Understanding the worth of our nation
By Frank Salvato
It is difficult to value something when its worth is unknown. The adage of one child being given a toy only to leave it out in the rain to rust, never understanding the toys worth, while another child made to earn the same toy is found to take care of it, valuing its worth, is a fitting analogy. This basic truth applies to our American heritage and the continued welfare of our nation.
Most of us have never had to take up arms to protect our freedoms, our liberties, our rights as guaranteed under The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights, our Charters of Freedom. In most cases these gifts have been bequeathed to us from those of generations past who did have to serve, to protect and defend our nation and by those who valiantly volunteer to serve today. What is asked of us in return for this legacy of freedom is loyalty to the covenant between citizen and government, loyalty to our nation.
Today, our country faces both a threat from abroad and a threat, in the form of ideological conflict, from within. Some among us choose to accentuate the imperfections of our nation. Some condemn our culture. And still others literally champion our nation’s defeat and demise. Those who choose to diminish the significance of the United States’ contributions to the world, do so in ignorance of the intent of the documents that charted the course for this great nation and the ideologies and principles that provided the foundation for the creation of our governmental covenant.
September 11, 2001 signaled to the world that radical Islamofascists were serious in their declaration of war against the United States and her Western allies. As we move further away from Osama bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa – his declaration of war – and as we progress in our examination of the inner-workings of this macabre ideology, it becomes increasingly evident that this conflict is a generational conflict and a confrontation as we have never experienced before.
Those who criticize the use of the term Global War on Terror have a point but their point is a matter of semantics and all who argue this point are not genuine in their dissent. Many of those who argue this point do so from an ideological standpoint, using the linguistic argument to divert from the intended meaning of the phrase.
The fact of the matter is that fundamentalist Islamofascism is being fought in countries around the world. From Iraq and Afghanistan to Somalia and Sudan, Indonesia and India to Paraguay, China, Russia, the UK, France and the United States, radical Islamists are training, planning and engaging in activities meant to cause harm to the west in general and particularly the United States and those who stand in her defense.
In the United States al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood – to name but a few terrorist organizations – have set up regional headquarters in Boston, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Tampa, Washington DC and over 38 other cities around the country. They are not only raising, laundering and funneling money back to the Middle East to support their terrorist organizations, they are setting up jihadi training camps right here in the United States.
Dr. Paul Williams’ recent expose on the Islamist jihadi training compound at Islamberg, New York stands as a clarion call to the American people – and the US Government – to awaken from their politically correct stupor to the reality that radical Islamist jihadis are here, now, and training among us for future attacks on our nation.
Compounds (or hamaats) identical to the one found by Dr. Williams in Islamberg can be found in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House and Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulare County and Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Dr. Williams points out that others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.
At the same time, here in the United States we are engaged in what some experts are calling a culture war. Some would go as far as to call it a second Civil War for the fact that several elected officials, along with myriad activists, have acted to the detriment of our military and the well-being of our nation, cavorting with world leaders who actively call for our country’s ruin.
This “second Civil War” is being fought on the ideological and political battlegrounds. The catalysts for this conflict are drastically opposing ideologies, very different visions for the future of our country and an ever-widening disparity between those who value our country and the principles on which it was founded and those who are unable to value them because they do not understand their worth.
One faction is invested in the ideology of one-world globalism, an ideology that draws heavily from the Socialist/Communist dogma in that they are inclined to embrace the idea of the global village or the “its takes a village” philosophy of governmental authority. They champion government as a vehicle for change over the idea that rights exist independently from government. This ideology rebukes much of the libertarian and classically liberal philosophies of those who influenced our Framers and Founders to create the great American experiment.
Another faction entrenches itself so thoroughly in the Laissez Faire segment of classical liberalism that they refuse to acknowledge there are many times when government involvement in societal affairs is beneficial, not only to the masses but also to the individual.
And the largest group among the United States’ citizenry has been swayed over the past several decades, through the promotion of multiculturalism and political correctness, to identify more with their genealogical “roots” and with the suggestion that they are more members of an overriding global community than members of a cohesive American culture, thus facilitating the Balkanization of American society. This, in part, results in a great number of Americans being not only less concerned with the preservation of our American heritage, but thoroughly apathetic toward the American governmental process.
These three major groups identified, we are faced with the stark reality that 55.3% of our population is engaging in the governmental process, this percentage comprised almost evenly of those identifying with the active but opposing ideologies now battling this uniquely American culture war, while an alarming and potentially potent number ignore their civic responsibility of constitutional stewardship by being apathetic to the process altogether. In essence, all it takes to win a national election is to garner the support of a little over twenty-eight percent of those eligible to vote, as the majority of Americans stand hypnotized by a limited societal vision cultivated by the malady of civic apathy prevalent throughout the “Me Generation.”
It is a difficult thing for any nation to endure deep rooted and defined ideological divisions. Add to that the external threat of an aggressive and militant ideology in the form of radical Islamofascism and what presents is a “perfect storm” for an effective deterioration and/or cessation of our unique society, our American heritage and our constitutional form of government.
What is desperately needed for our country to survive this unprecedented challenge, this “perfect storm,” is an adequate understanding of the principles, ideologies and history that moved the Framers and our Founding Fathers to risk freedom, liberty, property and ultimately life, so that their dream of the great American experiment could come to fruition. We, the American people one and all, need to understand why they found so much worth in our nation’s creation and why they valued this endeavor enough to risk dying for it.
The only way to achieve this much needed infusion of ideological enlightenment is for each American to invest some time in the accurate, first-source, fact-based examination of not only the Charters of Freedom, but the principles and ideologies embraced by our Framers and Founders in the creation of these remarkable documents along with the history that brought them to their fates. We must acquaint ourselves, even if briefly, with the works that moved them to action, the philosophies of Locke, Hobbes, Burke and even Cicero and Aristotle.
To exercise this very basic loyalty to our country is to move toward understanding the meaning behind the words of our Founding Documents. To understand the meaning behind the documents is to understand the worth of our nation. And understanding the worth of our nation allows us to value it, to want to defend it; it allows us to be uniquely American and proud to be so.
In an era when so few can be so devastating to this country, the greatest hope for freedom and liberty in the world, it can be considered our duty to embrace this civic responsibility.
Out of respect for all those who braved the creation of our nation and to honor all those who fought and died fighting for our continued freedoms we need to satisfy this very basic civic responsibility. There are no excuses for not doing so, regardless of your ideological bent, especially when our very survival is at stake. To refuse to do so can only be seen as stand against the principles on which country was founded. To refuse to do so is being unpatriotic and un-American.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor. He hosts The New Media Journal on BlogTalk Radio and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and The Captain's America on WWPR AM1490 in the Tampa Bay area, as well as an occasional guest on The Bruce Elliott Show on WBAL AM1090 in Baltimore and numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.