Fifty years ago in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for America.
King’s famous speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, is worth reading in its entirety. Take note of this particular passage:
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I wonder what Mr. King would think of that promissory note today.
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe the country is headed on a wrong track. Four years of big-government solutions have left the country pessimistic and discouraged.
Obama’s agenda — one that will likely include more reckless spending, bigger government and new challenges to our values and institutions — threatens the very nature of the American dream that Mr. King spoke.
Obama’s embrace of government at every level — from Head Start programs that actually set children back, a failing public education system that is creating a new type of segregation in schools, crippling regulations and higher taxes on small businesses — is doing great harm to America.
Policy debates on gun rights, immigration, the national debt and countless other issues are already beginning to play out in Washington.
Conservatives must get to work to save America. It won’t be easy. Obama is transforming his powerful campaign apparatus into an aggressive lobbying machine. The President will never need to face voters again, creating the possibility of an even more radical agenda. If the past four years proved to be difficult, just wait for what’s ahead.
The United States is, and has always been, the land of opportunity. Government doesn’t create opportunity. It might redistribute it or regulate it. But ultimately, it’s the hard work and determination of Americans who make this country great.
“The American dream reminds us that every man is heir to the legacy of worthiness,” Mr. King said in a 1961 speech at Lincoln University. It’s time for conservatives to take that message to Americans from all walks of life.