Is America an exceptional nation? President Obama does not think so. He seems determined to take America down from the heights—and for reasons inscrutable teach her a hard lesson in humility. When asked this question during the 2008 election the president replied that Americans believe in American exceptionalism just as the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism, and so on and so forth—until the last clutch of human beings in a remote corner of the earth proclaim their exceptionality. For the president, American exceptionalism is a myth, and more likely a species of cultural chauvinism, a manifestation of chest beating machismo, or another white, protestant Anglo-Saxon cult who, as we know, cling tightly to their guns and bridle at those who don’t look just like them.
It is difficult to excise love of country from a discussion of American exceptionalism. We who love our country, of course, say yes America is exceptional; and perhaps add a “Duh” to leftists who are infected by a disease of irrationalism that compels them to characterize America as the diabolical font of all evil. It is a symptom of this disease that those who decry America are even now enamored of Mao Zedong’s Communist state, the dictator Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Cuba’s communist island prison. Indeed, a few years ago, five members of our black caucus, returning from a visit to Fidel Castro, could not say enough delightful things about this brilliant man, this murderer and communist tyrant, this splendid dancer of the cucaracha. In an ignorant manifestation of historical irony—a large, amorphous class of Americans don Che Guevara tee shirts in honor of a Cuban executioner whose number one goal was to drop a Russian atomic bomb on New York City—for starters.
Presently, of course, the progeny of those who celebrated Stalin and suppressed the fact of his starvation of eight to ten million Ukrainians—the New York Times’ Walter Duranty for example—now condemn America’s perfidy for shooting and killing Osama Ben Laden, for the failure to read him his Miranda rights—and oh, for the well… well, for very rude unfairness of it all. American leftists predictably joined with Muslim terrorists to criticize America for alleged doctrinal mistakes made in a Muslim funeral service for the now deceased Osama Bin Laden. While the president ordered that the service be performed on an American aircraft carrier, a signal honor in itself, still he felt compelled to reiterate, to reassure ad nauseam those terrorists who have not yet met with American justice that Bin Laden was treated as a man of “respect”—however gruesome and bullet riddled was his shroud draped worthless corpse.
When an American thinks of the “respect” an American President and the Navy he commands accorded a murderous coward, he must, and he should recall the image of his victims incinerated in the Twin Towers—and those who fell to their deaths to escape the flames. Michael Moore, a moronic darling of the Democrat party, a man never at a loss for the mouthing of cock eyed inanities, blessed us with yet another nugget of his wisdom. You see, when a Navy Seal tapped two well-placed slugs into Bin Ladin’s brain, and when this information onerously worked its way through the brain of Michael More he exclaimed that it was actually Bin Ladin who won. Well really! Well, Mikey who would you rather be a Seal warrior or a terrorist corpse.
Frankly, we will not discover American exceptionalism in the likes of Michael Moore and others of his kind who make a career out of hating America. Neither will we find it in a President who repudiates the very idea of American exceptionalism, a president who is more comfortable apologizing for American sins real and concocted and reaching out to her enemies.
That said Americans should not rely strictly upon America’s past exceptionalism. Our Founders created an exceptional Constitution, the envy of the world and the object of leftist deconstruction. America is exceptional because 55,000 American soldiers birthed in their own blood, a free and thriving South Korea. South Korean soldiers also fought and died bravely in the hope that Korea would be again one nation. Tragically, Communist North Korea is now an oriental dynasty run by a mad man and peopled by lost and hungry human slaves. A free Europe exists. But were it not for America and Americans Europeans by now would probably be speaking German or Russian.
Americans who love their country are inclined to think that exceptionalism runs in the American blood. They believe that exceptionalism is an indestructible heritage bought and paid for in the blood of martyrs, a by-product of American genius, economic power and her enlightened political leaders. I do not speak of those presently in office. But there are, tragically, unspeakable signs of America’s decline.
- America has embraced socialism. But socialist nations are doomed to mediocrity. Socialism corrupts constitutions and the restraints they impose to contain the rapacious powers of central government. We may recall the history of European National Socialism in the war torn twentieth century and today in the dying European Union. The Soviet Union collapsed because socialism (communism) produced, instead of the promised materialist Valhalla, a land of misery and poverty, slave labor and despair, gulags and soul-destroying genocide. In light of Stalin’s imposition upon a Russian people of secular atheism and his mass destruction of Greek Orthodox monasteries, it is a splendid and poetic irony, and as well a triumph of the human spirit, that more than 80 percent of all Russians, more than any European nation, adhere to a Christian faith.
- A nation is doomed that ignores or flagrantly repudiates the rule of law. But Utah has created a “Guest Worker” program that defies federal law, an amnesty bill in all but name.
- In Wisconsin 14 state senators who swore an oath to uphold their state constitution and the rule of law, breached their oath and fled the state to prevent a vote that would curtail collective bargaining. The state Union then spent two million dollars to defeat the reelection of a state Supreme Court justice so as to place on the highest state court a judge whose rulings they had every reason to believe they had paid for in hard cash.
- 5000 people, who are not American citizens, voted in the last Colorado Election. They knew their vote was illegal. They voted anyway. Why were they permitted to vote? Where is the furor? What is to be done? President Obama, while seeking the vote of Hispanics in El Paso Texas stood on American soil and speechified beneath a towering flag—not an American flag but the flag of Mexico.
- Less than half of Detroit children are able to graduate from high school. Dr. Tom Sowell informs us that colleges are progressively (pardon the pun) teaching soft courses and subjects that were once taught in high school. A sign posted somewhere announces pathetically: “I have an M.A, in English; I will mow lawns.”
- Our own University of Colorado, and other universities across the land are sponsoring a seminar entitled “White Privilege.” There is a rumor that following the ‘White Privilege” program University of Colorado professors, most particularly those of the left—which is to say most of them—will discuss a common, fascinating and now progressive theme as it appears in White Privilege and in that great international epic “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
- An entire school district in Arizona has defied a state law prohibiting the indoctrination of American children into an ethnic cult that preaches hatred of America, her people and their institutions. The course pitches the dogma that America and Americans are profoundly evil. The course, Hispanic centered, teaches as if it were reality the existence of a mystical Aztec nation that occupied the land that is now the United States and in the ancient of days administered a government centered in justice and compassion—until destroyed by Americans. In passing, the teacher characterizes the Founding Fathers and the Puritan immigrants as genocidal maniacs. Teenaged school children invading a public meeting screamed, shouted, slammed their fists upon the table and otherwise engaged in lurid manifestations of unadulterated hate. Their teacher mounted a table and with hands waving about orchestrated and fine-tuned the volume of their malice.
- An American government that imposes an unconscionable tax burden on Americans imposed another tax in excess of 14 trillion dollars. The tax is also known as the deficit. President Obama, in an address to the nation, admitted that the parties when they imposed a deficit tax had “lost their way” not the president you understand but the parties. Lost their way! There should be a Nobel Prize for the creation of this new euphemism for corruption.
- Finally, while Christianity and Judaism are by degrees banned from the company of “rational” people, adolescents are indoctrinated into the joys of lethal sexual practices. Pornography now enjoys the protection of the First Amendment as young girls and boys are brutally exploited by an amoral, disease ridden porn industry. On the other hand, the ancient institution of marriage, a permanent covenant between one man and woman, is under savage attack by gay rights groups and by predatory judges who make a mockery of the law, the robes that they wear, the gavel they hold and the Constitution they mock as they pretend to serve justice.
Champions remain exceptional only when they embrace the virtue and discipline of champions. And champions make “come backs.” But coming back is not easy. Indeed, history teaches a bitter lesson: for Champions and nations alike there comes a time w hen all hope is lost.
Americans must not rest on past glories. An exceptional America is like a champion boxer. The champion is exceptional only when he strives to maintain himself in perfect physical condition, commits himself entirely to the strategies of offense and defense, to the practice of virtue, courage, martial excellence, and the bloody exigencies of the ring. When the champion abandons his commitment to the disciplines of moral and rational excellence, he is by that act of self betrayal damned to defeat and ignominy. He may speak of halcyon moments of triumph but he is no longer a champion.
This was the fate of proud and ancient Rome, a Rome that proclaimed its divine ownership of eternity. But Rome is long dead: A ghost enshrined in broken columns, armless statues, silent amphitheaters, debased coins and bloody myths.