Are We Still the Home of the Brave?


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The liberal university now stands for avoiding pain much more than for freedom of speech.

I have a sad confession to make. Whenever I hear or sing the national anthem, I no longer fully believe its ending — “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” We have many freedom-loving and brave Americans — just think of those in the armed forces. But overall, risk has been banned as Americans seek to be immunized against pain.

Needless to say, the liberal Philadelphia Inquirer supported the decision to cancel the football game. And so did some of my callers who think of themselves as conservative. But all those self-identified conservative callers who supported the decision were, I noted on air, under the age of 40.

I explained to them that they have grown up in a different America than I did. The idea of telling an American that a pro football game is canceled because he might drive in bad weather strikes a conservative over 40 as demeaning. But the young have been raised without monkey bars, dodge ball or seesaws, lest they fall and hurt themselves; without “Merry Christmas,” lest it offend; protected by parents and schools from experiencing the pain of a loss in sports; being told they are wonderful when they are not; and otherwise weakening them to the point where it seems perfectly natural to cancel a football game because fans may drive in bad weather.

A listener who disagreed with me sent me an e-mail asking me how I would feel if my father drove to that game and died in an accident because emergency vehicles could not reach him in time. I responded by giving my correspondent my father’s e-mail address. I told him that I suspected that my father, who is a healthy 92 and fought for three years in World War II, would probably respond that he doesn’t recognize the America of today as the one he fought for 65 years ago.

That’s why the cancellations by the NFL and Yale University are important. Once the home of the brave, America is becoming the home of the risk-averse and the pain-avoiders. And when you are risk-averse, you are not only less brave, you are less free. With freedom comes pain, a price more and more Americans don’t want to pay.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    Just like every other commentator I've read or heard denouncing the cancellation of the NFL game (including Philly's mayor), Dennis Prager failes to mention the 800-pound gorilla in the room: LITIGATION. This is why the game was canceled, this is why the play-grounds have been sanitized beyond recognition, this is why America has become so risk-averse. Litigation is sucking the life out of this country….and in case anyone wasn't aware, the 'Trial Lawyers of America' are the single largest donors to the Democratic Party…(which explains clearly why tort reform was out of the question as part of Obama's Healthcare "reform").

  • waterwillows

    When I was an 11 year old honor student, the school did something I was in abject disagreement to. One of the boys had broken into the school and either did some damage or stole something, I really don't remember the cause.
    At any rate the school decided that the boy and his innocent sister were to be punished. No one was allowed to speak or play with either one of them. I saw her in the playground standing there alone and looking quite diminished. I felt pity for her unjust punishment, so I went over and struck up a conversation. It was welcomed by her, though I was a nobody in the status of things.
    Well, all hell broke loose. Lectures, meetings, intimidating threats, frantic calls to my parents etc……. so I became as off-limits as herself.
    I never gave in and I never backed down. It cost me everything that a child could lose. But I have no regrets. Let us all live with no regrets and do what is right in the sight of the Lord. Because that is the only real victory.