This is an excerpt from my book Trump's Reckoning.
"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost."
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Ask any American what are the three most important things in their life, and most will list Faith, Family, Friends, Love of Country, or their marriage, or any number of things.
I am just as certain that for too many of us, Freedom won't make the list.
How can that be? Because without freedom, we may not be able to practice or express our faith. Without freedom, it can be hard to determine who your real friends are. Without freedom, all you have is family, and that can be compromised when authoritarians decide to split up the family because it threatens their command and control. Isn't splitting up the family of undocumented immigrants by immigration authorities one of the main objections liberals have to ending illegal immigration?
Illegals live in a state of fear because they are subject to law enforcement coming along and changing everything about their lives. Imagine if all Americans lived like that!
And the history of freedom is that once people lose it, it is near impossible to restore.
So for me, Freedom is number one on my list. It is the trunk from which all of the branches of our human experience grow. For me, freedom opens the doors, faith escorts us through fear of dying, and family escorts us through the fear of living.
As Americans, we are privileged to be free and prosperous. None of which was accidental. We paid a steep price in human suffering and sacrifice to achieve it. And we live under a burden because unlike every other nation or creed on the globe, we carry the torch of freedom. We have been given the gift of it by our forefathers, and since it has proven to be the most enduring and peace-nurturing idea ever invented by man, we feel compelled to share it. But we have to preserve it first, so it can be shared.
To protect it, we have to face the fact that other human beings hate freedom. They worship doctrine. They are uncomfortable with freedom and try to end it wherever they find it. And in our modern world, there are people who are determined to return everyone to a dark era of rule by theocracy.
I fear that too many Americans have become complacent about the need to fight for freedom. To better inform those of whom I speak, I suggest thinking about our country, America, as our family. If you knew there was a threat to your family, how far would you go to protect a parent or a sibling? I know, for example, that I would throw myself in front of a bus if I knew I had to to save my Mother. I would not hesitate. That is a tangible choice that offers me no alternatives, because she gave me life. She is me and I am her.
I believe it is the duty of all Americans to pass on the gift that we have been given by each generation before us. Thinking this way helps us to understand why we need to be patriotic. It is a condition we need to nurture in order to fulfill our obligations to promote the exportation of freedom, and to assure that our children have the same opportunity to live free.
As much as we love freedom, and the lifestyle it affords, we have a debt to pay, and it is something we all must, at some point, confront. Are we willing to continue to pay that debt, to lead the world out of depravity and servitude? Or are too many Americans under the delusion that freedom is now as free and natural as sunlight? And that the need to fight wars to preserve it is an outdated idea?
Will the average American embrace their duty, to do what is necessary now, or will we wait till the indomitable spirit of freedom is damaged beyond redemption? As Winston Churchill said, "Americans will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives."
Let's hope he was right about that.
I like to frame the discussions about our freedom as an extension of my family. I call the concept Familyism. What makes Familyism so important, and more illustrative is that it represents something tangible. Freedom is a condition, a state of being, but not something you can touch or hug. Unlike freedom, which is an idea, your family is real and close to you.
Familyism can make heroes out of us all. It can provide courage and strength just when it is needed. It is superglue for love. It is what drives our volunteer service men and woman to superhuman efforts, and to lay down their own precious lives if necessary.
We fight for four country, and sometimes we die so our family can live in freedom.
If only we could understand that it works for all Americans as we are all Family. There is no reason for us to suffer the indignities and pain of a dysfunctional family. We have too much in common, and though we have our internecine disputes, our jealousies, our resentments and our fears, when there is a threat to our existence, I have no doubt most of us would jump in front of that bullet without hesitation to save our Nation.