In President Kennedy's inaugural speech in January 1961, he proclaimed with vigor, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
Just minutes earlier, however, Kennedy also proclaimed, "To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom — and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside."
Yet with the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, a key component of President Obama's first term has been solidified into public law and the rights of the states and millions of citizens have been trampled because Obama was able to inflict this law on the American people due to his complete control of the House and the Senate at the time the bill was passed. President Kennedy's dire warning has now been fulfilled — the states and citizens opposing President Obama are now inside the tiger.
Sen. Reid, former Speaker Pelosi and even the president have called for Republicans and those against the bill to move forward and not look back at repealing the law now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act.
Even Nancy Pelosi exalted that, "Now, Teddy can rest."
Teddy Kennedy may be able to rest in peace and most will concede that the health care system was broken, but this is not the fix Teddy's brother Jack would have considered as anything but tyranny.
The heavy-handed way in which the Affordable Care Act was passed by super majority of the in-power party was precisely the type of tyranny President Kennedy assured the new states that should not be pursued by a federal government.
Yet, just three days before the Affordable Care Act decision was announced by the court, the Supreme Court also ruled part of the Arizona law on immigration (SB 1070) to be constitutional. President Obama declared war on Arizona by threatening to withhold key elements of the ICE database from Arizona law enforcement.
Apparently, for President Obama, the only people who should not look back are those who disagree with him.
In President Kennedy's inaugural address, however, he said, "The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God."
Instead of asking what we can do for our country, President Obama has initiated a program in which success is vilified and Americans are honored for being the victim. The sad reality of this inherently flawed concept of this administration is that it is doomed to failure and an entire people doomed to slavery of the state.
Be it the bailout of the automotive industry, the $25 billion mortgage settlement with the banks or the accusations against J.P.Morgan Chase and its derivative losses, this administration has successfully institutionalized the concept of a "victim mentality" for the American people. This administration has demonized all that our forebears fought for.
I would suspect President Kennedy understood that you help people the most by providing for the framework of freedom. For a great leader, success is measured by the success of those you govern. It is an affirmation of the individual and his or her rights that is paramount. President Kennedy, like President Reagan after him, reaffirmed the sanctity of the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage," he reaffirms the value of freedom. He stated: "The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people — faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment — faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor and ultimately recognize right."
President Obama, on the other hand, continuously tramples on the rights of the free in the name of leveling the playing field. You do not protect one citizen if you do not protect them all. All that President Obama has done is to decide who is riding the tiger and who is inside.
When you attempt to protect people from themselves, you have effectively enslaved them rather than set them free. Instead of asking people what they can do to help their nation, this administration is telling you what they are going to do to you.
The individual mandate to buy insurance, be it a tax or a commerce clause requirement, is still a loss of freedom. Any attempt to deviate from it's true nature is an exercise in political correctness at the expense of our freedoms. The reality is, the federal government has institutionalized that it knows more about how to run your life than you do.
Government can guarantee the pursuit of happiness. Government cannot guarantee happiness. Only freedom provides the framework for happiness. Self-determination gives people, versus government, control over their own lives.
President Obama — you're no Jack Kennedy!
Frank Ryan, a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is a certified public accountant who specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics throughout the U.S. He is on numerous boards of publicly traded and nonprofit organizations. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter, @fryan1951.