"Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands." — Thomas Jefferson
Last week I attended a Fourth of July parade in a city near me. I was pleased to see so many people lining the curbs as the bands, floats, antique automobiles, and mounted patrols marched by. It reminded me of the days of my youth when my dad would take me to the Cleveland Municipal Stadium on the Fourth to watch reenactments of WWII battles and the fireworks. It was a time when it felt good to be an American.
Recently I complete an on-line course from Hillsdale College on the Constitution. I not only learned things about our Founders and their thinking on issuing the Declaration of Independence, writing the Constitution, and something called the American Mind it was a very enjoyable experience.
America’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of “the American mind.” Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration—to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator. (See my blog on the meaning of the Fourth of July by clicking here)
America is a nation of immigrants, people came here for a multitude of reasons as my grandparents and my father and daughter-in-law did. No other country in the world is comprised of as many immigrants as the United States. When these immigrants came to this country they were not Americans by birth and made a purposeful choice to become Americans. In doing so they became citizens by swearing allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the nation. Once the judge announced their citizenship it was a valid as any person born here. The only thing these naturalized citizens could not do was be president or vice president of the United States. No nation in the world has such a system of government. If you were not born in Germany, France, Switzerland or Japan you are not considered German, French, Swiss or Japanese. This is not the case in the United States. Once you willfully take that oath of citizenship you are an American. There is no ethnic American – people are born to be Germans, French or Japanese, they choose to be Americans.
Lately some of this enthusiasm for America has been lost. People don’t feel good about being an American. We are constantly bombarded by politicians and the media on our flaws and blemishes. We are told we are not exceptional—even by our President—and the principles expressed in our Declaration and Constitution are outmoded. Patriotism is scoffed at by the intellectuals and some in the media. Many school children are no longer taught about our Declaration or Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance and Preamble to the Constitution are no longer recited as they are considered to be insensitive to the culture of immigrant children. This political correctness, a product of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, is destroying the American Mind.
Our lase cheerleader for America was Ronald Reagan. He could make you feel good about being an American and by doing so brought the people of this nation together. This drove his critics in the media and academia crazy. His mastermind critics labeled him as uneducated, a flag waver, and a hollow person yet in the 19984 election he won 49 of our 50 states. Only Minnesota, the home state of his opponent Walter Mondale, voted against him.
Lloyd Marcus writes in American Thinker when comparing Reagan to his father, the first black firefighter on the Baltimore fire department:
“Dad once commented to me how it saddened him to see the deterioration of standards in the fire department -- firefighters being slapped on the wrist for not showing up for their shift and for serious lapses of character.
Dad, now 84, is very much like Ronald Reagan. Both men came up the hard way and worked for everything they got. Both epitomized the American Dream. Reagan was an eternal optimist; so is my dad. Reagan loved laughter and jokes. Dad, who lives in Maryland, calls me in Florida to tell me his latest joke. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to still laugh at dad's corny jokes.
Dad is a good guy. Am I naïve or old-fashioned, expecting the good guy to win? Has America changed so dramatically that being good -- a person of character -- is considered naïve?
Public schools are teaching our children that patriotism is ignorant and prejudiced -- rude to the rest of the world. These schools force Gay Pride Day down our kids' throats. But wearing a t-shirt to school with the U.S. flag on it is banned, considered offensive. They teach our kids songs praising Obama while banning "God Bless the USA."
So where are the prominent voices who are standing up and celebrating the goodness and greatness of America? Reagan always touted the goodness of America and how God is with us. Michael Reagan said his dad was America's last great cheerleader. Sadly, I must agree.
Sarah Palin has stood up touting the greatness of America, and look what the Obama administration and the mainstream media have attempted to do to her. Disgracefully, millions of ill-informed Americans view Palin as a nutcase far-right extremist.
Think about that, folks. Because Palin boldly stands up for traditional family values, God, and country, the left has tried to crucify not only Palin herself, but also her entire family. Showing more "kahonies" than many Republican males, Palin continues to be a relentless cheerleader for Ronald Reagan's and my dad's America. But Sarah Palin is only one courageous woman. To conquer the shock-and-awe assault on our country by Obama and his media minions, we need an army of cheerleaders.
To pass patriotism on to our children and our children's children, we need many more American cheerleaders -- teaching character, hard work, education, and the goodness and greatness of this extraordinary, unique, successful experiment called America.”
I could not agree with Mr. Marcus more. Every time I see Sarah Palin on TV she has a positive message about America. This was Margaret Thatcher’s way of being the longest serving prime minister in Great Britain—she made people feel good about being British and by doing so pulled her nation out of a deep recession and drift towards radical socialism.
Palin does the same thing in America. She constantly expresses the American Mind and touts our exceptionalism as Reagan did. Her intellectual critics in academia and the media despise her for this. She is considered a flag waving boob who knows nothing of the world. Yet she managed to serve as mayor of a city and governor of Alaska. When the dull and lackluster John McCain was running for president against the hope and change jingoism of Barack Obama he drew crowds in the hundreds. When Palin joined him on the campaign trail the crowds spiraled to the thousands. People wanted to hear Palin, not McCain. This drove his managers crazy to the extent that their jealously was at the root of their reproaches of Palin.
Do I believe Palin could be president? Perhaps, but not now. The media and masterminds have done such a good job at bombarding her and her family with unfair and untrue criticisms. Sarah Palin is smart enough to know that this is not yet her time. On the other hand I believe she has a role to play at the Republican convention and on the campaign trail with Romney. If he does not take advantage of Palin’s popularity he is not the clever businessman he claims to be. What should matter to Romney and his managers is getting elected, not who captures the spotlight at any given moment.
When the masterminds in the media and academia talk about Palin’s lack of intellectual acumen I think back on the “intellectual” perspicacity of our Founders. How intellectual was Patrick Henry when uttered his famous phase; "Give me Liberty, or give me Death” or Thomas Paine when he authored his pamphlet Common Sense, a book that George Washington used to inspire his troops at Valley Forge? How “intellectual” was Abraham Lincoln when he penned the Gettysburg Address or Ronald Reagan when he said; “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall”—a statement his advisors did not want him to make? Please don’t confuse intellectualism with wisdom —they are the same. Woodrow Wilson was considered an “intellectual” and look what he did. Barack Obama is considered by his both his supporters and opponents as the smartest president ever and look what he has done?
I will take wisdom, energy, and enthusiasm over intellectualism every day of the week. We need more cheerleaders for America and perhaps Sarah Palin can show the way.