Tom Purcell, 11/24/2014 [Archive]

Merci America!

By Tom Purcell

Bonjour, America!

Have you heard the good news? Under President Obama, the U.S. ranking for personal freedom has slipped below that of France! According to The Washington Examiner, the Legatum Institute just released its sixth edition of its Prosperity Index. It measures entrepreneurship, opportunity, education and social capital — aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements do not cover.

Among the 25 freest countries in the world, America now ranks 21st — down from the ninth spot for calendar year 2009, Obama's first year as president.

How Obama is guiding America's change! Tres bien, merci!

It is true that America was founded on a very simple idea: liberty! The liberal thinkers of that time distrusted government and saw its expansion as an encroachment on freedom.

When America's Founders declared their independence from Great Britain, these were their radical thoughts:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Our Founders believed government should defend the basic rights of the individual, so that individuals could pursue their passions freely, but should otherwise not intrude.

Legend has it that George Washington, our first president, was so popular that he could have become America's king. No other country had a freely elected president at the time. But he distrusted government and wanted a free people to choose their president.

His distrust of government caused him to say things such as, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

But thankfully, America is more "progressive" in recent times. We have elected a president who distrusts the individual citizen and who believes in the benevolence of government — a president who wishes to be king!

Our president gave us government control of what was left of America's private health insurance system — demanding that Americans buy health policies with provisions he fancies and punishing those who do not. He thinks Americans are, after all, too stupid to make such decisions on their own.

Our president was unable to pass into law restrictions on our fossil-fuel industries, so he began stretching the intent of old environmental laws to create new regulations — regulations that allow him to do as he pleases to shut down coal-fired power plants. How he is succeeding at that!

Our president so dislikes the constraints imposed on him by our aging Constitution that he is simply ignoring them. And so it is that he will put up to 5 million non-citizens who have entered America without the people's consent on a path to amnesty.

Long live King Obama!

When Obama became president, it was his dream to turn America into a European-style socialist state like France. He has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

Whereas America's personal freedom ranking was well ahead of France's in 2009, the rankings have completely changed in 2014. France is ranked 17th — four spots ahead of America!

I used to be upset to watch my people so willingly give away so many of our hard-earned freedoms. I know how much so many had sacrificed to make America free.

But I am coming around on the "be more like France" thing.

Sure, with increasing government programs, regulations, spending and debt, I may find myself without gainful employment. But my benevolent government will give me free health care, food, housing and stipends.

I won't have much, but I'll have just enough to sit at sidewalk cafes, sipping cafe au lait — that's coffee with milk, you uncultured Americans — and nodding approvingly as pretty women stroll by.

Merci, America!


© 2014 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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