Could it be that the American people are beaten?
I’ve never seen anything quite like what we are going through today and I can’t seem to find anything quite like in in our history. The Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War…all of these had one thing in common – they hardened the American resolve to win, to be victorious in the face of overwhelming odds, to succeed where others have failed (and when those on the sidelines wish failure upon us).
Yesterday, as I lamented the sad passing of the Democratic Party, I was reminded once again of just how far we have drifted, not just the Democrats, but society as a whole. I was drawn to these excerpts from John Kennedy’s inaugural address from January 20, 1961 (3 days before my second birthday):
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God…
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.
I would wager if this was published anonymously today it would be tagged as something penned by a right wing zealot, if for no other reason due to the references to God, and not the words of the scion of a very successful family, a Democrat Party patriarch and perhaps the last truly great Democrat.
We are losing the battle for freedom and liberty against the enemy, an enemy that we freely invited in. This enemy comes in many forms – anti-religion, secular humanism, socialism, Marxism, communism, “social justice”, “income equality”, class envy, Occupy Wall Street and yes, “progressivism”. It is no coincidence that the drift toward defeat coincides with the growth of these “movements” and ideologies.
I think JFK would be appalled by the fact that the contemporary Democratic Party has embraced the very ideals that he stood against. By the political standards of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, this party would have been considered communist and not simply “liberal”. Of course, he was socially liberal but to Kennedy, welfare was a way back to productivity, not a lifestyle, not a guarantee. Kennedy’s pro-business and pro-growth, “America First” positions would never survive in the self-loathing, navel gazing and apologetic Democratic Party of today.
Can we fight back? Can we stem the tide?
We can – but we can’t by just being a little less progressive than the Democrats.
Romney and Ryan are just a waypoint on the route back.
In my opinion, the reason that America appears tired and beaten is that we have lost faith. I speak not only of faith in the religious sense but faith in America and what it has traditionally represented. History tells us that the current reductive political environment, one that began in the “anti-establishment” 1960’s, is an aberration in the long cycle of American growth and global dominance…and again, we see the easily drawn parallels between the rise of modern “progressivism” and the decline of America’s internal confidence and standing in the world. We are being eaten from the inside.
The news is full of stories of the underdog winning, the team without a prayer pulling the game out. Yesterday, the world of college football provided a perfect example illustrating this point. On Saturday, the University of Louisiana-Monroe from the SunBelt Conference lined up against SEC power and eighth ranked Arkansas on the Razorback’s home field in Little Rock. On paper, this is should not be close. Arkansas is in the top tier of arguably the premier conference in the country, the SEC having produced the last six consecutive Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national champions and has the current number one ranked team, Alabama. On paper, UL-Monroe had no chance. They were outmanned, had lesser talent and were in enemy territory to face an opponent who assumed that they were there to be overwhelmed. Arkansas likey saw this as a glorified practice game, a romp, an easy “W”.
And yet, little UL-Monroe won. In overtime. When they had no chance.
How? They had faith. They believed. Against all odds they believed that they could win. They kept fighting, kept executing their strategy, until the game was over.
This used to be called the “American spirit”, this ability to see triumph through the miasma of defeat, to accept defeats as a simple setback in the pursuit of a greater objective, to continue to persevere in the face of great strife. We once ran toward battle, not away from it. We were confident in ourselves, we wanted to be on point – we sought leadership instead of leading from behind.
There was a time when we made our own way, when accepting charity was a sign of appreciation and accepting welfare was a sign of shame. There was a time when success was exalted and desired, not vilified and shunned. There was a time when we were taught that the sky was the limit, not that our destiny was some sort of government supplied “safety net”. We were taught that everyone had a chance to succeed, not that parts of society simply could not and we must prepare to care for them for life.
There was a time when we refused to accept what others thought of us and looked to ourselves for our national self- esteem, not to the solons of Europe and the United Nations.
We are tired.
But like little UL- Monroe, we are far from finished.
We must restore faith in America and remember our faith in God. “Progressivism”, human secularism and the combined forces of all things communist must be defeated, for they are incompatible with the traditions of this country. This is an oath we must swear.
In the words of perhaps the last great Democrat, John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.