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Cest la vie, America!
By Tom Purcell
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Bonjour, America!
It was a great week, no? President Obama has won a second term. The transformation into a French-style democratic model shall commence!
Comment allez-vous? You are not doing so well? Be happy, my friends!
It is true that America was founded on a very simple idea: liberty! Liberal thinkers of that time distrusted government and saw its expansion as an encroachment on freedom.
When America’s Founders declared their independence from Britain, these are the radical words they used: “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 ... .”
Your Founders believed government should defend the basic rights of the individual, so the individual could pursue his or her passion freely.
An amazing concept, liberty! It unleashed the most energetic, inventive economy in the history of mankind for many years.
It was the dream of millions of immigrants to come to America. They fled lands that inhibited their abilities to pursue their passions, but America did not.
So they came and worked hard, thankless jobs in mills and coal mines — so their children could embrace an even greater American dream.
The early immigrants were proud people. They could not accept handouts and government assistance — even if they were desperate for them. They asked for nothing but the opportunity to work and make their own way.
They taught pride to their children. Their children would go on to get educations and become doctors, teachers, business leaders — pursuing their own passions at a higher level.
All institutions thrived in this free land. Religious institutions were free to build and grow, to believe and preach anything they wished. The government was forbidden to intrude and religion flourished.
But America is changing, no? Très bien, merci!
In this new America, pride is a dying concept. So many younger people have no shame in accepting the government assistance their great-grandparents shunned.
College kids from upper-middle-class homes are eager and happy to accept government food cards. The government advertises the free food in their college newspapers. Only a fool would turn it down.
Americans have long been generous in helping the truly poor and destitute, but how many of you know of others who take advantage of this generosity?
What of the young man, 21, who works as a cook? He has two children with his girlfriend. She lives in a very nice apartment paid for by the government. She has free health care for her kids, free utilities, free food.    
Do not tell the government, my friends, but the young man, a source of unreported income, lives with his girlfriend. A family should be together, no? Marry her, you say? You fool! And lose the benefits?
Such is becoming the norm in America. It is a key reason why more than 40 percent of American babies are born to unwed mothers.
It is true that immigrants still come and some are proud and ask only for the opportunity to pursue their passions freely.
But the majority of them, hardworking though they may be, very much enjoy government benefits now. Working menial, hard jobs does not pay so well. The government can make life so much easier — so why not vote for the politician who promises to give you the most, as more than 70 percent of Latino and Asian American voters did?
There is no shame in this, my friend! A new era has arrived. America is much more like Europe now. The growing number of people who happily depend on government benefits represent a powerful voting block that can be the deciding factor in any election, as it was on Nov. 6.
Why fight it, my friend? Pour some cognac in your tea and join in on the fun!
C’est la vie, America!
Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Email Tom at