by Allan Erickson
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
—Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.
Much has been written about the two kinds of Americans: rich and poor, white and non-white, Red and Blue, Right and Left, traditional and post modern, religious and agnostic, and on and on with the duality dance.
In truth, there are probably 10, or 50 or 100 Americas. This country is so vast and so diverse she challenges anyone’s attempt to put her in a box with a label or two. Still, given politics, and different ideas about our purpose, it can be said we have divided into two increasingly warlike camps. These camps have been locked in struggle for the soul of the country for at least 50 years.
One camp—considered New Age—was born in the post WWII era, was raised in the 50s, came of age in the 60s, and launched a new vision of America, something dramatically different from what had gone before, a ‘counter culture,’ in short, a systematic repudiation and contradiction of every element of traditionalism premised upon the notion America is inherently evil—racist, sexist, imperialistic, jingoistic. It is supposed, in this camp, these ills can only be cured by a purging of all things Judeo-Christian and free market and military, and government is the logical agent to exact this purging. This camp—what this writer calls Americans in Name Only (AINO)—-has worked hard to successfully conquer and control government, education, media, entertainment and publishing. Consequently, tax dollars fund legal advocacy groups that tear down the Ten Commandments, insist the Boy Scouts allow homosexual leaders, force gay marriage through judicial activism, deny rights to the unborn, codify assisted suicide and employ the arm of law enforcement to stifle free speech and enforce new codes of politically correct behavior. Ultimately, conformity and control are the tools used to build the new ‘consensus,’ by force, if necessary, some might say, King George in a different robe, bearing the likeness of Karl Marx. These AINOs are the driving force behind the Obama candidacy, with the help of foreign powers.
The other camp—considered Old Hat— was born somewhere before and during WWII, raised in various times of struggle and depravation, coming of age even today in the hearts and minds of ten year olds. Sadly, members of that greatest generation are dying off rapidly, their torch-bearers now minority voices dominated by Media, Malibu and Manhattan.
This second camp we can call Traditionalists. How do we define traditional Americanism in this pluralistic society? One might be tempted to gaze on Norman Rockwell paintings in a kind of nostalgic exercise to capture a sense of traditionalism, risking hyper romanticism. Another might embrace the 40s or the 1830s or 1776 to find strands of traditionalism. Yet, traditional Americanism is not a place, or a painting or a period of time. Traditional Americanism lives in a set of simple ideas and essential virtues: Liberty, Equality, Justice, Goodness, Charity, Opportunity, Hope, Promise, Community, Volunteerism, Fidelity, Honor, Faith, Prudence, Restraint, Service, Economy, Individualism, Self-Reliance, Family. Revisionists will scream, but the truth is, our moral life blood has always flowed from Judeo-Christian traditions, not from an embrace of Universalism according to contemporary, popular belief.
Based on their understanding of the Laws of Nature and the Presence of the Creator, the Founders struggled to birth our country. First, by shedding blood to throw off the domination of England, then by sweat and tears to form the government, followed by more sweat and tears and sometimes blood arguing what emphasis to place: strong central government or states’ rights, isolationist foreign policy or expansionist engagement, government setting the pace in promoting social change versus change from the bottom up by the people informing government as they worked it out for themselves. The dynamics shifted here and there, back and forth, and continue today. The miracle of this experiment conducted by free and independent people is just that, a miracle.
Like all things, this miracle has a life span and will be replaced by something else, something less, as the Miracle Worker is displaced.
What the Founders feared most has come to pass: we have created an enormously powerful federal government now presiding over a desperately split and antagonistic population. Combine this reality with looming bankruptcy, and unprecedented foreign threats, and we are found standing on the edge, staring into the abyss.
We have traveled very far afield from our roots. And if the polls are correct, we insist on traveling further. At a time when proven traditional Americanism should wisely inform our proceedings to affect our salvation, like stubborn children, we appear insistent on an alternative path, one that suggests implementing methods already shown failures: larger government, more taxation, government-prescribed social engineering, central control of the economy, attempts to appease enemies, weakened national defense, erosion of family and morality. Will we actually sell our birthright for a bowl of stew, and healthcare?
Do we really think it wise and enlightened to place faith in government instead of our proven track record walking in the traditions of our Fathers? Did not our Revolution contradict the idea government is the solution, either monarchy or democracy? Have we fallen so far as to demonize a good woman like Sarah Palin and exhalt a person like Barack Obama, a man who won’t even take a stand for the civil rights of babies who survive abortion?
By putting Sen. Obama in the White House, we will be saying we have crossed over, from being primarily a country of Traditionalists, to Americans In Name Only. We will have placed our feet on a new threshold. The path beyond is grimly lit. Yet, one thing is certain, we will, in doing this, squander the liberty purchased and sustained by so many, for so long. We will, in doing this, say to our Creator, ‘You are no longer the centerpiece of this Republic, but merely a side show, and a tenuous one at that.’
Toward the end of his life our second President John Adams said to us:
“Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.”
Are we then making good use of this great freedom by handing it over to those who would destroy it?
Our third President Thomas Jefferson said:
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” And, “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
Timid people fail to preserve freedom, and rather, accept the calm of despotism by electing Barack Obama. Therefore, to recapture liberty, there will be tempestuous seas ahead, or a passing away of the Miracle, forever.
NOTE THE NEW DESPOTISM
They joined “the tradition of the great killers.”
Eliminating 25 Million Americans