GrassTopsUSA Exclusive CommentaryBy Don Feder Thanksgiving 2010
â€¢ I am an American. After God, my highest loyalty is to this country.
â€¢ I believe America cannot remain one nation unless it is under God. America is no accident. From the beginning, it was intended by the Author of Liberty to fulfill a special role. We couldnâ€™t have gone from 13 disparate colonies clinging to the Atlantic coast to the worldâ€™s last remaining superpower in little more than 220 years without the guiding hand of Providence.
â€¢ Along with the Founding Fathers, I believe religion is the foundation of liberty, morality and representative government. The First Amendment was meant to protect religion from government and not the reverse. Whatâ€™s called the separation of church and state (words found nowhere in the Constitution and which would have confounded its drafters) is used not to separate church and state, but affect a divorce between government and Judeo-Christian values.
â€¢ I believe in the United States Constitution and in the system of government it established â€“ one of limited powers, inalienable rights, a balance of power and ordered liberty. I believe that the Constitution can only be amended as specified therein and never by judicial whim.
â€¢ I believe you donâ€™t have to be the dean of a law school or a Supreme Court Justice to understand the Constitution, just someone who has a sense of history, is logical and understands that words have objective meaning.
â€¢ I believe in a judiciary that interprets law, not one that makes law. Judges who distort the Constitutionâ€™s plain meaning to achieve their own ends have substituted their will for that of the voters and the Founders. They are enemies of the Constitution and the people, and should be impeached and removed from office.
â€¢ I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed in the Second Amendment and which is based on the right to life and the right to defend oneâ€™s life, family and property. Private ownership of guns is the protector of hearth and home and the guarantor of liberty.
â€¢ I believe in the right to life, from conception to natural death. It is the sacred duty of the state to protect innocent human life. Legalized abortion (state-sanctioned killing) is the beginning of the unraveling of the social order, which soon leads to euthanasia, infanticide and the rationing of medical services. It is an affront to the law of God and jeopardizes the rights of all.
â€¢ I believe in the free-market system as both the most efficient way to provide for human needs and the only economic system compatible with human rights and dignity. The free market is as American as the Constitution. It has brought unparalleled prosperity to this nation and opportunity to its citizens. Today, government is trying to kill that system to achieve utopian ends like â€œspreading the wealth.â€ Advocates of the omni-state detest capitalism for its impartiality. In place of a system which rewards hard work, ingenuity and risk-taking, it wants rewards based on political power, payoffs and favoritism.
â€¢ I believe in limited taxation to pay for the constitutional functions of government. As government takes more and more of an individualâ€™s income (through taxation, regulation and inflation), it robs him of his time, his labor, and ultimately his life â€“ turning citizens into subjects. What we have today isnâ€™t taxation as envisioned by the Founders, but plunder or serfdom.
â€¢ I believe the rich have as much right to their property as the rest of us. A system that penalizes the most productive among us retards economic growth and is a denial of equal treatment, on which this nation was founded.
â€¢ If left unchecked, I believe the National Debt and mega-deficits will demolish the economy and lead to a catastrophe on the order of the Great Depression. The National Debt is like a runaway train barreling down a track, picking up speed as it goes, hurtling toward a precipice at the end of the line. For the 60 years before 2008, federal revenue averaged 17.9% of Gross Domestic Product and spending averaged 19.6%. With a runaway leftist in the White House, weâ€™re now spending 25% of GDP, and collecting about 15%. It used to be said that we owed it to ourselves. Now, we owe a large part of it to the Chinese and Saudis, who will one day make demands that endanger our national security. Eventually, even Washingtonâ€™s ability to borrow will reach its limits. Then it will inflate the currency to the point where our economy, built on debt, comes crashing down. Say hello to Germany, 1921-1923.
â€¢ I celebrate Americaâ€™s heroes, history and heritage. I believe America has been the greatest force for good in the world for more than two centuries. Ask the penniless immigrants whose descendants achieved success in every field. Ask the Belgians, the people of Normandy, the Filipinos, the South Koreans and even the Japanese and Germans, whose cities and industry we rebuilt after World War II. Ask those liberated from Dachau and Buchenwald, who shed tears on the uniforms of American soldiers who saved them. A denial of American exceptionalism is based on ignorance, indoctrination or malice.
â€¢ I believe we need to begin teaching patriotism again. For decades, Hollywood, the news media, public education and academia have been enemy territory. Elitists have indoctrinated generations to blame-America first. This needs to be countered by a concerted effort to teach the young what America really means, and why love of this country is thoroughly justified.
â€¢ I believe political correctness is killing our country. National security, law enforcement and social stability are now subordinate to group sensitivity and spurious claims to equality. Scrutinizing passengers who are most likely to commit terrorist acts is decried as racial profiling. Recognizing the reality that married couples (men and women) do societyâ€™s vital work is said to offend those with alternative lifestyles. The military becomes a laboratory for social experiments. To raise the self-esteem of the aberrant, we willingly sacrifice cohesion and combat effectiveness. Political correctness has become a national suicide pact that ordinary Americans never agreed to.
â€¢ I believe in public service, not career politicians â€“ those who primarily serve themselves, at the public expense. The idea of an individual holding elective office for a quarter-century or more is obscene. Itâ€™s hard to say which is more of a threat to representative government: those who crave political power so much that they cling to it with a death-grip, or an electorate so feckless that it repeatedly gives it to them.
â€¢ I believe in the America of individual liberty, patriotism and honor. I believe in the America of George Washington and John Adams, of Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, of Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan.
â€¢ I honor the brave men who fought to defend America, as well as those who fight today â€“ from Concord to Yorktown, from Gettysburg to San Juan Hill, from the Argonne to the Bulge, from the Chosin Reservoir to the Tet Offensive, from Kuwait to Kabul. Politicians talk about freedom. Columnists write about it. Members of our armed forces bleed and often die to defend it.
â€¢ I stand with the Pilgrims, the Puritans and the Pioneers, the earliest settlers on these shores and the intrepid Americans who pushed west, settling this vast continent â€“ with the farmers and ranchers, the merchants and mechanics, the workers, entrepreneurs and inventors. America is a monument to their perseverance and vision.
â€¢ I believe a nation that cannot defend its borders has surrendered its sovereignty. Immigration issues should be decided by the American people based on the national interest â€“ not by political elites and activist judges, based on expediency, a misguided altruism, multicultural fantasies or a sense of guilt. The Statue of Liberty says â€œgive me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,â€ not give me your criminal class, your mooches, and those who refuse to assimilate -- all of them here illegally. I am outraged by driverâ€™s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal aliens. This isnâ€™t compassion but a slap in the face to hard-working, law-abiding Americans, including the immigrants who came here legally.
â€¢ I believe Americaâ€™s language is English. Along with our common ideals, itâ€™s the glue that holds together a diverse people. From the Mayflower Compact to the Declaration of Independence, from Washingtonâ€™s Farewell Address to Lincolnâ€™s Gettysburg Address, from the Constitution to the latest Congressional enactment, Americaâ€™s story has been written and spoken in English. I reject anything that detracts from the primacy of our mother tongue â€“ including bilingual education, bilingual ballots, â€œpress 1 for English,â€ and every other form of language pandering.
â€¢ I believe American identity is based on belief not blood â€“ heart and head â€“ not race, religion or ethnicity. An American is identified by what he believes, not the happenstance of birth. Everyone who believes what Americans have always believed, everyone who fights for America, is an American, regardless of how he worships, where he was born, or the color of his skin. In the words of Shakespeareâ€™s Henry V: â€œFor he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.â€
â€¢ I believe we need to stop dividing Americans along the lines of race and ethnicity and start uniting them. The more the nation is polarized as us-versus-them, the less likely we are to hang together in times of trouble. Multiculturalism and racial-identity politics teach minorities that they are members of a race, ethnicity or community first, and Americans second -- if at all. We need an electorate which will vote not as Latinos, blacks, workers, retirees, businessmen, etc., but as Americans for America.
â€¢ I believe the chattering class is rife with treason â€“ not treason as defined in law, but treason of the heart. They repudiate the ideals on which this country was founded, identify with our enemies and believe our history is an unbroken saga of exploitation, oppression, and imperialism. To justify their hatred of America, they re-write history and obsess about our mistakes, while ignoring our triumphs. The traitors in our midst run the gamut from the clergyman who calls on God to â€œdamnâ€ America and the college professor who glorifies the murder of American soldiers, to the filmmaker who uses his art to slander his country and the actress who made propaganda broadcasts for the enemy in time of war and lied about the treatment of American prisoners. If they despise America so much, why would it would take a bunker buster to get them to leave?
â€¢ I believe defending America must be the first priority of our national government. We live in a world of prowling predators â€“ barbarians with weapons of mass destruction. Thus it has been. Thus it will be, as long as human nature endures. The principal role of government is to protect us from savages at home and abroad. Liberty is guarded by men who walk the ramparts. Much as we may wish it were otherwise, a world at peace is a dangerous delusion. Pacifism, disarmament and internationalism are as irrational as imperialism and aggression.
â€¢ I believe that, ultimately, American security rests on the family. Families keep America strong. The family is the incubator of civic virtue. At its best, it passes patriotic values to the next generation. As much as our military, the family guards the flame of liberty. Who undermines the family â€“ including marriage â€“ subverts America.
â€¢ I believe Israel and America share a unique bond. In the course of human history, they are the only two nations where the vision preceded possession of the land. American values stretch back to Sinai, and come to the West through Jerusalem, Rome and Geneva. Absent Ancient Israelâ€™s encounter with God, there would have been no America. To turn our back on Israel would be to betray ourselves.
â€¢ I believe Islam is the deadliest foe confronting America. Terrorism is almost the exclusive province of Islamists. Islam is the religion of peace the way German is the language of diplomacy. Orthodox Islam is an ideology at war with American values â€“ religious tolerance, equality before the law and non-aggression. September 11, 2001 was not Islamâ€™s declaration of war on America, but a milestone in a clash of civilizations thatâ€™s been going on for over 1,300 years. What fascism was during the â€˜30s and â€™40s, what communism was from 1917 through the Cold War, Islamism is today.
â€¢ I believe America needs patriots as never before. Defeatism and disengagement are unacceptable. Each of us owes this country far more than we can ever repay. To withdraw from the fray is a betrayal of the patriots who came before us â€“ the Continental soldiers who left bloody footprints in the snow on Washingtonâ€™s retreat from New York, the patriots who starved and froze at Valley Forge, the patriots who stormed Cemetery Ridge (and those who held the ridge), the Lost Battalion of the Argonne, the Marines on Guadalcanal, the heroes who landed on Omaha Beach under withering fire, the Battling Bastards of Bastogne, those who fought with the sword and those who fought with the pen, those who first beheld this blessed land with tear-filled eyes, and those who refused to give up when all seemed lost.
â€¢ God bless America, if not for ourselves then for our fathers. If this generation is less worthy of His blessing, may He remember the generations that came before us, going back to Plymouth and Jamestown. God make us worthy of your blessings. When we live up to our national motto â€“ In God we trust â€“ then will we truly deserve to be blessed. Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.