By Don Feder – BarbWire guest contributor
Language-corruption is endemic. Sodomy is an “alternative life style,” jihad-murder is “workplace-related violence” and Catholic institutions not providing contraception through their health insurance are part of a “war on women.”
Even patriotism doesn’t mean what it once did. A patriot used to be Nathan Hale, Andrew Jackson, Sergeant York and Audie Murphy. Now we’re told that it’s patriotic to support whatever foreign policy idiocy an anti-American administration dreams up.
According to the most recent Pew Research Center survey, 52% completely agree with the statement: “I am very patriotic.” Another 36% “mostly agree.” But what does this mean? Delving a bit deeper, 69% say they’re “very likely” to sing the National Anthem, 59% to display the American flag on their home or car and 53% to attend a public celebration of the 4th of July.
But will America be saved by watching a parade pass by, singing the first verse of the National Anthem off-key or attaching a miniature flag on a car antenna? This is patriotism lite.
There’s something called the True Patriot Network which claims patriotism includes class envy (“The wealthy have rigged the game in Washington, so that we pay the rich to get richer”). Karl Marx, true patriot? One of the Network’s founder’s, Eric Liu (a White House speechwriter for Bill Clinton) is involved with an anti-gun initiative in Washington state. Think of what men with illegal firearms can do – like Lexington and Concord.
What does patriotism really mean? If you say you love America, what are you going to do about it?
Offered for your consideration, 10 Pillars of Patriotism – what the authentic patriot must support to reverse the process of national decline.
1. God – We are one nation under God, if we are anything at all. America is no accident. We could not have gone from 13 colonies clinging to the Atlantic coast to the preeminent world power in less than 230 years without the guiding hand of Providence. Rights come from God, not government. (“…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”)
The Bible tells us that if a people turn their back on God, He will turn His face from them. During the darkest days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln charged: “We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.” George Washington observed : “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
A reporter once asked Lincoln if God was on the side of the Union. Our 16th president replied that he had it backward; the question was: Were we on His side. We should strive toward that end.
2. The Constitution – The federal government is constrained, and rights guaranteed, by the Constitution, as it was written by the Founding Fathers and later amended, and not as interpreted by activist judges or nullified by a presidential pen.
The United States Constitution is the best instrument yet devised to protect human rights, prevent abuses of power and ensure orderly government. If the Declaration of Independence is America’s birth certificate, the Constitution is its operating manual.
Elitists hate the fact that the Constitution is impartial – not favoring one group over another – and is concerned primarily with restraining government rather than ordering the affairs of citizens. That’s why they’re forever telling us that our Constitution is outmoded.
3. The Free Market – The free market is as American as representative government. It has brought unparalleled prosperity to this nation and opportunity to its citizens. Supply and demand are the best way to allocate resources. The alternative is ideological rigidity or bureaucratic whim.
Private property and free enterprise are also bulwarks against tyranny. As the market has become less free, the liberty of the American people has been diminished. Those who get caught up in envy against the successful miss the point. It’s not about what any one of us earns relative to anyone else. The genius of the market is that it allows each of us to reach our potential.
Planned economy versus free economy is the difference between North and South Korea, East and West Germany (before reunification), Cuba and Costa Rica, and the U.S. economy under Reagan and Obama.
4. Limited Government – America was founded on the idea of limited government, that the state must be confined to certain clearly defined functions. The choice is limited government or government de luxe.
The idea that Washington can force us to buy anything, such as health insurance, is repugnant to the system of government established by the Founders.
Taxes should be limited to paying for the constitutional functions of government. As the welfare state takes more and more of our income (through taxation, regulation and inflation), it robs us of our time, our labor, and ultimately our lives – turning citizens into subjects.
5. Fiscal Responsibility – A government that consistently lives beyond its means has a short shelf-life. A people that refuse to restrain their appetites is doomed to extinction. The National Debt is the single greatest threat to our nation’s prosperity and stability. Interest on the debt consumes an ever greater portion of the federal budget, crowds out business borrowing and diminishes the value of income and savings through inflation.
Deficit spending is generational theft.
6. American Exceptionalism – For going on three centuries, America has been the greatest force for good in the world. We gave other nations a model of representative government to follow. Our factories and workshops provided the products and inventions that ushered in the modern age. By dint of our sacrifice, in the 20th. century we twice saved humanity from totalitarian nightmares.
A denial of American exceptionalism is based on ignorance, indoctrination, malice or membership in the Democratic Party.
7. Sovereignty – With ratification of the Constitution, the American people agreed to be governed by a system of divided authority and balanced powers. Ceding power to the United Nations, NATO or any other international body is a surrender of sovereignty.
A nation that won’t defend its borders has also abandoned its sovereignty. Immigration policy must be decided by the American people based on the national interest – not by elites and ethnic lobbies, based on political expediency, a misguided altruism or multicultural fantasies.
8. English – English is America’s language. Along with our common ideals, it’s the glue that holds together a diverse people. From the Mayflower Compact to the latest Congressional debates, America’s story has been told in English. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language….”
With English, we were able to take in tens of millions of immigrants in the past century and a half and successfully integrate them into our way of life, so that their children and grandchildren were as Americans as those whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower.
As we move from being an English-speaking people to a polyglot nation, we become fragmented along ethnic and racial lines. If it continues, the fate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire could be ours. Look at how well bilingualism works in Canada – where the majority is resentful and a separatist minority always wants more. After “press one for English,” it should be “press two for national suicide.”
9. National Security – Defending America is a sacred trust. We live in a world of predators – terrorists and barbarians with weapons of mass destruction. Liberty is guarded by men with guns who walk the ramparts.
Liberals have consistently robbed the defense budget to pay for welfare schemes and buy votes, trusting in “multilateralism” and international agencies for our security. In reality, guns trump fantasies every time. Thanks to Obama and his allies, our armed forces are now smaller than before Pearl Harbor – another of which we could be headed for.
Today, our foreign and defense policies are determined by those who have no faith in America and want to see the Republic too weak to act on its own.
10. The Family – Families keep America strong. The family is the cradle of civilization and incubator of civic virtue. Fatherless families are more of a threat to our long-term survival than international terrorism or rogue states.
Anything that undercuts the family weakens America. Divorce, cohabitation, voluntary childlessness and deconstructing the family by bestowing the designation on diverse living arrangements are an attempt to turn the family into a free-form institution and ultimately make it obsolete. Men fight to protect their families, not to advance abstractions. A society made up of atomized individuals is ripe for conquest.
More than displaying the flag or singing the first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner (ersatz patriotism), the authentic patriot understands his country’s history, appreciates its uniqueness and is committed to its defense by supporting the forces of unity and fighting those of disintegration.
The patriot is far-sighted. Like the Founding Fathers as they prepared to put pen to paper, the true patriot is instilled with a sense of destiny. Patriotism is a pledge to the past and a promise to the future.
Ronald Reagan spoke of “a rendezvous with destiny.” Our greatest president of the 20th century said in his historic 1964 speech: “We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
First published at GrasstopsUSA.com.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.