The Undoing of America – by Dennis Prager


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As the passage of the bill that will start the process of nationalizing health care in America becomes almost inevitable, so, too, the process of undoing America’s standing as The Last Best Hope of Earth will have begun.

That description of America was not, as more than a few Americans on the left believe, made by some right-wing chauvinist. It was made by President Abraham Lincoln in an address to Congress on Dec. 1, 1862.

The bigger the American government becomes, the more like other countries America becomes. Even a Democrat has to acknowledge the simple logic: America cannot at the same time be the last best hope of earth and increasingly similar to more and more countries.

Either America is unique, in which case it at least has the possibility of uniquely embodying hopes for mankind — or it is not unique, in which case it is by definition not capable of being the last best hope for humanity — certainly no more so than, let us say, Sweden or the Netherlands.

Indeed, President Obama acknowledged this in April, when asked by a European reporter if he believes in American exceptionalism. The president’s response:

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

The president was honest. In his view, as in the view of today’s Democratic party, America is special only in the same way we parents regard our children as “special.” We all say it and we all believe it, but we know that it is meaningless except as an emotional expression of our love for our children. If every is child is equally special, none can be special, in fact. If every country is exceptional, then no country is exceptional, or at least no more so than any other.

With the largest expansion of the American government and state since the New Deal, the Democratic party — alone — is ending a key factor in America’s uniqueness and greatness: individualism, which is made possible only when there is limited government.

The formula here is not rocket science: The more the government/state does, the less the individual does.

America’s uniqueness and greatness has come from a number of sources, two of which are its moral and social value system, which is a unique combination of Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values, and its emphasis on individual liberty and responsibility.

Just as the left has waged war on America’s Judeo-Christian roots, it has waged war on individual liberty and responsibility.

Hillel, the most important rabbi of the Talmud (which, alongside the Hebrew Bible, is Judaism’s most important book), summarized the human being’s obligations in these famous words: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

What does this mean in the present context? It means that before anything else, the human being must first take care of himself.

When people who are capable of taking care of themselves start relying on the state to do so, they can easily become morally inferior beings. When people who could take care of their family start relying on the state to do so, they can easily become morally inferior. And when people who could help take care of fellow citizens start relying on the state to do so, the morally coarsening process continues.

There has always been something profoundly ennobling about American individualism and self-reliance. Nothing in life is as rewarding as leading a responsible life in which one has not to depend on others for sustenance. Little, if anything, in life is as rewarding as successfully taking care of oneself, one’s family and one’s community. That is why America has always had more voluntary associations than any other country.

But as the state and government have gotten bigger, voluntary associations have been dying. Why help others if the state will do it? Indeed, as in Scandinavia, the attitude gradually becomes: why even help myself when the state will do it?

Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are right about one thing — they are indeed making history. But their legacy will not be what they think. They will be known as the people who led to the end of America as the last best hope of earth.

Lincoln weeps.

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should know the truth

    No one should miss this video:

    http://xrl.us/bf29mb

    Look to the end ( 10 min.)

  • Robert Bernier

    Wow! Read this one. It is really good. And this gentleman says it just like it is.

    This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii
    for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. Consult : http://xrl.us/bgeewc

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should see this video !

    The ambition of Islam to conquer the world.
    For centuries Islam of the militants have been on the march to conquer the world. We did not notice because we chose not to notice. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in
    1920 by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt and was in deep confrontation with the Egyptian government. The current goals for Islam to achieve global domination for a Muslim Caliphate: a world under strict Islamic “Sharia” law, pulling Muslims back to the 7th Century. Consult : http://xrl.us/bf66jj

  • goosebumps

    For some reason, all those that came before us, were able to get through life without everyone's help. It was accepted that you were responsible for yourself and your family. It is becoming acceptable to stick your hand out and expect society's largesse. Is it jealousy that has led us to this? Is it the lure of shiny new toys and more more more that has led Americans to be so irresponsible and so lacking in pride? When I put myself through college I looked around at my so called peers who were buying new cars and closets full of clothes while they worked entry level non college jobs. They looked down their nose at me because all my money went to schooling myself. Now I look at them and they are the ones with their hands out wanting what I worked so hard and sacrificed so much for. Now Obama is eyeing all the money that I've set aside for my children, after I go, which has already been taxed so he can buy himself four more years in the power elite.

    We are no longer governed by those we have invested with the right to do do. We are ruled by those that consider themselves above the rest of us. They are so out of touch with reality. At least they were smart and corrupt enough to same themselves from the travesty of this medical system they are foisting on us. I guess it's good enough for us, but not good enough for the ones who consider themselves “special.”

    I am sad, angry and disgusted. If there was a way of cracking America into two countries, the country that wants socialism and the country that does not I would rather live amongst the people who do not. The socialist America would fail immediately because they need the capitalist America to keep it running. Obama has decided to destroy the capitalist side. Unfortunately, we're all going down and once we get there the idiots who wanted this will be wearing that this is not what they wanted.

    When I was a child I read a book about the “Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.” Obama and his socialist cronies want that gone. What's left after you've killed the goose? The idiots will find out when they actually still have to worry about rent and groceries but there are no wealthy capitalists to supply opportunities.

    Is anyone listening? I didn't think so.

  • http://washingtonrebel.typepad.com/washington_rebel/2009/12/taps.html Irish Cicero

    America ended 30 years ago. This is just Taps.

  • dac4631

    Hey, Dr. Prager.

    Are you the Denny Prager who used to work at Battelle in Seattle? If so, I recall a particularly interesting conference you convened on why the mass media doesn't permit condom advertising. Now with the population going to 10 billion at least, and HIV/AID outstripping treatments…………………

    My local paper didn't want to recognize my column several years ago, but they do now, altho still not admitting that DC is per capita America's HIV/AIDS capital!

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/
    Pittsburgh Tribune Review
    Guest Column

    The AIDS capital of the nation

    By Donald A. Collins Thursday, October 16, 2003

    Donald A.Collins, President
    International Services Assistance Fund
    5620 Oregon Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20015
    202 363-3664 or 244-7485
    FAX 202-966-5881
    eMail Dcoll28416@AOL.com

  • thinker1

    It is impossible for USA to get better if every month half a million of people lose their jobs; soon there will be none to fire; companies use offshore workers, so stocks may go up, but Americans have no earnings.
    How can the economy stabilize in those conditions? It cannot.
    To say otherwise is to lie.

  • thinker1

    Yes…………..
    According to witnesses:
    1. Sharia? Already in Detroit
    2. we are becoming a third world country. BECOMING? See Detroit. We are.

  • http://TheAmericanView.com/ John Lofton

    With all due respect, America's greatness did not come from “a unique combination of Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values.” America's greatness (when it was great; not now) is attributable to God's grace and blessings, His Providence in the founding of this country in the early 1600s. And by “God” I mean the God of the Bible, the only true God there is, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, apart from Whom, He says, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But, we have turned our back on God, forgotten God, refused to kiss His Son in all areas of life, and we are now reaping what we deserve: the wrath and judgment of God. Also, the Enlightenment (which sought to revive paganism, and did for a while) played virtually no role in the founding of our country. We were founded — for the most part — by Bible-believing, Reformed, Protestant, Christians.

    Finally, there are no “Judeo-Christian values”as Arthur Cohen pointed out, articulately and honestly, in his book “The Myth Of The Judeo-Christian Tradition” (Schocken Books, 1971). He writes, in part:

    “[The idea of a Judeo-Christian tradition] is a myth which buries under the fine silt of rhetoric the authentic, meaningful, and irrevocable distinction which exists between Jewish belief and Christian belief… .The effort of the philosophes was both to debunk the irrationality of religion and to construct a civil society grounded upon the neutralization of religion in the public domain..,,

    “European intellectuals came to regard Judaism and Christianity as essentially similar — similar not with respect to truth, but rather with respect to the untruth which they shared. Voltaire played no favorites, nor did any of the French philosophers of the Enlightenment. Christianity was the palpable enemy of reason, but Christianity grew from the delusions of Judaism, and hence Judaism was equally a ragbag of legends, superstition and falsities. The Judeo Christian connection was formed by the opponents of Judaism and Christianity, by the opponents of a system of unreason which had nearly destroyed Europe.” (emphasis mine).

    Denouncing a mythical tradition “in which distinctions are fudged, diversities reconciled, differences overwhelmed by sloppy and sentimental approaches to falling in love after centuries of misunderstanding and estrangement,” Cohen says the secular threats are real and desperate to both Jews and Christians. But, he adds: “Patching-over cannot suffice. The patching over can only deteriorate further what it seeks to protect… This is a time — and the time of the apocalypse is always such a time — when men must speak out of their differences and over the chasm that separates them…

    “It is only the illusion of a temporizing equalitarian society which imagines that a Judeo-Christian tradition is a reality… .I do not believe that the difference between Judaism and Christianity is minor, nor do I imagine that the difference is one of mere accent and private idiosyncrasy. The myth (and I do believe that it is a myth) of the Judeo Christian tradition obscures that vast chasm of being which separates the two faiths. Christianity offers in Jesus Christ the promise and certainty of life. Judaism offers the world not the certainty but the choice of life, believing that only by choice (man’s inordinately Pelagian choice) is creation authentically sanctified.”

    Rejecting the “fundamentally autonomous view of religion,” Cohen says the view that “ought to prevail” is “the theonomous view.” Pointing out more differences, he says: “Judaism asserts that history is not redeemed. Christianity maintains that it is. This is a fundamental irreducible disagreement, which divides Judaism and Christianity to the end of time.”

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
    Recovering Republican
    JLof@aol.com

  • USSAmerican

    Help save America. Please join our group and start a chapter in your own town.
    http://orlando.craigslist.org/pol/1522567333.html

  • murkyskies

    Although I can agree with much of what has been written in this article it clearly also exculpates the Republican Party, which in its arrogance and through its obfuscative mishandling, incompetence and ineptitude during the George W. Bush years, lay the foundation and set in motion the drastic swing to the Left in the first place. Therefore, once can just as easily lay the blame of the erosion of American exceptionalism on George W. Bush and the Republican party.

  • loumindes

    What's going on in the US Congress is not about health care, it is about power, control and removal of personal freedom.

    Please take the time to review history, not as the modern politically correct text books are written, but actual history.

    This is the USA, not Europe. Our founding fathers came here to get away from the bad ideas of Europe. Why on earth would we want to emulate these countries that endorse a “nanny state” that built their headquarters to resemble the Tower of Babble?

    Under the guise of “health care”, there is a much larger movement underway. A competent commentator such as Dennis Prager, who is listened to and respected by left and right, has much to say on this subject. (He has free 5 minute classes on the internet at Prager University everyone should see.)
    Little chips at liberty happen daily, you can see them if you look:
    • No American flag in the Marana Arizona branch of the Pima County Library until a patriot spoke up (library officials accepted a flag as a gift but stated they wanted to put in a meeting room instead of the entry to avoid offending anyone”) .
    • Well documented appointments of socialists and communists in the Obama administration.
    • Secularization of society under the pretence of separation of church and state.
    • The government wants to teach young children about homosexuality and kids want to sit through the pledge of allegiance.
    • Liberals demand everyone be tolerant and accepting yet they are the least tolerant and by far least accepting of religion and laws of nature.

    This list goes on. Friends and neighbors, these are red flags we need to be aware of and resist. The Judeo-Christian principals this country was built upon are under attack by those who abuse these liberties. Sooner or later, these chips will cause a collapse with many wondering what happened.
    Come on Baby Boomers, smarten up. Buffalo Springfield in the song For What It's Worth said “There is something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear”. Let’s not wait for “the man with a gun over there”. Do not let another bubble take us by surprise, there is too much at stake.
    As George Orwell commented so brilliantly; “There are some ideas so wrong, only an intellectual could believe them”.
    You may not have to thank God, but you should thank those who do.

    Louis Mindes

  • thinker1

    …and next year 30+ million illegals will be added to health care via amnesty. :(

  • mc evans

    There are few things more sad than seeing capable adults being treated like children and being taken care of – the hopelessness, the resentment and the defeat can be seen in their faces. I work with Medicaid patients who have been on welfare for generations going back to the 60's. They are not happy people – it seems as if the life has gone out of them. Being subject to waiting for treatment, looking for a doctor who will take them, waiting for that check and then having no desire to break the cycle but instead sometimes actually encouraging their children, the next generation, to 'work the system' is sometimes too much. It's an evil, it really is and to see BO and company wanting to do the same thing to all Americans is horrible and many of us will be joining some kind of revolution in the next year – there is no other way to stop this – the wary politicans have been bought, threatened, intimidated and coerced while the others like Pelosi are ready to give up the Constitution.

  • bubba4

    “Lincoln weeps.”

    Cut the melodramatics you old mary. I haven't caught my 10 mins of Prager in the morning recently, but I assume you are still droning on about how the future is bleak and wishing things were like they were in the “good old days”.

    This “American Exceptionalism” bullshit is an old recycling job. FPM already did the rounds on this misinformation months ago. Maybe Prager is already on vacation.

    Prager plays naive here, as if Obama was being asked if he though America was “exceptional”. Prager knows however that “American Exceptionalism” means a certain thing. To the rest of the world, Bush brought new meaning to the phrase.

    From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_exception
    “During the George W. Bush administration, the term was somewhat abstracted from its historical context. Proponents and opponents alike began using it to describe a phenomenon wherein certain political interests view the United States as being “above” or an “exception” to the law, specifically the Law of Nations.[27] (This phenomenon might be called a priori exceptionalism or “neoexceptionalism,” since it is less concerned with justifying American uniqueness than with asserting its immunity to international law.) This new use of the term has served to confuse the topic and muddy the waters, since its unilateralist emphasis and ahistorical orientation diverge somewhat from older uses of the term.”

    So Prager is highlighting a specific answer in an old interview and then fails to tell you what they are talking about. Like most of these self-righteous “personalities”, he holds his chin high and dares to tell you that America is awesome. How brave you have to be to tell readers that they are noble and strong…BUT (and there is always a but) the “left” is coming to take it all away. It's the overriding theme of everything Prager is….everything FPM is.

    “With the largest expansion of the American government and state since the New Deal, the Democratic party — alone — is ending a key factor in America’s uniqueness and greatness: individualism”

    Health Care reform is killing individualism? Prager you moron.

  • johncarens

    Hmm. Methinks ye protesteth overmuch.

    Maryland was peopled by Catholics in its early years. Puritans settled Massachusetts. Rhode Island was distinctly non-sectarian. So much for your assertion regarding “Reformed, Protestant, Christians.” True, most believed the bible (with notable exceptions such as Jamestown) and the God of the bible, who, by the way, was Yaweh… The monotheistic Lord of both the Old and the New testament. Beyond these divisions, though, was the hope these settlers in the New World brought with them that they would simply be left alone to worship as they pleased, and be done with the Catholic/Protestant fights of 17-century England.

    But, I am quite sure you know this. What is odd, though, is your truth-claim that Judaism asserts that history is not redeemed. It does no such thing. This is self-incriminating statement, in that the continuity of Judaism asserts more strongly that the Messiah has not yet come, and history could be redeemed at a moment's notice.

    Not only is this an odd statement, but one also requiring a bit of mental gymnastics that leads me to believe there is less here than meets the eye.

    One does not have to implicate a hyper-pluralistic, (or embrace a anti-polyglot) view of American decline in order to find suspects in the crime. Jews contributed mightily to the American experiment (-notwithstanding, of course, the self-loathing variety so common in today's well-to-do urban centers), and should share much of the initial credit. After all, they first posited that history COULD be redeemed. And, I might add, the possibility of a Redeemer.

  • deloresfromwarren

    Not even the Rosenbergs were as harmful to America as this ship of fools.

  • dharc

    Here in Nevada Harry Reid is history.In 12 months we will vote this rattlesnake out of office.I just hope he stays in his hole and doesn't crawl out to infect somewhere else.Bye bye Harry.

  • get_involved
  • Derowr

    The Messiah bore witness unto “The Only True G-D”…….

    And Truth IS, as Paul testified, “G-D was in The Messiah”, Paul did not testify that 'g-d was the messiah'…….

    And Paul testified of “ONE G-D, Father of ALL”…….

    The Messiah testified of, “The Only True G-D” and The Messiah testified that He had a “G-D and Father”, HE WHO IS The ONE and Only True G-D, Father of ALL…….

    Paul testified, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in G-D, WHO CREATED ALL things by The Messiah”…….(Eph3:9)

    And The Father(Creator) spoke “Let there be Light” and “there was Light”…….

    LIGHT begot Light…….

    The Messiah, “The Light which enlightens every man”, was “The Beginning of The Creation of The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL…….(Rev 3:14)

    There is Only ONE True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, and HE IS The G-D and Father(Creator) of The Messiah and His brethren…….

    John 17:3 “And this is Eternal Life, that they might know YOU The Only True G-D, and The Messiah, Whom YOU have sent”…….

    Mark 12:32-33 “And the scribe said unto The Messiah, Well, Master, You have said The Truth: for there is ONE G-D; and there is NONE OTHER but HE. And to love HIM with all your heart, and with all your understanding, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and to love his neighbor as yourself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices”…….

    Rom 3:30 “Seeing it is ONE G-D, WHO shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith”…….

    1 Cor 8:6 “But to us there is but ONE G-D, The Father, of WHOM are all things, and we in HIM; and one Master, The Messiah, by Whom are all things, and we by Him”…….

    Rev 3:14 The Messiah was “The Beginning of The Creation of The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL”…….

    Eph 4:6 “ONE G-D, Father of ALL, WHO is above all, and through all, and in you all”…….

    John 4:24 “G-D is A SPIRIT: and they that worship HIM must worship HIM in Spirit and in Truth”…….

    Luke 24:39 The Messiah testified after He was “raised from among the dead”, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself, handle Me and see, for A SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE FLESH AND BONES, AS you see I HAVE”…….

    The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL can not die…….period…….

    The Messiah died and “The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL raised Him from among the dead”……. And The Messiah's incorruptible body ascended into the clouds…….

    James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of G-D, for G-D CAN NOT BE TEMPTED with evil, neither tempts HE any man”…….

    Heb 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest(The Messiah) Who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, for He WAS in all points TEMPTED like we are, yet without sin”…….

    The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, HE CAN NOT BE TEMPTED with sin AS THE MESSIAH WAS…….period…….

    1 Tim 2:5 “There is ONE G-D, and one mediator between G-D and men, the man-The Messiah”…….

    James 2:19 “You believe that there is ONE G-D, you do well, yet the devils also believe, and tremble”…….

    John 20:17 “The Messiah said unto her, Touch Me not; for I have not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My G-D, and your G-D.”

    Mark 3:33-35 “The Messiah answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brethren”? And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whoever shall do The Will of G-D, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother””…….

    Rom 8:29 “Whom G-D did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of HIS Son, that The Messiah might be the firstborn among many brethren”…….

    Hope is you are one of the brethren of The Messiah…….

    The brethren of The Messiah know there is Only ONE True Living G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL…….

    And Truth is as The Messiah tesified, ” My(Our) Father is greater than I”…….(John14:28)

    And Truth is as Paul testifed, “The HEAD of The Messiah is The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, and The Head of the man is The Messiah, and the head of the woman is the man”…….(1Cor11:3)

    Those who would pervert The Order of The ONE and Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL will have to answer to HIM…….

    For The ONE and Only True Living G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, “HE Created all things by The Messiah” and The Messiah was “The Beginning of The Creation of The ONE and Only True Living G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL…….

    Truth is “The Messiah is The Son of The ONE and Only True Living G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL”…….

    The Messiah testified that He had a “G-D and Father” and that His “G-D and Father” was also the “G-D and Father” of His Brethren…….

    And The ONE and Only True Living G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, HE has no god, for HE IS G-D, and HE has no father, for HE IS Father(Creator) of ALL, and HE has no brethren, for HE IS Father(Creator) of ALL…….

    Hope is there would be those who experience The Miracle that is receiving “the love of The Truth” for they will “experience The Messiah and The Power(Our Father) that raised Him from among the dead”…….

    The Faith of those who have received “a love of The Truth” is grounded in Miracles, not mere colored marks(words) written on a dead tree(page) and bound in a book…….

    Thankfully The ONE and Only True G-D, Father of ALL, HE yet communes with HIS Children, HE yet reveals all things…….

    Father Help! and HE does…….

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for “the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one” indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is never ending……. francis