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As Long as We Remember...

December 10, 2007

Jingoist Bells, Jingoist Bells…

Steven R. Berryman

…Jingo all the way. When did patriotism become a negative attribute of Americans, and why isn’t Pat Buchanan running for president in 2008? The advanced press for his new book, Day Of Reckoning, reads more like a campaign platform than it does a plot; his compilation of issues and proposed solutions leaves one feeling a patriotic sense of hope for us all again, so long as his warnings are positively received.

So, why does it make me feel just a little dirty?

If America is coming apart and decomposing, many are not going to want to hear it, preferring to remember past glories; but one must go all the way back to World War II at this point.

You have to break it down before you can fix it. Hubris, greed, and ideology have overshadowed our common sense. It has been too long since a decisive win left our moral prerogative fully intact!

The American jingoism took its biggest hit as a result of the Vietnam conflict. In an overreach to halt the perceived domino-effects of communism, the anti-war crowd had to slam the very patriotism of our soldiers to put it down.

That legacy continues today as we second-guess our own motives in Iraq. We have to get out of the box, and revitalize our own national identity to recover. Mr. Buchanan would have us reconstitute the military as a portion of a master scheme to bring us back to greatness.

He is a patriot, and, of course, he has run for president before – twice. Jousting with George Will, Sam Donaldson, and John McLaughlin on talk shows was where we saw him first, always the consummate conservative foil to liberalism. His health slowed him down for a while, but now he’s coming back strong with a coordinated plan to pull America up by her bootstraps, without the normal guilt associated with a jingoist label.

The downside of being jingoistic is that we always come off to the rest of the world as being chauvinistic with the intensity of our collective patriotism. Where reckoning leaves the term behind is in the solutions set aside for our foreign policy. Mr. Buchanan would bring many of the troops home.

The attitude is: We are America, and we stand for what is good in the world and represent the best opportunities for a long period of peace, if we can fix ourselves. A big “if!” As the worlds sole surviving “superpower,” we miss the polarizing effects of having the U.S.S.R. as an enemy.

Mr. Buchanan calls for an “end to the Crusades” as part of a comprehensive restructuring of what is still a Cold War posturing by our military. The BRAC Commission model for the rule of functionality must be applied over our entire force structure without bias.

Is it considered extreme nationalism to consolidate our military, redefine our potential adversaries, to rebuild and re-deploy more effectively? Our enemies would use this train of thought against us. Yes, we do need a larger military, along with a better plan in our efforts not to be everything to everyone, and all at the same time!

Mr. Buchanan’s approach to reversing the “Decline in American Dominance” is to take an ensemble of issues and deal with them concurrently.

The fixes we need have a very broad scope, and certainly transcend global domination. The enemy lies within just as much as it does from without: the infiltration of the borders by illegals and pressures on “open borders” trade policy.

Pressures on jobs and wages are forcing “culture wars” and divisiveness that precludes rapid assimilations into a patriotic America. Diversity for its own sake is being used as a wedge issue to encourage conflict by forces that would tear us apart. The Political Correct environment all but rules out positive self-imaging. The results could be devastating if allowed to fester.

Other “sacred cows” on the auction block in Buchanan’s book include: fencing the borders with real fences, not virtual ones…to stem the tide of the Illegals; a halt to “chain immigration” by eliminating anchor babies; adjusting “free trade” by adding a 20% border-equity tax…with proceeds going back to U.S. corporations to offset tax disadvantages; and a revisit of our corporate structure with CEOs paid to see out only to the next quarter’s bonus, and getting paid 400 times that of his own workers, even for failing results.

"This is our flag, pick it up! This is your country, TAKE IT BACK!" – Tom Tancredo.

We all own a piece of these problems, through neglect and denial, plus obfuscation and misdirection, courtesy of our elected officials. We have had it too easy for too long and allowed mediocrity to flourish in Congress. We left “well enough” alone. Campaign finance reform and term limits were not dealt with, nor was unhealthy influence from single-issue lobbyists. That’s where the dirty feelings come from. We did not vote out the bums!

What I get from Pat Buchanan’s new book is that it’s not too late…yet.

My holiday wish for everyone is that we hear our Jingoist Bells and do the hard things we will need to do to pick up America by her bootstraps.

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