that any student is performing better than any other. In other words, the Reds want schools that create more Reds, and they’ve got them.

How did we get Ontario into this fantasy world of something for nothing? One need only look at the history books. Whether Liberal, NDP, or Progressive Conservative, Ontario’s Red governments have continued to assume control over and responsibility for a growing percentage of all adult decisions and actions. Whether their party colours were red, orange or blue, those Red parties continued to tell us what not to do and what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. All three of them have increased tax rates, and introduced new taxes to finance their ever expanding parental role over an increasingly child-like and dependent population.

That said, it would be a moral crime not to dispel the myth that Progressive Conservatives have somehow been a right-wing alternative to the Reds. In point of fact, the Progressive Conservatives have been the Reddest party of all. The conservatives, not the liberals or the NDP, introduced Ontario’s biggest taxes: the provincial income tax and the retail sales tax (now embedded in the HST). The very program that lies at the cancerous core of Ontario’s budget crisis – the government’s OHIP health care monopoly – was imposed upon us not by the Liberals or NDP, but by the Progressive Conservatives. And that is no small part of the reason why, just like the Liberals and NDP, the PCs are dead set against lifting the ban on private health insurance and care.

And so we are faced not only with an alert about Reds, but with a Red Alert about the growing fiscal crisis the Reds are creating in Ontario. A Red Alert about a Liberal budget that continues to borrow an extra $15B per year. A Red Alert that the Liberals don’t care about deficits or debts because, in the past, some grown-ups have always come along and ponied up the cash to preserve the child-like fantasy. One doesn’t have to look far to see that the NDP is similarly deluded. Just consider it’s budget demands of more spending on social programs and higher taxes on those who produce the wealth upon which everyone depends. And the Progressive Conservative official opposition? Declaring that they would vote against the budget even before they knew what it would contain, they made it obvious that the content of the budget is not relevant to them. They aren’t really opposing anything in the budget. Being the very party that introduced the taxing and spending measures that are crippling us financially, they do not actually oppose those programs. Their objection to the budget is not an expression of opposition to the Reds. It’s the ultimate expression of being Red: the desire not only to have a fantasy world in which everything comes to one without earning it, but to have a world in which Progressive Conservatives are praised and admired by the Reds to whom they deliver the goods. At the expense of productive, rational, effortful adults, the Progressive Conservatives want to feel proud, and to be highly admired and respected by Reds for delivering the Reds from the facts of reality. In short: they want to be highly honoured philanthropists with other peoples’ money.

The fact that all of the political parties in our Legislature are Red implies something very important about the political war we are in: the one place in which there is no war is the Ontario Legislature itself. The Legislature is in fact an armoury for the Reds. And if we – the victims of those who reject reality, who reject reason, who reject effort, and who reject responsibility – if we victims of the Reds want there to be a change, we must be – at all times – ready to lead and to take the war into Legislature. We must not merely oppose a Red budget. We must propose a budget for rational, responsible adults, as only Freedom Party has, with its 2012 Opposition Budget. And it is not enough to condemn Liberal Reds, only to find ourselves stuck with Progressive Conservative ones. We must oppose all Reds but, more importantly, we must advocate a government that refuses continue the fantasy of effortless existence. A government that champions the acceptance of the facts of adult existence. A government that champions the choice to think and act. A government that champions Freedom.

Now I know that there are some who desperately want freedom, but who worry that it might be a lost cause. Who feel that there is no point in putting their name on the ballot: that they won’t win a seat. Who feel there is no point in helping a candidate to collect signatures, raise funds, or pound signs into the ground: a waste of time and money, they tell themselves. There are those who would love to see Freedom Party win seats and form a government, but who – not yet having seen a win – turn their back on the party. There are those also who decide that they will support the Progressive Conservatives – not because they are particularly enamoured with them – but because they sometimes talk about lowering a tax rate by a percentage or two: better than nothing, they figure. But it’s not better than nothing. In fact, it’s quite a bit worse than nothing.

Like cars and houses and rocket ships, freedom doesn’t grow on trees, it doesn’t float in with the tide, it doesn’t create itself. Just as one must accept reality, and constantly decide to engage in mental and physical exertion to create cars and houses and rocket ships, one must constantly decide to exert mental and physical effort to create and maintain a force for freedom. And, when one gives up; when one decides against exerting that effort, one does far worse than merely give up on the effort to oppose the Reds. By deciding no longer to think, to act, and to accept the fact that gaining and keeping freedom requires not only eternal vigilence, but eternal effort, one actually becomes a Red. You see, being Red isn’t about whether or not you want Freedom. The man who wants freedom to be delivered to him effortlessly is just another Red, who wants something of value for nothing. No, being Red isn’t about whether or not you want freedom. Being a Red is about whether or not you make the decision, every day, to commit to the mental and physical effort that creates and maintains freedom.

Don’t become a Red for freedom: don’t merely wish you had freedom. Don’t pity yourself. And certainly: don’t try to excuse yourself from the responsibility of expending effort to achieve your freedom, by embracing pessimism and telling yourself that freedom cannot be achieved. And whenever you feel that doubt, or self-pity, or laziness creeping in: re-double your efforts! Do a bit more. Contribute more!

Make your commitment to your freedom as high a priority as your commitment to putting a roof over your head, and food on your plate. Because I assure you all: if you do not make that commitment, the effort you spend on earning homes and cars and happiness will be wasted, because, without freedom – without the defence of your life, liberty, and property – the Reds won’t let you keep those things for long. {end}


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