America’s Birthday

Honduras v United States - FIFA 2014 World Cup QualifierBirthdays are supposed to be times for celebration and gift-giving. But America’s upcoming birthday on the Fourth of July is a time when the gift most needed is an urgent warning about the dangers of losing the things that have made this country America — and have long made “America” a ringing word of freedom, not only in this country but to people around the world.

All is not lost. But all could be lost — especially if too many of us take freedom for granted and focus our attention on other things, like electronic gadgets and the antics of celebrities, while ignoring such dangers as nuclear weapons in the hands of suicidal fanatics, with a track record of savagery, whom we are too squeamish to call anything stronger than “militants.”

Nor are all the dangers abroad. Within our own country there are all too many signs of people blithely ready to sacrifice the interests or freedom of Americans for the sake of symbolism or passing fashions.

When a former Speaker of the House of Representatives announces that she is going down to our border to greet and welcome masses of people crossing that border illegally, you know that something is fundamentally wrong.

No one knows, or apparently cares, what diseases these floods of illegals are bringing into the country, including diseases that have been largely stamped out in the United States, and which American doctors have seldom seen enough to know how to spot them or treat them.

No one knows, or apparently cares, how many of these “children” include teenage criminal gangs to whom murder is no big deal. Worst of all, no one knows, or apparently cares, that the elected representatives of the American people were cut out of the loop when it came to making these decisions.

All that matters to people like Nancy Pelosi is the symbolism of welcoming the oppressed, especially if they represent more votes for Democrats, who will shower the taxpayers’ money on them.

As if to make clear the elite’s contempt for ordinary Americans’ intelligence, President Obama tells us that the people crossing the border “love” America.

How could he possibly know that, any more than he could know how to “invest” the taxpayers’ money in “the industries of the future,” which have in fact gone bankrupt?

What is involved are not just bad policy choices. What is involved are policies imposed unilaterally by the president, in defiance of Congress’ authority to legislate and in contempt of the Constitution’s separation of powers — on which all our freedoms ultimately depend.

The people who wrote the Constitution of the United States understood what dangers there are to the freedom of the people — and that freedom can be quietly eroded by degrees, rather than taken all at once.

Too many people today seem oblivious to such dangers. So what if the government used the muscle of the Internal Revenue Service to keep groups opposed to the Obama administration tied up in red tape or litigation in an election year? Enough games like that can make our elections meaningless.

This arrogant abuse of power does not end with the federal government. In Massachusetts, teenager Justina Pelletier was taken from her parents’ custody and held virtually incommunicado for over a year, because her parents preferred to continue to have her treated as the physicians at a medical facility associated with Tufts University had treated her, even though shrinks at Children’s Hospital in Boston said her problems were in her head, and took her off some of her medications.

This difference of opinion as to the best medical treatment for Justina Pelletier was enough to get a judge to side with headstrong bureaucrats and override her parents’ rights. So a girl who was ice skating before ended up in a wheelchair under the “care” of shrinks.

Fortunately, enough media attention, especially by former governor Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel, finally got this child freed. Perhaps we can hope that all is not lost — yet. But if this case is a symbol of Americans fighting back, it is also a symbol of why it is desperately important to fight back.

That spirit is the best birthday present for America.

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  • ntvnyr30

    The American Spirit is in peril when you have the government controlled by leftists and Marxists (i.e Van Jones). This republic cannot survive with “rules for thee and not for me” (see the IRS, VA etc). The leftists in government are waiting for patriotic Americans to die out and be replaced with these clueless kids who have no idea who Reagan, Eisenhower and Coolidge were.

  • Jason P

    One would have preferred an article explaining the spirit of America. Instead Sowell gives us a grab bag of complaints.

    • Demetrius Minneapolis

      Thomas Sowell has forgotten more about the spirit of America (now deceased) and political culture than you will ever know. I suppose you’re fine with this “president’s” government?

      • Jason P

        Worst president since Carter and that’s holding the bar very low.

        • Ellen_L

          The words did not lose meaning, they were said by someone who did not care about truth or meaning but only about impressing his listeners. My first and lasting impression of Mr Obama is his lack of understanding or love of simple truth – the relation between what is real and often perceptible and the words he uses. You cannot tell what he thinks or will do by listening to what he says. It goes beyond lying or errors to a blatant disregard for reality and the people. He speaks in platitudes, vague ideas, contradictions and emotional manipulation; and when occasionally he actually says something it frequently turns out to be untrue and we argue when he knew it!

  • Dyer’s Eve

    The likes of Nancy Pelosi are ‘glad hearts’ They’re Bolsheviks who have massive egos and ‘get off’ on selling out their country of origin. In Australia, they’re called The Greens. They’d sell my homeland down the river in a heartbeat! Stalin ain’t dead, he just went online. Notice how everyone has their face buried in some digital gadget? A distraction we’re going to pay for dearly if we don’t wake up.
    The English author, Charles Dickens, toured the USA in the wake of the Civil War. An observation he made has always stuck in my mind; “If America falls, then that is the end of Western Civilisation”. How prescient. How prophetic?

  • cxt

    Thank you for the article–excellent read.

  • winstons

    No, the Left has won because of the proximity of tens of millions of Proles flooding America from the South…they can use them for the foreseeable future using the same strategy the Left has used with the Blacks: Keep them impoverished, on the State dole and blame Whitey for their misery.

    • detocquville

      Don’t forget the diseases the Proles/Illegales bring…to eliminated Whites.

  • Ellen_L

    Nor are all the dangers abroad. Within our own country there are all too many signs of people blithely ready to sacrifice the interests or freedom of Americans for the sake of symbolism or passing fashions.
    Interesting observation and way of describing the emotional manipulation these people have made a way of diverting our attention from the facts to their narrative. It is hard to overestimate the power of an overview to influence people especially those who have no definite principles and have to rely on a vague story to filter their information and try to decide about the facts and the actions to take.