Where has our passion gone? On the left, our children and many adults no longer seem to possess great passion for America. On the right, their emotions seem to be little more than rage and impotence masquerading as passion. Depression has set in on the right, but so-called ‘wilding’ has become the norm on the left. Both conditions are equally irrelevant and going nowhere fast.
In the past, the Passion of the People meant a positive passion for Democracy. Democracy is a gift from God. From our Declaration of Independence come phrases like “which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” and “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Within these words is an unarticulated thought that a belief in God is a shared attribute that needs no discussion. Yet, Pledge of Allegiance phrases like “One Nation under God” is now being discussed in our schools and large companies as White Privilege, relics of a colonial past, or simply passe. Prayer in school has already been banished in many educational institutions, and the dogma that signifies our devotion to America and its beliefs is being systematically eliminated. We have allowed others to win on vital matters, which traditionally define us and help us maintain our identity.
Detractors write garbage like The Trouble with Passion, “of but a single example of the redefinition of our culture, and our passion under attack.” The book attempts to explain “how the passion principle fails us and perpetuates inequality by class, gender, and race. It suggests how we can reconfigure our relationships….”
We will likely lose these defining tenants of real Americanism if we fail to fight back. They are;
- The power of Capitalism to create prosperity out of little or nothing
- The value of understanding history
In 1215, the world changed forever with the British Monarchy’s acceptance of the Magna Carta. In this historic document, the Monarch acknowledged that ruling powers were not absolute. It took another 561 years to codify what the Colonists ultimately brought forward to a world thirsty for our exquisite words and ideas. The concept that man was superior to his government with no overseers to preempt such rights was not just novel; it was world-changing. That day marks man’s major transformation from serf to Liberty.
People cannot be free unless they are responsible for their own lives. That is what Liberty must mean. A government that provides a “safety net” thus becomes an overseer and can become an oppressive force. Benevolence never lasts. Throughout our world, the destroyers still hold sway in many places. Are we immune from their reach?
You cannot have Liberty without freedom, and freedom must be paid for with good works and moral stability. Criminality, sloth, avarice, laziness, connivance, scheming, and other anti-societal tendencies all work against society’s inherent strengths and ultimate success.
There are but two guarantees that our forefathers presented.
- The right to try
- The right to fail
I add one more guarantee; the right to an equal start. But how that statement has caused me trouble over the years. My detractors immediately point out unequal socio-economic conditions as an obvious flaw in my argument. Yet, I point to the millions who came here with nothing, not even the ability to speak English, and overcame all obstacles to become true Americans under my description and definition of Freedom, Liberty, and Capitalism.
As to all those already here and who are not thriving, what’s their excuse? To the extent that those individuals suffered privations and actual physical or mental harm in their upbringing, I blame that on our fractured system of government that has attempted to make people believe they are no longer responsible for themselves. All of us must accept the responsibility for allowing the government to become Big Brother. God forgive those who have created a system that devoured tens of millions of us in the name of a Great Society. If you read no other hyperlink in this essay, please read this one and learn of the utter failure of every goal of Johnson’s Great Society Program and a hundred more programs like it which have been spectacularly unsuccessful. We are literally dying younger here than in many other developed countries. And don’t blame it on Covid either.
So much of what is wrong in this country is our focus on false prophets. We have passion, but not for something wholesome and positive. America used to be a country of heroes. We had Einstein, Lindberg, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Neil Armstrong, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Eastman Kodak, and many more who changed our lives and enriched our world. Who are our shining examples today? It was Capitalism that, for perhaps the first time, taught the world that economics was not a zero-sum game and that the pie could be infinitely enlarged through the application of unfettered Capitalism. No other system, before or after, has been able to duplicate the wealth effect of Capitalism. Yet, too few people understand or even believe that.
Even with such knowledge available to anyone who can read (yet another problem), people have little understanding of the fundamental laws of economics or the profound limitations of government. Tell someone that government can only give you something they take from someone else, and you get a blank stare. There is a belief among many that due to unfairness, rich people don’t “pay their fair share” and should give back wealth that does not belong to them. This, again, is the world we live in.
It should be shouted to the rafters that the top 10% pay 71% of our taxes, which is either unknown by most or immaterial to those that detest wealth. Rhetoric is today’s coin of the realm, not truth.
Those with malevolent intent have manipulated the Passion of the People. Our idealized country of baseball and apple pie has become one of druggies and beggars. Our beloved country, which is seen to be like Atlas holding up the rest of the world, is about to allow that worldwide responsibility to be shrugged off soon if profound personal and societal changes are not forthcoming. This will not end well for us.
Many of my readers believe the time to change course is behind us. I see things differently. As a thinker, student of history, human nature, and, yes, as a firm believer in God, I observe that long-term planning is frequently wrong. Many assumptions that form the basis for learned individuals and their conclusions often don’t pan out, even over long periods. Transitory events, flawed assumptions, and sometimes, Factor X (what you can’t know in advance) can and do frequently come into play and subsequently change everything. It’s happened before. Countries that act on flawed analysis do so at their peril. For myself, this describes where we are with the God of Climate Change.
This above final paragraph reveals my last, best hope for us all.
God Bless America.
Allan J. Feifer