Is Ronald Reagan's vision for America dead?

Since January 20th, that same place inside me has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. It’s filled me with a dread of what is to come, and what we might lose. I’ve re-read the Constitution, because that is what we might lose – that exquisite document that is the construct of this land we call America. Because of it, we have a government balanced between three branches and rooted in freedom, openness and fairness. We have a free press that is not censored or controlled by the government. We are a rarity in the world. We have turned down dark paths in our history, but we have always tried to right ourselves by remembering the principles that America was founded upon.

Since January 20th, I have shuddered every time I hear the phrase ‘America First.’ That was the rallying cry of Charles Lindbergh, an unrepentant anti-Semite, and the America First Committee when they wanted this country to ignore the holocaust going on in Germany. They wanted us to close our eyes, our hearts, and our borders. Let us please not forget the origins of that phrase.

Steve Bannon, the architect of this administration, has said he does not remember saying (as Ronald Radosh has claimed) that he is a Leninist who wants to bring everything crashing down. But Bannon has spoken about “deconstructing the administrative state.” He adheres to a theory of historical cycles, espoused by William Strauss and Neil Howe, that includes recurrent crises and claims that we are due for another. Mr. Bannon seems determined to bring that about. There is no love of country in wanting to tear apart its fabric and rip up its foundation. Destruction is not patriotism, it’s the underpinnings of tyranny.

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