08 Mar TO THOSE TEMPTED TO GIVE UP ON SAVING AMERICA
At two of my recent talks, audience members asked variations of the same question: Is the America we love already lost?
They were deadly serious about the question, and genuinely despairing that the answer, they believe, is yes.
They were also clearly among those I would call ‘ordinary Americans’, not in the sense of having ‘average’ abilities or income or intelligence, but in the sense of having what most Americans have long grasped as a matter of ‘ordinary’ common sense: that America as founded really is an exceptional nation, built on individual freedom and responsibility in ‘one nation under God’. They were not ‘fringe’ people; not ‘extremists’. Both were and are, simply, Americans.
The answer to their question is emphatically: NO.
The despair that the answer might be ‘yes’ is completely understandable, but we as Americans must buck each other up—‘speak up for America’—and, as Winston Churchill once said, ‘never, never, never give up’.
America’s founding ideals are grounded in ‘self-evident’ truths: that all men (and women) are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator (a/k/a God) with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These truths never change; they are not outgrown and they are not superseded. And they have blessed America like no other nation on earth when they are the revered ‘north star’ of American governance. But they just seem to periodically go out of focus among the American people, until some shock causes a sharp re-focusing.
The cumulative shock of seven years of radical leftist leadership is causing that re-focusing now. The American people are awake and awakening as never before.
If you’re tempted to believe all is lost, there are many reasons to resist, and we’ll be addressing them from time to time on this site. But here is a brief sampling to consider:
First, historians are pretty consistent in estimating that, at the time of the American Revolution, only about one-third of the colonists supported the Revolution. About one-third opposed it, and the other third were ambivalent. As American patriot Samuel Adams once said, “it does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
In the fall of 2015, there is overwhelming evidence that there is an irate and tireless group of Americans who are keen on freedom and love for their country, and we believe this group is well over the one-third of the nation that drove the American Revolution.
Second, the media’s portrayal of polarized and divided and racist America is flat out false, and cannot and must not be allowed to drive anyone’s outlook into despair about the prospects of preserving America.
Consider a recent weekend in August: 30,000 Americans of all shapes and sizes and races and gender gathered in Birmingham, Alabama, to march in a demonstration of love and support for America under God; while about 300 Americans gathered in Minneapolis as part of a ‘black lives matter’ protest against police behavior.
That’s about a 100 to 1 ratio favoring unity over division, not 50/50; and the gathering and the message of Birmingham was unity and love among all Americans—the opposite of racism. But the mainstream media didn’t cover the Birmingham event; it was as if it never occurred. Keep that in mind the next time the media reports anything –most especially including polling data—about the attitudes of the American people.
Third, faith has always played a role in America’s journey. The founders pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor—and many had the pledge fully called—but they didn’t know when they signed the Declaration of Independence whether they would succeed. George Washington went to his knees in prayer at Valley Forge, and he didn’t know how the crossing of the Delaware would come out. Abraham Lincoln didn’t know if the Union could be preserved when he took office. FDR didn’t know how WWII would come out on December 8, 1941. Ronald Reagan didn’t know what the Soviet Union would do when confronted with the strategic defense initiative.
Each of these leaders experienced doubt and probably even despair in the course of answering the call to duty to protect and defend America. But each of these leaders had an implicit faith that there was a power greater than themselves that lay behind the founding of America. And they went forward to fight for these right ideas, confident that there was in fact a higher power—the founders called it ‘divine Providence’—that would empower them and impel them to victory.
Our times call for the same faith, the same answering of the call of duty, the same refusal to quit or give in to despair. We stand on the shoulders of Americans who did no less; we owe them no less.