Decided to read the September 26, 2014 WSJ commentary, Democracy Requires a Patriotic Education, by Donald Kagan. His eloquence and brilliance evoke the essential values that we heretofore held dear for centuries in this great country. For those of us who have lived long lives in America under the guiding principles Kagan elucidates, we’ve surely reaped the benefits of our great Democracy. And how true it is to say that to maintain good community with well intended citizens we must educate our people to reflect integrity and ethical standards, civics and morality, that promote patriotism and the exceptionalism we use to feel. Kagan discusses why our ancient philosophers held these time honored beliefs. They reasoned that if a state or community is to be good, its citizens must be good, so they aimed at an education that would produce virtuous people and good citizens.
But how do we reconcile this with a president who embodies the worst traits imaginable and has taken our country down a path of destruction and wanton moral degradation. He has declared America unexceptional and he is largely unopposed. Perhaps now one can understand my profound disillusionment with my fellow Jews who played an instrumental role in bringing Barack Obama to power. Unforgivable stupidity and I suspect Donald Kagan would agree.
As prominent Zionist Zev Jabotinsky once said, “a Jew has his own logic. Jewish logic is the logic of catastrophe. Jews do not detect danger; they face it when it comes.” Unfortunately, Jews helped put our country in harms way and the damage has trickled down torrentially now, in ways that force us to question if we can turn this ship around?
If the Republican Party had a principled focus that might offer those starved for information some inspirational messages, there would be more reason for optimism. It would require a Republican leader to compellingly articulate the talking points our citizens, those with logic, crave and need to hear. But that isn’t happening and I’m not detecting even a slight movement in that direction. The approaching midterm elections are tenuous at a time when more certainty should be available. The Republicans cannot make their case despite a profound disconnect between our president and the American people. They cannot describe how we are feeling. Something should have crystallized by now. How disappointing at such a time as this.
Many in the intelligentsia grasp the damage Obama has caused and write commentaries about it. We’re inundated by them. Fox News seems shell shocked, reciting with horror the daily behavior of our president who they recognize to be incompetent and/or purposefully malicious. Despite the dangers, no one assumes responsibility, and there are some very distressing realities that must be addressed yet inexplicably are not.
- The southern border is porous. Illegals pour in with their needy often sick children. Dangerous people have access too. The Federal Government sued the state of Arizona for defending their borders against illegal immigration which Arizona surely has a right to do. No matter; our president disagrees. Obama dislikes our immigration law and dares to sue a state for enforcing that law. That’s indefensible yet he’s hardly reproached.
- Our military is diminished by half at a time when menacing lethal terrorism (under different names) destabilizes us globally with their stated intention of destroying America. We should take these threats very seriously. We don’t.
- Those who speak out are punished. Dinesh D’Souza, for one, was indicted for campaign finance fraud because he dares to expose Obama for who he is, while Governor Rick Perry was indicted on two felony counts for abuse of power that some describe as a political ploy. He is guilty of having moral conviction and for running a functional state called Texas.
- IRS scrutiny The IRS is used now as a political pawn to unlawfully penalize conservative groups and impose the tax upon those who reject Obamacare. And Benghazi, a tragic unexplained loss that has resulted in a cover-up the Republicans seem unable to overcome, Fast & Furious……….the list goes on.
- And Iran, a rogue nation that plays us well. They seek nuclear power and are well on their way to achieving it. Sanctions were inexplicably loosened when they were working. Their first stated objective is to destroy the state of Israel. Should there be any doubt they mean it?
Is this America? This feels like a country that is dying. A man’s skin color doesn’t protect him from our rightful indignation. Where is our outrage? Something else is going on here. Mr Kagan tells us, “neither family nor nation can flourish without love, support and defense, so that an individual who has benefited from those institutions not only serves his self-interest but also has a moral responsibility to give them his support. He must love his country if it is to survive.”
We have a president who doesn’t love his country. He has placed America in harms way. We are told we are unexceptional. Our enemies are told America is to blame for their woes. We apologize for our sins while ISIS beheads and massacres those who reject their ideology. We are told too, ISIS is a non-Islamic phenomenon. Unrelated? Can this really be our reality – a reality crafted by madness.
Education? Obama has revamped our education. It is called the Common Core. Well informed younger parents are upset.
Then there is ObamaCare. A disaster with no bipartisan support rammed down our throats. But that seems to be OK too. Obama declares it so. Our health care transformed and no longer within our control engineered by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health care advisor to Obama who has redefined a physician’s duty with the focus on the greater good of society rather than the patient’s individual needs. So, as I understand this, he decides what our insurance covers and how far our doctors can go in providing treatment options. I imagine too, Dr Emanuel has excluded himself from these narrow medical protocols that determine life or death. Our entire congress exonerated itself from these draconian edicts and threw us under the bus.
Can any of these things be OK? We’re far removed from the educational imperatives Kagan advocates along with Thomas Jefferson who promoted strong education as a powerful predictor of an enduring Democracy. Kagan waxes eloquence on the importance of education for country and its citizenry. He states that America is the only country that poses a direct threat to Islamic dominance. We’re it! Yet his words, though powerfully accurate, have a too-little-too-late patina that feels irretrievable.
Who is Obama? We really don’t know, do we? Discrepancies abound. We seem afraid to go down that road. That’s how dictators make us feel.
When exactly will we wake up, rise up and reassert our American dominance – the country I use to know.
Is that still possible? I suspect Kagan would say yes but we’re in the fourth quarter. With haste, we must march forward and take our country back.