The “American is Great” vision versus the “revolutionary” vision
For most people of my generation and older, to denigrate America as racist and inequitable or to condemn our free market system as unjust and greedy capitalism has been an inconceivable and shocking development. We grew up believing and knowing the greatness and goodness of our country.
We are a nation born of the 1776 Declaration that all people are created equal, endowed by God with inalienable rights to life, liberty and property that no legitimate government can deprive them of. We have no illusions that America has always lived up to this ideal, but even imperfectly implemented, America has been the freest, most prosperous and most just society that the world has known. America, as the first destination of the world’s poor and oppressed, all seeking opportunities for freedom, carries the truth of this statement.
Far-left progressives – revolutionaries – reject this story. Rather, they claim that our country was founded on the institution of slavery and that our country is systematically racist and unequal. They aim to rewrite American history and rehabilitate America on this fabricated statement.
The American is Great vision honors and protects the sovereignty of the individual. Revolutionaries disregard the God-given uniqueness and complexity of the individual, instead creating classes of collective identity based on skin color, sexual preference, or perception of self-designed genre. Revolutionaries see these identity groups as oppressed and in need of social repair, with the exception of “white” men and, to a lesser extent, “white” women, whom they deem privileged and the cause of other classes’ unrest and who need repentance. The assignment of diverse and multifaceted individuals to a collective group based on a singular superficial characteristic is the very definition of racism and the foundation of totalitarianism.
The America is Great vision places the nuclear family at the heart of American community and society. Father and mother, rulers of their home and family, living their lives and taking responsibility for providing for and raising their children as they see fit. Revolutionaries say the traditional family is a social construct of less enlightened times, much like traditional views of gender and marriage, failing to recognize that these are realities of our created nature.
The Vision of America Is Great understands that individual freedom requires personal virtues for a just and happy society: honesty, diligence, courage, and duty to self, family, community, country, and God. Virtue in America is a grand vision begins and ends with the individual. This vision understands that the betterment of society begins and ends with oneself. This vision knows that society cannot make moral decisions or perform virtuous acts. Only the individual can do that. For revolutionaries, virtue consists in finding faults and reproaches in others. There is no virtue, only a politically correct signal of virtue.
After:Abandoning Judeo-Christian Values Is Destroying American Culture: School Choice Is The Answer
The America is Great vision celebrates the free market economy. It honors the hardworking and innovative entrepreneurs who have improved our lives so much. The America is Great vision recognizes that free markets have been, and continue to be, the engine of economic growth that eliminates poverty, cleans up the environment, expands educational opportunity, and extends life around the world. Yet revolutionaries denigrate entrepreneurs, as if the ever-improving technology, goods and services that enrich our lives just happened or, even more fantastically, government could. They disregard the record of economic freedom, but instead embrace socialism, an economic system where the more widely it has been implemented, the worse the economic outcome. Venezuela, or more exactly the Venezuelan people, is the latest victim of socialism.
America’s vision is great is democracy built on the moral principle that every person has inalienable God-given rights to life, liberty, and property. Revolutionaries have no respect for the individual or individual rights but instead want to expand the power of government to rehabilitate America and impose their collectivist and egalitarian utopian vision. And they call it “democracy”. But democracy that disregards the rights of the individual is nothing more than popular rule and totalitarianism. Have we so quickly forgotten those communist governments imposing the “collective good”, leading to hundreds of millions of deaths just a few decades ago?
America can be great again. However, pursuing progressive policies of identity politics, critical race theory, moral relativism, and socialism will only deepen our societal division, our acrimony, and our material and spiritual distress. At the same time, making America great is more than Trumpian nationalism. Instead, we must return to the core values and vision of our country.
First, we must love, respect, protect and celebrate the uniqueness and sovereignty bestowed upon each individual. We must understand that healing the divisions and despair of our society begins with rebuilding families and communities of families. The improvement of society must and can only begin with oneself. As individuals, we must take responsibility and we must do the good and the right that we can. We must also recognize and be grateful for the material abundance created by free markets. Government economic intervention only enriches politicians, bureaucrats and their cronies, and inevitably leads to unintended economic consequences, harming consumers and the poor above all.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (persons) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Nick Pandelidis is a retired doctor living in Shrewsbury.