By Don Feder
Once upon a time, I had a country. It was called America or the United States, “Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean,” the land of the free and home of the brave. The Founding Fathers envisioned it as a Shining City on a Hill.
For more than two centuries, it blazed across the skies of history. Now, its light flickers. Soon, it may be no more than a trail of dust and debris.
It was the nation that taught humanity the lessons of republican government, personal sovereignty and inalienable rights. It was the foe of tyranny which twice in the last century saved humanity from unspeakable horror.
It was the shores of refuge where my Jewish grandparents and your Irish or Italian or Hispanic or Asian ancestors came for a life which was impossible and, indeed, inconceivable, anywhere else.
It was a cornucopia of products and inventions that enriched the masses here and abroad and made life infinitely easier for millions. It was the factory from whose assembly line rolled forth the incandescent light bulb, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the television, the refrigerator, the computer and on and on.
It was a land of strength, determination, optimism, ingenuity and heroism. It was a nation that led by example, inspired, liberated and defended – that was unbelievably generous to the destitute and disaster victims around the world.
It was a country that produced giants – leaders touched by the Divine – like Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Coolidge and Reagan – inventors like Edison, Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Goodyear, the Wright brothers and Jobs, and artists like Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cecile B. DeMille.
It was a nation whose optimism was reflected in movies like “The Wizard of Oz,” “Casablanca,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “The Ten Commandments.”
It was a nation that was born in blood, endured wars and depressions, slavery and segregation, bread lines, picket lines and quarantine signs, reversals and betrayals, gang warfare, urban riots and “peace” rallies.
That was then. Today, what are we?
We may still dominate the world – industrially and militarily – but, increasingly, we are living off the accumulated capital of the past, drawing down on our legacy until nothing is left but a wistful memory of our former glory.
We are a people drowning in an ocean of debt – $16.6 trillion, over a third in the past four years alone, a nation of indigent sheep blindly following politicians who lack the will to stop spending money we don’t have (at an average rate of $3.86 billion a day). We are a car without brakes full of happy drunks, oblivious to the fact that we are careening toward a cliff.
We are a culture of brokenness. For every 100 children born here, 60 will grow up in broken families. We are killing the future – 1.1 million of them a year –in the name of a spurious right to choose. Now, our fertility rate is the lowest since we began keeping records.
Reagan said, “A nation that can’t control its borders is not a nation.” We lost our sovereignty at the Rio Grande.
While politicians dress up amnesties as a “pathway to citizenship,” the nation is infiltrated by parasites, criminals, potential terrorists and the arrogantly unassimliable – and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. Washington, the courts and media multiculturalists tell us that attempts to stem the flow are hateful, bigoted and futile.
We’re a nation whose entertainment industry is a cavalcade of degeneracy – a steady stream of nudity, raw sexuality, bathroom humor, gut-wrenching violence and sadism. Instead of manufactured products, this toxic trash is now one of our principal exports.
We are a nation with leaders whose answer to rampaging psychopaths is to disarm the innocent, leaving them at the mercy of thugs and lunatics, while congratulating themselves on their courage in standing up to the mythical gun lobby, as they travel about with armed guards and live in gated communities.
We are a nation of serfs whose laws are written by geriatric ideologues in black gowns who have made a mockery of democracy and turned the Constitution into an excuse for tyranny and bizarre social experiments.
We’re a nation which betrays its historic friends while slobbering over its foes, whose response to the cold-blooded murder of 3,000 Americans was a decade-long orgy of tolerance and understanding for the death cult that animated the murderers, dubbed the “religion of peace.”
We’re a country where a plurality now favors “solemnizing” an absurdity and calling the travesty “marriage” – an unparalleled corruption of language that is deconstructing an institution on which civilization depends.
We are a republic riding a rising tide of secularism, rapidly turning away from the God in whose name we were founded.
Our officials hypocritically take an oath of office on the Bible, while they rarely miss an opportunity to undermine its teachings. We’re a land of the lost where it’s illegal to display the Ten Commandments on public property or erect a cross as a memorial to war dead, with a president who deliberately misquotes the Declaration of Independence, leaving out the crucial affirmation “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
We are a people so consumed by envy that we habitually fall for the Democrats' con that society is a zero-sum game, that profits come at our expense and that Obama and his Congressional gang are all that stand between our precious programs and Republican budget-warriors determined to preserve “tax cuts for the rich” at any cost.
We are a country of benefit-addicts who are hooked on handouts. We tell pollsters that we want Washington to reduce spending rather than raising taxes – but not at the expense of my program or any program marketed as benefiting children, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the disabled, or any but tap-dancing, Anglo-Saxon millionaires.
America 2013 is epitomized by Barack Hussein Obama, a man who so despises this nation and every thing it stands for that he can’t even bring himself to say that there’s anything objectively special about the country he leads (American “exceptionalism”), who showed his contempt for Middle America right at the start, when he characterized small towns as the haunts of religious zealots, gun nuts and bigots – a president who’s determined to govern without Congress and outside the Constitution, who’s committed to expanding government as rapidly as possible – for whom “revenue-enhancement” is a religion and mega-deficits are a ritual.
Still, the man who occupies the White House, the way Germany occupied France during World War II, is a symptom, not the disease. As a conservative congressman recently remarked: “I think we can survive another four years of this guy. I’m not sure we can survive another four years of a country that would reelect this guy.”
It wasn’t the media or the elites that ushered in the Age of Obama. We the people put him in office and we kept him there.
He’s given us the longest sustained period of 7%-plus unemployment since the Great Depression, and we reelected him. He’s given us our only trillion-dollar deficits – one for every year he’s been in office – and we reelected him. Due to his war on energy, gas prices more than doubled on his watch, and we reelected him. He nationalized health insurance, resulting in huge increases in premiums, and we reelected him.
Due to a failure to mount a rescue operation (while he was off playing golf), a U.S. ambassador and three others died in Benghazi, and we reelected him. His administration spent weeks denying it was terrorism, and we reelected him. He called the Ft. Hood massacre (perpetrated by a Muslim militant shouting “Allah is great!”) “workplace violence,” and we reelected him.
His Justice Department became an enabler of the New Black Panther Party, and we reelected him. ATF ran guns to Mexican drug lords, and we reelected him. He told businessmen who somehow managed to make a profit in his economy, that their success was due to the collective (“You didn’t build that”), and we reelected him. His family takes lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous vacations at our expense, while the ranks of the chronically unemployed swell, and we reelected him.
No wonder zombie movies are so popular.
Those of us who still believe in America are confronted with the appalling choice of two political parties. One is run by a conglomeration of radicals, panhandlers and perpetually aggrieved minorities; the other has turned our values into campaign slogans which it sneers at in non-election years. The Reptilian National Chairman recently castigated his party’s base for “acting like Old Testament heretics” (sic.) by taking his party’s platform seriously.
We are fiscally and spiritually bankrupt. We are rubes at the county fair who fall for the most absurd nostrums, and gape in awe at the panaceas that are peddled to us, who care more for “Dancing With The Stars” (while Obama dances with the Czars) and the latest mini-series than our nation’s survival.
We allow the decent and the honorable – the Boy Scouts, law-abiding gun owners, churchgoing Americans, entrepreneurs – to be vilified. We arm our enemies ($1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood), undercut our allies (dictating extinction borders to Israel), surrender our sovereignty and sell our inheritance for a bowl of government pottage.
What can be done? First, accept the reality that we will probably lose – that those of us over 40 may well be the last generation of real Americans.
But in that acceptance, there is power and, perhaps, hope. In “Band of Brothers,” a captain advises a private who admits his fear: “The only hope you have is to accept the fact at that you’re dead and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier’s supposed to function.”
America may yet beat the odds, though the prospects grow dim. If not, what better than to die for than the country that once was? While there are still words to write and speak, ballots to cast, flags to wave, cases to argue and noble gestures to make, duty requires us to stand fast.
Like the Marines who died in a green hell in the Pacific and the 101st Airborne who fell at Bastogne – like those who stayed at machine gun emplacements until the last bullet was fired and were later found dead with the bodies of the enemy piled up around them – we must fight to the last.
Our sacrifice will be an appeal to Heaven that may yet avert what now seems inevitable. Or, perhaps, centuries hence, another people will arise to claim the title of “Americans,” more worthy of it than our contemporaries. May they be inspired by the example of the last of the old Americans.