The Honor of a Great People

Three hundred thousand people gathered in the Washington Mall on August 28, at the invitation of radio and TV host Glenn Beck, to discuss restoring the honor of the American people.  How did a great people come to lose their honor?

It certainly hasn’t been lost by all of us.  Individuals, families, and communities across America never broke faith with the noble traditions of self-reliance, responsibility, and adventure that forged this honorable nation.  Such people can be found in every neighborhood of every city… but the nation as a whole has lost its way.

We dishonor ourselves when we tolerate the use of our fighting men and women as pawns in a political game.  As long as they stand in harm’s way, we should accept no insult or slander against them.  Robust criticism of the policy makers who declare and end hostilities is fair and welcome… but there is a line between politicians and soldiers, and it is easily visible to honorable people.  We should have nothing but contempt for the likes of Code Pink.  Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s political career should have ended the day after he compared our service members to Nazis.  There is no place for such creatures in the Congress of a nation that answers the dedication and sacrifice of its veterans with love and respect.  In a rough economy with an uncertain future, Beck’s rally raised $5.5 million to help the families of special-operations soldiers killed in battle.  That is a strong step in the right direction.

We dishonor ourselves when we create massive obligations with unsustainable financing.  This shows disrespect to the future, and a craven refusal to face the realities of today.  If time is money, then madcap deficit spending steals the time of the future… draining it away like so much sand down the neck of a broken hourglass.  As parents love their children, we should be mindful of the future, and eager to shoulder our current burdens instead of passing them along, with interest.  We cannot know the shape of tomorrow, or what hardships they may be facing when the bills for our indulgences come due.

We dishonor ourselves when we declare the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens to be conditional, and subject to our needs.  Free people do not expect the State to confiscate and ration.  They don’t subcontract the design of the future to political appointees.  They understand such designs require obedience, and obedience requires compulsion.  You cannot “honor” a neighbor you deem unfit to manage his own affairs.  There is no honor to be found in the pursuit of a perfect State to rule an inadequate people.

We dishonor ourselves when we embrace death as the solution to inconvenient people.

We dishonor ourselves when we deny the possibility of progress to embrace tribal hatreds.  Race and feminist hustlers peddle a message that says the vast majority of people cannot be trusted to show common decency to minorities and women.  We’ve had enough of this toxic superstition.  Precious lives have been wasted, and ended, because there is power and profit to be gained in pretending the Civil Rights Act happened yesterday, and slavery ended the day before that.  Where is the honor In shrieking that people who disagree with your politics are “interchangeable with the KKK?”  An ideology so weak that it must resort to these underhanded tactics is garbage unfit for the intellectual consumption of a proud people.  Those who are foolish enough to ignore the evidence of their eyes and ears, and consume that garbage, will rediscover their honor after they find their self-respect.

Most crucially, we dishonor ourselves when we forget we “have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King,” as Sarah Palin said at the Restoring Honor rally.  We remain the proud inheritors of a revolutionary philosophy, the children of vision and industry.  We have not diminished into timid weaklings, unworthy of the trust of our ruling class.  Our land is still abundant, and filled with parents who want to make a better life for their children.  Why should we listen to assurances that our future will be one of decline, where children hear their parents mourn better times from distant memory?  Why should we accept that ten percent and more of our population must remain unemployed forever?  Why should we excuse the failure of an incompetent Administration by believing we became helpless and destitute in just a few short years, and are now obliged to provide limitless resources to our caretakers?

We have listened too long to the poisonous whispers of those who say we’re too old and feeble to stand up and deal with our own problems.  The doom they have written for us can be swept aside like so many cobwebs.  Honorable people do not fear risk and challenge.  We dishonor ourselves by believing we have no moral claim on the entirety of our labor, or responsibility for the maintenance of our needs.  We dishonor ourselves by paying trillions to hear the same old fairy tale about limitless entitlements distributed by friendly giants wearing power ties.  The American people have wasted enough time reading the elaborate limited warranty on the inside of the coffin lid our Left is preparing to nail shut.

We reclaim our honor by turning away from those who believe the great mass of us are beneath their contempt, and compassion is best expressed through domination.  They have no power we didn’t give them, which means they have no power we cannot take away.  Let us begin.

Cross-posted at

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