“The End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)” – change – often happens slowly, even imperceptibly like water erosion and the creation of the Grand Canyon. Sometimes it happens suddenly, even explosively like the attack Pearl Harbor in 1941 that marked our entry into WWII; the atomic bomb that concluded WWII and heralded the Atomic Age; September 11, 2001 altered the world and us in ways that continue to shape us and the world. According to Relevant Magazine, “ The moments that resound with us the most are those that contain in them the greatest dissonance, the ones that jolt us from our comfort.”
However, Resistance to Change, sometimes called “RC Factor,” often causes us to adopt, in the words of Jonah Goldberg, best-selling author and columnist, “a granite-like faith that tomorrow will look a lot like today.” This is a “futuristic fantasy” that defies history and common sense. The past seven years of “hope and fundamental change” have already brought us a new normal.
America is facing an increasing array of increasingly complex challenges and threats including attacks from expansionist, rising foreign powers like Communist China and Russia; the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, one of the foremost, self-proclaimed enemies of the West and one of the most serious threats to stability in the Middle East and supporter of world-wide state-sponsored terrorism; rogue nuclear-armed states like North Korea and the growing threat of world-wide terror that has “quadrupled since 2001.”
The pain of observing the leaders of our nation downplay the seriousness of the “gathering storm” with strategies of appeasement and surrender is almost more than I can bear. The proper response was, is and always will be “Peace through Strength” – a policy long associated with Realpolitik (“actual”). Obama’s nuclear arms treaty with Iran and his vision of a post-nuclear world is a clear example of “Peace through weakness” and Unrealpolitik (my word), a term that I believe accurately describes Obama’s failed foreign policy initiatives.
We’re also facing threats from within – the implosion of our economic, social and moral order and cultural dissolution. We’re drifting towards the ‘disuniting (unraveling) of America’ along lines of politics, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, equality, privilege, assimilation, multiculturalism, political correctness – a confounding and divisive array of “identity politics” that’s leading us on a path toward the end of E pluribus unum, (“Out of many one”). One possible future is increasing chaos, depravity, lawlessness and eventual anarchy.
Can we set our partisan divides, identity politics, macro and micro aggressions, hurt feelings, political correctness and suppression of divergent thought and free (even if its hateful and offensive) speech aside and assume a viewing point above the fray instead of a point of view in the fray?
If the answer is “yes,” perhaps we can have a genuine conversation about Protecting and Preserving What Matters: the legacy of freedom and prosperity passed down to us from our Founding Fathers are now our legacy to pass on to future generations of Americans (not Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Socialists). Shame on us if we fail to prepare our youth for the responsibilities of citizenship!
Do not forget, our fundamental character is that we are Americans who are living in a nation that’s far from perfect but fixable because it’s the land of the free on account of the brave!
Do not grow weary fighting for America and wish her a Happy 239 Birthday!
By Mark A. Bernhardt, who is a military veteran, educator, concerned citizen, patriot and small business owner