Friday, August 24, 2007

why are we a shining city on a hill?

I can't post a link to one of Ronald Reagan's greatest speeches without commenting on it (see previous post).

There has never, in the history of the world, been a nation that has been as rich or powerful as the United States, or which has used it's wealth and power to achieve as much good as the United States. These facts are indisputable:

1. The United States of America is the greatest nation in the history of the world.
2. The United States of America has repeatedly saved the world from totalitarianism and has repeatedly secured freedom and liberty for countless millions of people in every corner of the globe.
3. These actions by the United States have come at a great cost. Well over a million American citizens have died, giving the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of liberty here at home and abroad. Millions more have had to bear the pain of sacrificing their physical health, mental health, and the physical and mental health of their loved ones so that others could enjoy the fruits of liberty. Millions upon millions of children throughout our history have grown up without their fathers, or mothers, or brothers or sisters because those family members were killed on foreign soil defending others. There has never, in the history of the world, been a country that has sacrificed so many lives and spent so much money to defend the life, liberty and property of the world as the United States of America.
4. The United States of America is the first country in the history of the world to defeat poverty and, in the process of doing so, given the rest of the world a blueprint to accomplish the same. I have frequently said that poverty, as the world understands the term, no longer exists in America. We don't have poor people here in America anymore. Less than 5% of all Americans are unemployed. Contrary to the leftist propaganda, nobody in America has to go to bed hungry at night, or to exist with no shelter. Privately funded charities and publically funded entitlement programs, in addition to the wholesale lowering of taxes over the last 30 years, have allowed all Americans to achieve a level of wealth unprecedented in human history. The blueprint for this success? It's the free market with low taxes. That blueprint is 100% successful, compared with the 0% success rate of socialism. The rest of the world would do well to emulate us.
5. There isn't another nation on earth that is inhabited by people who are as charitable as America. We the people, separate from our military, have spent untold blood, sweat, tears and dollars to help the needy all across the globe. This unprecedented generosity is a reflection of America's Christian heritage, and it is largely ignored by the leftist intelligentsia.
6. In the words of Lord Acton of England, as quoted by Pres. Reagan, "They (the Founders) had solved with astonishing ease and unduplicated success two problems which had heretofore baffled the capacity of the most enlightened nations. They had contrived a system of federal government which prodigiously increased national power and yet respected local liberties and authorities, and they had founded it on a principle of equality without surrendering the securities of property or freedom." Never in any society has the preeminence of the individual been so firmly established and given such a priority. This unique balancing act comes from the fact that our republic was founded on the principle that our basic human rights are given to us by God, and that we the people empower government to safeguard those rights. Our rights are not bestowed upon us by government. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the secret, in a nutshell, of America's greatness.

Of course, America's history is full of imperfections. There has never been a perfect nation in the history of the world. There can be no disputing, however, unless you are afflicted with the cancer of liberalism, that America has achieved a level of greatness higher than has ever been achieved, and that we are the last best hope of man on earth.

Pres. Reagan recognized that truth and was able to articulate the truth better than anyone else in the 20th Century. We would do well to reflect on that truth, and the reasons why it's true.


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