HOW TO BE A PATRIOT â€“ A 12-STEP PROGRAMGrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary By Don Feder 07-13-09
Patriotism isnâ€™t a seasonal occupation â€“ something to be packed away with the flags and bunting until next year â€“ not if you care about your country. Defending America is a year-round, 24/7 cause that requires knowledge, stamina and commitment.
Especially in our hour of peril, with a doctrinaire leftist in the White House, who is, at the very least, indifferent to his countryâ€™s fate (thatâ€™s Americaâ€™s, not Kenyaâ€™s) â€“ think Michael Moore on Slim Fast, think George Soros without the creepy, Transylvanian accent â€“ now more than ever before, we need to raise up a new generation of patriots.
If youâ€™re wondering where to begin, you can start here:
1. Know your countryâ€™s history â€“ You canâ€™t defend America if you donâ€™t understand America. American history is barely taught in high school and rarely taught in college. A 2000 poll by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni gave seniors at elite colleges and universities a D or F grade on a high-school level history test. (Only 22% knew that â€œOf the people, by the people and for the peopleâ€ came from the Gettysburg Address.) Read history by authors who believe in America â€“ â€œA History of the American Peopleâ€ by Paul Johnson; â€œAmerica: The Last Best Hopeâ€ (2 volumes) by William Bennett, and â€œA Patriotâ€™s History of the United Statesâ€ by Schweikart and Allen. The more you read, the more youâ€™ll believe, and the more youâ€™ll want to fight.
2. Tell Americaâ€™s story â€“ Especially to the young. And a glorious saga it is, from the Mayflower Compact to the Continental Congress, from Bull Run to the Bulge and Baghdad, from Washingtonâ€™s Farewell Address to Ronald Reaganâ€™s â€œA Time for Choosingâ€ speech and beyond. Remind Americans that our national holidays mean something. Washingtonâ€™s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving arenâ€™t there just to give them a three-day weekend, but to strike what Lincoln called the â€œmystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone.â€
3. Stop the slander â€“ The left has made an art of defaming America, especially among the young and susceptible. Anti-Americanism is inculcated in public education, academia, and the entertainment and news media. The contagion is spread through multiculturalism, historical revisionism, magnifying our mistakes and ignoring our triumphs. The left insists that we perpetually repent for slavery â€“ an institution that existed everywhere for most of recorded history. America is the only nation that fought a Civil War (in which more than 600,000 died) to abolish this evil. Students wonâ€™t hear that from the time-servers of the National Education Association, who are too busy sex-educating and global-warming indoctrinating to bother with Nathan Hale and Omaha Beach.
4. Defend the Constitution â€“ Not the Constitution a la William J. Brennan, David Souter and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg â€“ the fantasy Constitution of judicial activists that permits late-term abortion but forbids public display of the Ten Commandments -- but the Constitution that protects freedom of speech (whether or not The New York Times likes that speech), the right to profess a belief in God in public places, our right to keep and bear arms, and a government of limited powers. Speak out against hate-crimes laws, gun control legislation, efforts to socialize the economy, attempts to regulate speech on talk-radio and the Internet, and the confirmation of Quota Queen and â€œwise Latina womanâ€ Sonia Sotomayor.
5. Know that we are still very much â€œOne Nation Under Godâ€ (Not Allah) â€“ America was founded by Christians on Judeo-Christian principles â€“ witness multiple references to God in the Declaration of Independence, in the words of Madison, Adams et al., and in lyrics from â€œin God is our trustâ€ in the National Anthem to Mr. Berlinâ€™s â€œGod Bless America.â€ The Founders were inspired by a uniquely Biblical worldview â€“ liberty, equality under the law, charity, and representative government. Because of this spiritual legacy, America had a greater impact on the last two centuries than any other nation. Without it, America makes no sense. A nation canâ€™t be strong â€“ militarily or economically â€“ if itâ€™s weak spiritually. The patriot should work for public display of religious symbols, the return of prayer to the public schools, and a public acknowledgement on the role religion played, and continues to play, in our national life. Whatever his faith, the patriot must counter the presidential big lie that we are no longer a Christian nation, but are deeply indebted to Islam.
6. Free the Market â€“ Thereâ€™s a reason why Europe has stagnated in the post-War era while America has generally prospered. We believe in individual achievement, income-mobility, celebrating success and private property. They believe in class warfare, envy, resentment, â€œleisureâ€ (as a life- goal), welfare and collectivism. Now, we have a President â€“ who knows even less about economics than national security -- committed to the European model. As much as Judeo-Christian values and the family, capitalism defines who we are as a people, and why America has worked so well for so long.
7. Demand an End to Illegal Immigration â€“ As Ronald Reagan noted, a nation that has lost control of its borders has lost its sovereignty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, immigrants (who accounted for one household in 21 in 1970) now represent one in 8 American households. How many immigrants incapable of assimilation can the country take in? With illegal immigration, we donâ€™t know whoâ€™s coming here, and which of the intruders are hard-core criminals or terrorists. The man who loves his family will protect his home from invasion. The man who loves his country will protect it from invaders. That means opposing any more amnesties, in-state tuition and driversâ€™ licenses for illegals, and demanding enforcement at and beyond the border.
8. Insist on English â€“ In 2007 more than 55 million people in the United States were living in households where a language other than English was spoken. There are powerful forces working to turn America into a bi-lingual (or multilingual) nation â€“ including bureaucrats, business interests and ethnic lobbying groups. English is the linguistic glue that holds our country together. All of the documents on which America was founded were written in English. Without a common tongue, dissolution is inevitable. The patriot will oppose bi-lingual education, bi-lingual ballots and language pandering. Pressing a number for a language other than English shouldnâ€™t be an option.
9. Defend the Family â€“ America canâ€™t be strong without strong families. The family is the incubator of civic virtues, including patriotism. Functional families are the foundation for a nation that works. Every social ill that afflicts America â€“ drug abuse, crime, poverty, illegitimacy, etc. â€“ has its roots in family breakdown. Families are the first line of national defense.
10. Support Israel â€“ America and Israel are two countries joined at the heart â€“ more intimately connected than any others, including the U.S. and the U.K. America was founded on the vision first glimpsed at Sinai. Without ancient Israel, there would have been no America. Without America (circa 1948), there would have been no modern State of Israel. The same Marxists and Islamacists who would destroy Israel also have America in their sights. The Hussein in the White House is doing his best to undermine Israel and jeopardize its survival. (His spiritual mentor accuses Israel of â€œgenocide.â€) To betray Israel is to betray ourselves.
11. Know that Americaâ€™s survival is at stake â€“ What happens next year will determine Americaâ€™s fate â€“ perhaps for all time. Instead of fighting a war on terror, Obama is deploying WMDs against the economy. He just agreed to cut our nuclear arsenal by a third â€“ based on the word of Putinâ€™s puppet. He is working to spread Marxism in Latin America and Islam worldwide. He is determined to make a majority of Americans dole-addicts, and to leave America vulnerable to its enemies. With his partyâ€™s super-majorities, the United States Congress has become the rubber-stamp equivalent of Chinaâ€™s National Peopleâ€™s Congress. 2010 is a hill that must be taken. Otherwise, the sacrifices of generations of patriots that came before us, all the way back to Valley Forge, will all have been in vain.
12. Donâ€™t despair â€“ In the words of Winston Churchill: â€œNever, never, never quit.â€ Donâ€™t say itâ€™s all hopeless because the all-powerful media serves as an adjunct White House Press Office, because Obama is subsidizing a partisan army from the Treasury, because the Party of Treason has 60 votes in the Senate, because billionaire Bolsheviks like George Soros bankroll groups like Move-On.org, because Michael Jackson-worship reflects the degeneration of American culture, or because many of our fellow Americans are too dumb or apathetic to understand whatâ€™s happening. Consider the odds Washington faced in the winter of 1776, when the fate of the patriot cause hung by a thread. Imagine what it was like to be a G.I. wading ashore under withering fire on D-Day. With God on our side and a firm faith in the justice of our cause, we cannot lose â€“ or, in the words of The Star-Spangled Banner, â€œThen conquer we must, when our cause it is just.â€
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.