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“Refusing to stand during the national anthem is not and should not be illegal. But such blanket rejection of American customs is admittedly now a collective narcissistic tic — and hardly sustainable for the nation’s privileged to sit in disgust for a flag that their betters raised under fire on Iwo Jima for others not yet born. Sometimes citizens can do as much harm to their commonwealth by violating customs and traditions as by breaking laws.
“Instead, freedom requires constant reinvestment in and replenishment of a nation’s traditions and ideals. Self-criticism of one’s country is salutary to ensure needed changes, but only if Americans accept that an innately self-correcting United States does not have to be perfect to be good – and especially when, in a world of innately flawed humans and failed states, it remains far better than any of the alternatives abroad.”
—Victor Davis Hanson
The tragedy of the Left is that it mainly lives in ignorance. Its true believers see darkness and emptiness everywhere. They accuse everyone who doesn’t follow their dogma as racists, white supremacists, capitalists, and Nazis. For them, there is no release from their own misery, and they remind all of us that we have no right to be happy and satisfied. Our achievements rest on their desolation, and we must pay for it—forever.
As a result, they don’t know the rewards of gratitude—gratitude for living in a country where they can be as miserable as they wish—and as joyful as they choose. Gratitude for limitless opportunities for rewarding work and a peaceful existence. Gratitude has disappeared from their lives, because there is no room for it; they only have room for criticizing our imperfect yet glorious nation; they prefer to be unhappy than to seek out those chances to grow, learn and prosper. Their positions are unrealistic and their lives destined for disappointment.
For those of us who know that VDH is correct, we don’t expect a perfect country that is, after all, managed by flawed human beings. We take responsibility for pursuing self-reflection and for reviewing our goals as a country, and trying to determine where and how we can improve. Our criticisms at times may be brutal, but they are offered out of patriotism, our allegiance to the country, and to each other. We know our country’s existence is fragile, particularly when others attack America out of ignorance, misplaced expectations, and failed dreams. But the rest of us will persist in saving her, in preserving her foundations, in making her even better.
We must never give up.Published in