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Obama's bigger problem with the Gulf oil spill: you

The Gulf oil spill reminds us that Americans are the most voracious consumers on earth. Until we break the bonds of slavery to personal comfort, no president can make us energy independent.

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American citizens don't agree on much, but on this point we are united: liberty.

As with other broad ideological concepts, many Americans struggle to articulate a precise definition of liberty. Yet this doesn't prevent us from holding firm to the belief that liberty is a fundamental right, and that if required, we would die for it.

For our forefathers, liberty was a more tangible, more urgent imperative.

Although many patriots called for liberty before 1776, the national will for genuine revolution only came once it became self-evident that reason and prudence could no longer tolerate the status quo – regardless of the risks.

It took years of death and deprivation before British tyranny was dealt the mortal blow at Yorktown, Va. Yet we choose to date our independence from the day citizens summoned national will and proclaimed resolve to the world in our Declaration of Independence.

Today, "We the People" face another kind of tyranny – dependence on foreign oil. President Nixon warned the United States about it more than 40 years ago. But President George W. Bush said it best when he stated bluntly, "America is addicted to oil."

What was once a cause for concern is now a dire emergency. Back then, in 1970, we imported 24 percent of the oil we use; today, we import more than 70 percent, much of it from countries the US labels "dangerous and unstable."


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