Chapter 1: We Can Push Back Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald Reagan Where did things go wrong? For proud conservatives this should have been the best of times. After all, conservatives are finally steering the ship of state after decades of liberal dominance. But look what's happening in this putatively conservative era. Look at the extent to which our government now intrudes into its citizens' lives, reaching for ever more power at the expense of individual liberty. Look at the greed and corruption that have produced outrageous pork-barrel politics and government budgets spiraling out of control. Look at the fiscally reckless accumulation of unimaginable public debt that now threatens the nation and the world. Look at how many Americans now look to government for the "quick fix" or for personal advantage. And all this is occurring at a time when our nation faces a tsunami of dangersterrorists eager to massacre innocent civilians; uncompetitive economic practices that drive businesses and jobs overseas; ill-defined immigration policies that jeopardize the uniquely American notion of E pluribus unum (out of many, one); runaway government growth that threatens to bankrupt the country. Gloomy as we may sound in diagnosing America's current ills, we are actually optimistic about the potential for effective cures. Some key changes have already begun, giving us hope for the future. What we urgently need is an action plan for building on these changes to make America as great as she can and should be. Getting America Right,we believe, is that action plan. Any plan for fixing the problems that plague our government must involve individual Americans. Too many Americans feel helpless in the face of the government leviathan, watching as budget numbers soar, the number of Washington bureaucracies expands, and government feels more and more removed from our lives. But as this book will reveal in real-world terms, government is not some abstract entity with little connection to our lives; it dramatically affects all of us. Simply put, social power is a zero-sum game: When government takes it, individuals lose it. The growing complexity of government lets bureaucrats and elected officials hide their acts behind an opaque screen, allowing them to escape accountability. Getting America Right shows how we can and must pull away that screenhow each and every one of us can demand responsibility and a return to core principles. And what are those core values and principles? They are nothing less than what has made America great. And despite our hotly contested elections and increasingly rancorous partisan disputes, Americans still share fundamental principles.We still support free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, a strong national defense, and the rule of law. Most Americans still believe in the Ten Commandments as guides for our individual lives.We still stand for such traditional American values as fairness, volunteerism, the primacy of family, the freedom to worship as we see fit, self-government, and the defining faith that the least among us can rise to the topbut that no one is above the law. These ideas define our worldview. They are grounded in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which insists on equality under the rule of law, natural rights, liberty, and government only with the consent of the governed. Thomas Jefferson credited the wisdom of the DeclaratioFeulner, Edwin J., Jr. is the author of 'Getting America Right The True Conservative Values our Nation Needs Today', published 2005 under ISBN 9780307336910 and ISBN 0307336913.