Why America Is Still the Best Hope


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Does it break some unwritten rule for a columnist to bring his readers’ attention to his own book? If so, I ask your indulgence.

But, after nearly a thousand columns and twelve years since my last book, I hope readers will forgive me for noting that today, April 24, 2012, HarperCollins is publishing the culmination of a lifetime of thinking and years of the most challenging writing of my life.

The book is “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.” It is an argument on behalf of the moral superiority — and universal applicability — of American values.

There are three big ideas — or religions, if you will — competing for humanity’s allegiance: Leftism, Islamism, and Americanism. I argue that the American value system — what I call “the American Trinity” — is the best system ever devised for making a good society.

The problem is that most Americans cannot identify these values, and therefore cannot fight on their behalf. In the meantime, the alternatives, Leftism and Islamism, have been spreading like proverbial wildfire, largely because their adherents know exactly what they are fighting for.

I do not fault Americans for not knowing their distinctive values. No one taught them what they are. And the problem is not new. Even the so-called “greatest generation,” the World War II generation, had not been systematically taught these values.

I only came to realize what these values are in the way medical researchers sometimes happen upon a major discovery — by chance. One night, as I emptied my pockets, I stared at the coins I had removed, and, lo and behold, there they were: America’s values. The designers of all of America’s money — paper and coin — had been telling me and every other American for well over a century what America stood for. And I hadn’t noticed:

“Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One”).

No other country has proclaimed these three values as its primary values.

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  • David

    Wrong, Mr. Prager. America is not the best hope, it is the ONLY hope.

  • Western Spirit

    it's not only the only hope in this world but our free way of life is hanging by a thread.

  • Looking4Sanity

    Globally speaking, mankind has rejected the "Grand Experiment". It seems that, as a species, we are suicidally insane. The minority of us who are capable of self governance are in constant and mortal danger from the majority of animalistic mental deficients who inhabit the Earth.

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  • Ghostwriter

    There are those who don't like that America's a free and independent country. There are those who want America to be like everywhere else. Many here don't want that.

  • Ghostwriter

    Oh,I forgot. If you had a look at the list of naturalized citizens of different countries on Wikipedia,you'd see that the ones for the United States is quite large,over two thousand. Other countries don't even come close.

  • Schlomotion

    "The problem is that most Americans cannot identify these values, and therefore cannot fight on their behalf."

    Credat Judaeus Apella, non ego.