by John Eberhard
I have thought for several years that America needed a new goal.
The original goal of this country, creating a place where all individuals could enjoy personal liberty and prosperity, was basically achieved at the end of the Civil War. Now all people, including blacks, could enjoy the promises of liberty made by the Founding Fathers.
Then after Reconstruction was over, basically America needed a new goal. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many latched onto the newest shiny ideology of the day, Socialism/Communism, with its promise of greater fairness for all people.
This is the goal for America that many liberals adopted. Although one could argue that some of the goals of the Socialist/Communist liberal model were laudable, there were also basic flaws in the philosophy, such as the fact that if one rewards non-production (welfare) and penalizes production (progressive taxation) it kills incentive and has an overall draining and parasitic effect on the country. Plus, Socialism/Communism is secular and anti-religious in nature, leading to a breakdown of moral values and the promotion of an "anything goes" society that Hollywood glorifies today.
For years, some of us have seen this breakdown and failure of the Socialist/Communist/Liberal model coming. Now, with the growth of the conservative alternative news media, the failures of this model are becoming much more widely understood. At the same time, many Americans are recognizing the widespread and cancerous liberal bias in the mainstream news media, leading to a growing irrelevancy of the major mainstream news outlets (i.e. CBS), as well as leading the public to abandon them in droves.
Although we will continue to see it go through its death throes for the next few years, the Socialist/Communist/Liberal model is dead.
A New Goal
Several years ago I was talking to a friend about the goal of America. We agreed that the country needed a new goal, and my friend suggested that what America needed as a goal was to spread personal liberty and prosperity, which it had achieved for its own citizens, to the rest of the world.
I started looking at this idea and decided that this was the goal that was needed for America. We had to some degrees moved in this direction in the past, but to the degree that we fell away from that as a goal, we then got into trouble.
One aspect of the world today is that it is highly inter-dependent. The U.S. does not exist on its own but uses resources from other parts of the world. To that end, we have strategic interests in other parts of the world. But what happens when we need something from a country that has a tyrannical form of government, that oppresses its citizens? What if we end up supporting a government, out of expediency, that suppresses its own people? Certainly the "blame America first" crowd, including people like Paul Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal, have criticized us for supporting governments that don’t allow freedom to their peoples. In fact, some on the left have pointed out that years before we threw out Saddam Hussein, our government supported him.
So that’s an example of what happens when America fails to take responsibility – given the gains it has made for itself and the fact that it has developed the best form of government this planet has ever seen – for the remaining oppressed peoples of earth. Certainly, it would be a higher form of responsibility if we could take steps that would actually spread liberty and prosperity to the rest of the planet.
So what if we could abandon the failed ideology of Socialism/Communism/Liberalism, as well as abandon the completely false ideas of Zinn/Chomsky/Vidal that America and capitalism are inherently evil and responsible for most of the world’s ills, and embrace the idea that America should have a new goal of spreading liberty and prosperity to the rest of the world? Along with this would come a recognition that American Democracy, though not without its flaws, is the finest form of government yet seen on planet earth.
George W. Bush: Visionary
Though it is a major part of my religion to be against wars of all kinds, I have supported Bush with the war in Iraq. Despite all the negative press, carping on the left, claims of "lies," and even revelations that there were apparently no WMDs, I am still with him. Why?
Whether you personally think that radical Islamic fascism represents the heart and soul of Islam, or just a radical fringe sect, no one can question that the Middle East is a collection of the most repressive governments currently seen on earth. In many Middle East countries, it is a capital offense to practice any religion other than Islam. For any who don’t know, a "capital offense" means they put you to death. For us in the west, religious freedom is such an integral part of our society that we probably take it for granted. Many of the original
European settlers who came here 400-500 years ago came for religious freedom that they couldn’t find in Europe.
By now I would hope we’ve all heard the litany of offenses of Saddam Hussein against humanity. There are many other instances of despotism in the Middle East.
So the reason I am with President Bush on the war in Iraq is because it provides a beachhead of freedom in the Middle East. It shows those people that personal liberty is possible. The Iraqi elections, scheduled to happen in a few weeks, will bring true democracy to the region, which has seen none of it outside of Israel.
So back to Bush. I’ll no doubt upset any liberals that are listening and perhaps raise a few eyebrows amongst the rest by saying that President Bush is a visionary. In his inaugural speech this week, he laid out his new goal for the country – spreading freedom and liberty throughout the world. Bush understands that this is the only way we can actually maintain liberty ourselves long term. If we don’t help overcome oppression, despotism and hatred around the world, it will continue to come to visit us here in deadly ways, as it did on 9/11.
You can read the whole text of President Bush’s speech here and I urge you to do so. Here are some excerpts:
"We have seen our vulnerability – and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny – prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder – violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."
"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
"From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well – a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."
"From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?"
"We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" – they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled."
"When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength – tested, but not weary – we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom."
The naysayers have already started to pooh pooh this speech, snickering and making sounds about how Bush is undertaking a silly and impossible goal, one that will anger our enemies and allies alike. You can expect more of this from the political left and the leftist mainstream press.
Don’t you believe it. This is the stuff of real statesmanship. A worthy goal for a mighty country yearning to remain free and to bring the rest of the world along for the ride.