Happy Birthday to us! Yes, us, the United States of America – 229 years old and still kicking!
Given the state of the world, politics, jealousy, philosophies, ego and human nature, it's almost a miracle we're still here and generally intact.
Not that there wasn't, and isn't, an effort – exterior and, unfortunately, interior – to change us and ultimately to destroy us. Evil hates good and whatever you think about the frailties of the United States, overall, we are a good and benevolent country.
Oh, how some people hate that. It galls them to attribute goodness to us (U.S.) in any way, shape or form. They don't want to be proud of this country even though it's the most free and generous of any on this planet, now or ever.
At a recent meeting, the discussion centered on the music to be played at a gathering this Fourth of July weekend. "God Bless America" was suggested.
It sounded appropriate to me, since the Fourth of July is Independence Day. The day celebrates our separation from the dependence of colonialism and our move into freedom.
One woman objected to using that song, saying – without a hint of awareness of what her objection really meant – that it bothered her because it made it sound as though we're better than other countries.
Her ignorance appalled me. In her mind, any praise for the United States was an automatic putdown of all other countries.
Aside from specific comparisons of democracy and other forms of government, aside from specific recitations of our record of support of freedom across the world, aside from our willingness to put our own lives and welfare at risk to save others from totalitarianism, aside from our willingness to literally "fight for right" and defend our own freedom and our own people, aside from the billions and billions of dollars spent rebuilding other countries, foreign aid, debts forgiven to deadbeat recipients, and aid in the form of food, medicine and manpower – ASIDE from all that, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
We're blessed with location, climate, natural resources and the beauty and variety of nature. We've been blessed with a population that has taken advantage of the opportunities in our country, built businesses and developed inventions that changed the world. This country has encouraged an intellectual climate that has enabled ambitious people to succeed.
We have the freedoms that make it all possible – speech, assembly, press, religion. We have the ability to seek redress against the government, to have arms to protect our families and ourselves and to be safe in our courts and system of law. Our belongings, papers, homes and properties are safe from intrusion, and we have the blessings of private property and protection from government confiscation. All this and more are in the Constitution, the foundation making the United States of America unique in world history.
That woman who was embarrassed to praise the country that allows her these freedoms has no idea how much she could lose. Considering that the first thing despots do is disarm the population and eliminate private property, those words of protection in the Constitution are vital.
Has she considered what it would be like if Islamist terrorists succeed in their quest to destroy us? Would she be so quick to consider all countries and beliefs equal? For this independent, talented and successful woman, life would not be so pleasurable were she encased in a burqa and kept in her place at home, her children and her life circumscribed by what men, government and religion demand.
She and others of her ilk don't consider us at war because they don't want to admit the kind of war this is. We're in an ideological war – at its core, a religious war that crosses national boundaries.
Radical Islam has hated the West for centuries. It's a hatred everything we stand for – essentially, the fact that Western Civilization is based on Christianity and Judaism, with a reverence for life and the value of each individual. With people like that woman, it'll be an uphill battle to victory.
The latest propaganda video released by militant Muslims has the voice of terror suspect Abu Musab al Zarqawi berating President Bush as an "idiot" – funny, that's just what the liberals in this country call him – and accusing us of aiming to "humiliate Muslims and to obliterate the rituals of this religion."
No. They want to obliterate us. What we want is to stop them from terrorizing us and the rest of the free world.
Because of that difference, and because radical Islam wants the West destroyed and everyone in it converted or dead, it'll be a long, long road to victory. Which is, by the way, exactly what the president said.
But we have more insidious enemies. They're within our borders and government, working to destroy what makes this country unique. Whether they're politicians, bureaucrats, judges, the media or people with influence who have liberal, progressive, socialistic, totalitarian or communist beliefs, the result is the same: undermining our very foundations.
They've made great strides. The government is more and more intrusive, spending is out of control, taxes are arbitrarily increased, elected officials do ignore their constituencies, and the judiciary has turned the Constitution on its head, as recent decisions illustrate.
The wolves are on both sides of our doors and while we celebrate the Fourth, we'd best remember it commemorates our independence and freedom. It may still be a celebration, but unless we're careful, it could be our last hurrah.