If President Obama will enjoy any legacy more enduring than that of simply being the first black man to hold the title, it will surely be of trying to expand the entitlement state. At every turn, this president wants to make something else free, and the liberal hordes ooh and ahh every time. Free community college? My god, what a progressive thinker! Free healthcare? It can’t come soon enough! Waiving the work requirement on welfare? Lawdy, it’s getting hot in here!

In pursuing these measures, Obama (and, in this respect, he’s really no different from the rest of his Democrat cohorts) is slowly turning this country away from the values under which it was forged. From the earliest days of the American colonies, this was a country that prized hard work, a rebellious spirit, and the willingness to go out and get what you wanted. The pilgrims came here for any number of reasons – to escape the oppression of the Church of England, to farm tobacco, to hunt for gold – but all of those reasons had one thing in common. They were pursued by men who didn’t want a damn thing handed to them.

The first generation of American settlers passed those values down to their children, slowly building the fledgling nation that would – seven generations later – tell the King of England that they’d had enough. Without representation in Parliament, Britain’s taxation was illegal and unwarranted. Fair enough, said England. But we’re going to keep taxing tea. You make a good point, but y’know, we’re going to keep taxing tea because, well, we can. And you need to know that we can.

What do you think the America of today would say of that deal? Outnumbered, outgunned, and outmatched in every conceivable way, do you think today’s America, led by Barack Obama, would draw another line in the sand? Or do you think we would grumble about the tea tax and go about our business?

This isn’t just about free community college, lost wars in the Middle East, or any other specific issue. It’s about a general weakness that has taken root over the last fifty years or so since the end of World War II. It’s embodied almost perfectly by the presidency of Barack Obama, but it has its roots in a much earlier time. The late 1960s may have given us a triumph in the name of civil rights, but it also gave birth to a species of weak liberalism that has eroded our foundational beliefs.

Liberals are always aghast when they run up against a conservative in real life. How could you be a conservative? You hate black people? You think gays shouldn’t be able to get married? My word!

It doesn’t have anything to do with blacks and gays. It has to do with a belief that this country was founded upon strength, courage, destiny, and individualism. It has to do with a belief in liberty. Conservatism is about living up to your potential, or at least not complaining about your life if you aren’t. And those values apply to one man’s life as they do to the community as they do to the nation. It’s not about denying someone the right to escape poverty. It’s about restoring a country that was once ashamed to accept a handout.