Happy Birthday America
By Tom Dardick
The celebration of Independence Day brings me mixed emotions. I am enthusiastic about the celebration of America the ideal. But I am alarmed and dismayed that this ideal is not in good shape.
America is unique in all of human history. It is the only example of a brand new country formed upon the ideal that the rights of the individual supersede the rights of the collective. For its citizens, it established the ability to believe and worship as they saw fit.
It is often said that we are not a Christian nation, maybe not. But most Americans are either Christians or live by the morality given form through the teachings of Jesus. Our Constitution recognizes the truth that God our creator set forth natural laws and that it was the place of no governor or governing body to circumvent them. America is the lone historical example of such a code.
It paid off. America quickly rose to be the singular dominant moral, economic, political, and social force in the world. The story of America is the elevation of mankind from servitude and subsistence farming, a condition that hadn’t changed much over nearly the entirety of human history. Instead, many millions have been lifted into freedom and prosperity through the unleashing of the God-given potential that beats in the heart of every individual.
Most Americans underappreciate this. They’ve been taught that the collective is paramount. They may still have the innate American sense that government should not interfere in an individual’s daily life. But they’ve also been sold the lie that their value to the world is as a member of a demographic group. Too many think that they should live off of the system or that it is their duty to support those who do by paying personal tax. This is the philosophy behind such bankrupt concepts as social justice, group rights, and identity politics. These are the bases for ideologies such as communism and socialism, social constructs that have brought staggering levels of human suffering in the forms of Hitler’s National Socialism, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s Peoples’ Republic of China, and countless others.
Collectivist philosophy has given birth to policies and laws here in the U.S that damage morality, individual liberty, and economic well-being. It is why we have ransacked wealth from future generations for goodies today. The scale of the theft is so large that nobody really knows how much has been stolen. The national debt is nearly $19 trillion, but that leaves a whole bunch of stuff out, such as mandatory spending, unfunded liabilities, and the devaluation of the dollar. Estimates place the true toll at anywhere from $70 to $200 trillion. It’s a moral transgression of appalling grandeur.
Collectivist thought is not an enemy you can fight by force of arms. It is a spiritual battle. I do not believe this battle is lost, but we’re alarmingly close. The protections given by the Constitution are meaningless in the hands of a people who do not share the values upon which it was founded. Absent a resurgence of those values, the ideal of America will die.
You have a voice. How will you vote this election season?
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