A great confusion is afoot – and it goes like this: Americans are polarized. This is bad. We must be civil. The best way to be civil is for conservatives and socialists to compromise, adopting a bit of the other’s views, changing but not too fast. Malarkey, claptrap, never…perish the thought!
In the days of yore, 40 or so years ago, Republicans were conservatives, and Democrats were almost Republicans. Men were men, women were women, and all knew the difference.
Warfighting was not about woke grammar but strength, acuity, courage, endurance, resilience, love of country, unit cohesion, and how to risk for the American beside you, those loved back home.
In those days, Americans defended free speech, religion, borders, gun rights, bar fights, and bathrooms for girls. A man who thought he was a woman had a problem, not a cause.
Most Americans despised debt, inflation, dependence, moochers, complainers, those who could work and didn’t, and anyone who wanted something for nothing. They were freeloaders, not activists.
Americans disliked dishonest political leaders – regardless of party, those who stuck around too long, got rich on the public dime, played fast and loose with the truth, and committed political crimes.
Back in those days – and years prior – presidents said things like “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid” (Ike), “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” and “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and enemy of growth” (JFK).
They said things like “If you take no risks, you win no victories” (Nixon), “Father and Mother had three rules – tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time.” (Ford), “To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others,” (Carter), and then we were blessed with Ronald Reagan.
A paragon of freedom, Reagan who won 49 states in 1984, the largest landslide since George Washington. His words echo. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” (Berlin Wall, which caged hundreds of millions in Soviet oppression).
Reagan was – far from compromising – one who spoke truth to power, which meant to the American people. He respected our sovereignty, individuality, compass, and love of freedom.
He taught us how to protect it, whether we counted ourselves as Democrats or Republicans. This is how and why he won, won again, and left office as one the most popular ever to serve.
He reminded us: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same or one day, we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States, where men were free.”
Reagan pulled no punches when asked to “converge” with the Soviets, to give communism a break. Unlike Mr. Biden, Reagan did not call oppression a “cultural difference.” He called it “evil.”
And this is where we come our time. Political divisions are unhealthy, unproductive, and endanger national security, if only because adversaries see us as weak when divided.
What is the answer? How do we get from division to the kind of unity that prevailed under virtually ALL those presidential tenures quoted above, from Ike and JFK to Carter and Reagan?
Why start with the idea that “convergence” with domestic radical change, cultural transformation, and power consolidation – essentially neo-Marxism – is a “no go?”
Because it is a “no-go.” Our nation must rediscover our roots’ basic understandings, which defined us during Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan – after and before.
This nation is premised on individual rights, constitutionally and irrevocably vested – not in government, not in groups, but in individuals.
The American Dream is about self-realization – not as a “this or that,” but as an amazing, miraculously created, unique for all time individual – and securing equal opportunities for all Americans to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That is it.
It is not more complicated than that. We do not converge with evil nor any ideology that diminishes the individual in favor of groups, power consolidation, or rule by an elite. We despise that and always have.
In closing, one is reminded of Winston Churchill. He was chided at the end of World War II by his media, urged to converge with communism, bow out of politics, become non-partisan, allow others to take the reins, and call it a day.
This prime minister, who sustained his nation against Nazism, reaffirmed history, and fortified his countrymen with fireside chats, speeches, and in Parliament – was told in 1945 by The Times of London – first, “become non-partisan,” second, “retire.”
What do you think he did? After a single malt and cigar, he brought the editor into his office. “Mr. Editor,” said the irrepressible Churchill, as to your first point, “I fight for my corner.” As to your second, “I leave when the pub closes.” And the meeting was over.
Good to be polarized? No, better unified. But are we putting principle aside for courtesy, ducking the inevitable fight for freedom and the future? Malarkey, claptrap, never, just perish the thought.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.
Read the full article here