Tag: America

Respecting the Institutions

 

I went to a high school basketball game this evening to watch my cousin Grace play. As we always do before the first varsity game each night, we stood for the national anthem. I’ve written in years past about the impression this makes on me, the thought of crowds of parents and players in thousands of high school gyms across the country doing exactly the same thing. It’s one of the things that makes me stubbornly optimistic about America, the knowledge that this is a solemn moment for so many, many of whom are largely unconcerned about politics but nonetheless feel pride and reverence toward our flag and the nation it represents.

On the drive home I thought about those who burn flags, or kneel in disrespect to the flag, or otherwise feel and express contempt for our country. I understand criticism, and I respect the right to express criticism. But I think I also understand the desire to tear down, burn down, gut, and destroy whole institutions out of anger and frustration, often in hopes that something better might rise in its place.

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Second only to Old Glory itself, the Betsy Ross Flag is the American icon. Its clean design is similar to our current flag, with 13 stripes and only 13 stars in a circle (representing the equal status of what were then the 13 united individual sovereign nations). This simplicity is perhaps the reason for its […]

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As I read James Lileks’ recent piece, The Apotheosis of Miserablism, I thought of Carl Sandburg’s poem Chicago. I love this poem for the same reason I love noir stories and movies: they capture a time of rugged manly fearlessness that is sadly, pathetically wanting. Years ago we decided that safety was the greatest good, and that fear […]

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Honoring Norman Rockwell: America’s Painter

 

“Four Freedoms,” 1943

Norman Rockwell was not a realist. You aren’t supposed to interpret his paintings as depictions of everyday America as it actually was. No one who lived during his lifetime considered America a hunky-dory paradise populated only by upstanding and friendly citizens. The America he painted was one we wanted, the one we strove for, America as promised by our founding ideals. He focused on the best parts of our country. His artwork is aspirational, not delusional; optimistic, not whitewashed.

A Tribute to Veterans who Make American Freedom Possible

 

Ahead of Veterans Day, I want to make a declaration: I love my country just as anyone who may take pride in their land of birth. I stand in respect when our national anthem is sung. By doing so I give honor to those who died in service of America. I get a lump in my throat when I hear The Star-Spangled Banner sung. Tears fill my eyes when I see the flag saluted by those in uniform, when I see the flag at half-staff to remember someone’s death, or when I see a folded flag handed to the spouse whose mate gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

The American flag is important, the colors and construction are significant. That field of blue symbolizes vigilance, fairness, perseverance. The red focuses on valor and resilience. The white imagines purity and goodness. 50 stars – one for each state – are combined, representing e pluribus unum “out of the many, one.” Thirteen stripes remember the original thirteen colonies whose stand against injustice from an authoritarian leader began the nation’s history.

That flag was fought for, by the one laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His sacrifice stands as representation for the sacrifice of tens of thousands; warriors who have given me my freedom. My freedom comes with responsibility. Liberty lives through sacrifice. I never take my inalienable rights for granted and I never forget those who have sacrificed to make liberty possible.

Atlas Shirks

 

Just a couple of quick thoughts about our nation’s infrastructure, and about what it takes to keep it healthy and robust.

It’s easy for Americans to believe that the human condition is one of relative security, comfort, and ease. That’s been the story of America during my lifetime, after all: since World War II we have enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and security. I grew up taking those things for granted, as did my own children.

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Click here to listen to the podcast On this episode of The Resistance Library Podcast, Sam and Dave discuss the Star-Spangled Banner. It might be impossible to sing, but everyone knows the words to the national anthem of the United States – “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s a staple at everything from sporting events to patriotic […]

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It might be impossible to sing, but everyone knows the words to the national anthem of the United States – “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s a staple at everything from sporting events to patriotic rallies. But while everyone knows the song, very few Americans know the story behind it, both the story of the lyrics and […]

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Steven Malanga joins Brian Anderson to discuss the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the sense of patriotism that emerged in their aftermath, and the nation’s waning interest in Islamist terrorism.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

American Greatness: Can We Redeem Ourselves?

 

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

This quote grabbed my attention because I realized that I may no longer agree with any of it. I know that Tocqueville is admired and celebrated, but I wonder if he could have foreseen what would happen to this country so many years later.

I do think in some ways we are, or at least were, an enlightened country. To me, enlightenment is not a steady state, but a process, and compared to the rest of the world, we were head and shoulders above the rest. We were known for our honoring freedom and opportunity; many who dreamt of coming to this country believed our streets were paved with gold. No other country could offer a life where a person could succeed through hard work and persistence.

The Afghan Withdrawal: Just Another Debacle For A Fallen America

 

As with every other left-induced debacle in contemporary America, the debacle of the Afghan withdrawal leaves rational patriotic Americans shaking their heads in disbelief and disillusionment.  As with all the other debacles: COVID response, open borders, mollycoddling violent criminals, pushing socialism, transgender madness, out of control trillion, zillion spending – they are left to ask the question:  How can all of this be happening in the greatest country in the history of mankind?

But let’s focus on Afghanistan for now, while keeping in mind the context of an America in severe decline.  Look, whether we had twenty years or a thousand years, there was never going to be a way for us to fix Afghanistan.  Why, we could no more fix what’s wrong with Afghanistan than we, apparently, can fix what’s wrong with . . . Portland!  Or San Francisco!  Or Baltimore!  Or Chicago!  Or you name the ruined, Democrat-run American city.  Or for that matter, you name the particular section of the ruined American heartland, which is fast and deliberately being filled up with endless illegals.

We the People Wine Company: Finally, an American Company Unabashedly Standing for American Values

 

Everyone who knows us knows I do – unabashedly!- love my wines, so it is indescribably exciting to tell about a wine company’s TV ad which is one of the most pro-America, pro-American, pro-American exceptionalism ads I have seen in a very long time. Here’s the ad— if you don’t feel at least just a little like jumping up, standing at attention, and saluting, perhaps you had better consider getting yourself to the ER and having your vitals checked!

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  We purchase the world’s goods, invent the world’s technology, cure the world’s diseases, distribute our wealth, and fight for the liberation of other countries; our tolerance and freedom inspire the world. We are unique and irreplaceable, the last best hope for those who wish to live free and prosperous lives. Preview Open

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The United States militia is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. And while the militia movement of today is widely known, its history – and the history of independent Constitutional militias stretching back to the dawn of the republic – is far less well known. Why does this matter nowadays? Because understanding the […]

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Flag Day was once called the “runty stepchild among American national holidays” by the New York Times. While it may not be the grandest of our country’s celebrations, it’s impossible to talk about Flag Day without briefly discussing why Old Glory was originally created, and what it means today. We may know the flag as a […]

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I can’t recall the American flag flying outside my childhood homes, but they did – every Fourth of July, at least. I suspect we may have flown them more often but have no recollection of it and I’m not sure why that is. My parents have always loved America, and my family has proudly served […]

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