The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, July 04, 2008

VDH: Why it Still Matters

Thanks, Professor--I needed that:
On this Fourth of July of our discontent — with spiraling fuel prices, a sluggish economy, a weak dollar, mounting foreign and domestic debt, continuing costs in Iraq, a falling stock market, and a mortgage crisis — we should remember two truths about America. First, the United States remains the most free and affluent country in the history of civilization. Second, almost all our problems are lapses of complacency, remain relatively easily correctable, and pale in comparison to past crises.

By almost any barometer, the United States remains the most fortunate country in the world. We continue to be the primary destination of immigrants, who risk their lives to have a chance at what we take for granted. Few in contrast are flocking to China, Russia, or India. The catalyst for immigration is primarily a phenomenon of word of mouth, of comparative talking among friends and families about the reality of modern-day living, not of scholarly perusal of social or economic statistics.
Read the whole thing. Happy Birthday, America. If they didn't give up on you at Valley Forge and Bastogne, I'm not going to give up on you now.

We can still win this thing, folks. The American Revolution is still in progress. Today there are still those trying to bring her down. From all appearances they have big numbers for this next battle. But who has the truth on their side? Who will stand up for America now? Don't we owe that to them?

UPDATE: From the same VDH piece, more gold:
Our system of government remains the most stable and free. Consider the constitutional crises in Europe where national plebiscites continue to reject the European constitution that grows increasingly anti-democratic in order to force its vision of heaven-on-earth on its citizenry. There is no need to mention the politics of China, India, and Russia whose increasing affluence ensures a rendezvous with unionism, class concerns, suburban blues, minority rights, environmentalism — all long known and dealt with by the United States. Elsewhere the remedy for tribal and sectarian chaos in Africa or the Middle East is usually authoritarianism.

The current challenge of America is not starvation or loss of political rights — we have been far poorer and more unfree in our past, but the complacence that comes with continued success, to such a degree that we think of our bounty as a birthright rather than a rare gift that must be hourly maintained through commitment to the values that made us initially successful: high productivity, risk-taking, transparency, small government, personal freedom, concern for the public welfare, and a certain tragic rather than therapeutic view of the human experience.

In that regard, most of our present pathologies are self-created. In fits of utopianism we felt we could be perfect environmentalists, no longer develop our ample oil, coal, and nuclear resources, maintain our envied lifestyle, mouth platitudes about “alternative energies,” and yet be immune from classical laws of supply and demand. In truth, with a little national will, within a decade we could both be using new sources of energy and producing our entire (and decreasing) appetite for oil without importation at all of foreign supplies. When our petroleum runs out, we will find other sources of energy; when a Saudi Arabia’s or Venezuela’s fail, so goes their entire national wealth as well.
DiscerningTexan, 7/04/2008 09:35:00 PM |