The following was left on my blog as a comment, but deserves full recognition as a post. It is from fousesquawk blogsite by Gary Fouse.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
America-Could We Lose It?
About ten years ago, while I was researching my first book, The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, I gained a lot of insights into the history of the Soviet Union itself and how it collapsed. True, Gorbachev and his reforms, followed by the attempted coup were the final contributors. Ronald Reagan kept up the pressure on the USSR with his defense programs, also helping push them over the edge. However, one of the largest factors in the collapse of the USSR was the re-awakening of the non-Russian republics and peoples in favor of their own identities and languages. Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika reforms had allowed the non-Russian peoples to once again discuss these issues, which, beginning under Stalin, had been severely repressed. The eventual result was a move to independence, led by the Baltic republics. In the end, the collapse of the USSR shocked the world-a major superpower collapsing under its own weight without being conquered militarily by any other power.
I often wonder if the same thing could happen to America. Obviously, there is no other power or combination of powers that could invade us and defeat us militarily. Yet, could we, like the former Soviet Union, suddenly collapse from within? It is tempting to quickly say no, that our free and democratic system has proven itself to be resilient, even during times of crisis like Watergate and the resignation of Nixon. Yet.......
It is obvious to everyone that we (and the rest of the world) are facing a major new challenge in Islamic fundamentalism that not only threatens to blow up the entire Middle East, but is threatening other nations as well from Europe to Asia to the Americas. Leaving the rest of the world aside for a moment, I feel confident that a united America could face this challenge.
However, we are not a united America. We are divided in a whole host of ways. We are divided by politics and philosophy, even to the point where we talk of red states and blue states. In spite of our best efforts, we are divided by race and class. In spite of the monumental Civil Rights Movement, the situation in the black inner cities is at a crisis point. Many blacks are still disaffected from white society, spurred on by "leaders" such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The illegal immigration issue is dividing many Latinos from the rest of us as many of them see the demands for border enforcement as being racist. Our Muslim Americans are feeling alienated from mainstream society, especially since 9-11. Many of them feel that Americans distrust them as Muslims. They feel that their religion is under attack here and abroad. The issue of Israel has led to tremendous friction between them and our Jewish citizens.
That last point, of course, relates also to the war in Iraq, which divides us all, much as the Viet Nam War did. As many Americans protest that war and our whole involvement in the Middle East, some even question the War on Terror, wondering how such a war can be won.
More importantly, however, is the growing sentiment among our own people that America is not such a noble country after all, a sentiment with which I entirely disagree, This sentiment is fanned by the left in our society. Who am I talking about? How about Hollywood, the universities, the mainstream news media, many figures in the Democratic Party and the other assorted activist organizations?
In the universities (I teach part-time at the University of California at Irvine) and also now in high schools, we see a left-wing agenda being propagated by teachers and professors, many of whom came of age as students during the volatile 60s. Many of these professors now see their job as teaching their students about all the faults of America-racism, sexism, imperialism, homophobia, Islamophobia and so on. They use their classroom platform to rail against people like President Bush, the Republican Party and conservatives in general. Many of their students, inspired and egged on by their professors, engage in various disruptive campus protests against anything and anyone they disagree with, in many cases, not letting speaking events go on. Radical leftists can walk around and speak freely on campuses, but any conservative speakers need bodyguards.
Hollywood is another interesting example. During World War 2, Hollywood actually participated in the war effort, producing movies that reinforced the public's knowledge that we were the good guys and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were the bad guys. That actually spilled partially over into the Viet Nam War. During the earlier stages of our involvement, John Wayne ( a patriot) starred in The Green Berets, a pro-American movie that carried on the tradition of the movies of World War 2 (and the Korean War as well). But as attitudes changed toward Viet Nam, Hollywood changed as well. Most Viet Nam War movies that have been produced since then have portrayed soldiers and Marines as being drug-using, psycotic misfits betrayed by their generals and the politicians in Washington who sent them there. Witness movies like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and many others. Today, movies about current conflicts take a position that we are fighting misguided wars, and treat the whole Islamic terror issue with kid gloves out of political correctness (Rendition for example).
As for our mainstream media, they, like the universities, are almost entirely in the hands of the left-to the point that they are now editorializing under the guise of reporting. They are actually a wing of the Democratic Party. Who am I talking about? I am referring to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and too many other newspapers to list here. Only Fox News and talk radio can give the public any conservative thought.
When I was growing up, the Democratic Party was not dramatically different from the Republican Party. Both were fairly conservative and both were Cold Warriors. I guess it started to change during the 1960s, with the division and bitterness brought on by the Viet Nam War. Today, they do have some similarities in the area of corruption, love of power and pork-barrel spending of the public's money. Philosophically, however, there are deep differences. The Democrats have, with few exceptions, drifted solidly to the left with a more socialistic world view. The Republicans have stood for conservatism, on which in many cases they have compromised in recent years. Currently, members of the two parties can barely speak to each other, much less get anything done in Congress (perhaps a good thing?) It alarms me, however, to see how the Democrats cannot even support the president when it comes to our national defense. They don't want any eavesdropping on suspected terrorists without a court order. They want Guantanemo closed down and captured terrorists afforded federal trials with attorneys and all the other rights of criminal defendants. They don't want us to win in Iraq-just pull out- no matter the consequences. Meanwhile, politicians and government leaders on both sides of the aisle continue to bicker and fiddle while the country burns. It is disgraceful, but look at most of the characters we have in Washington and state and local offices around the country. Their one common attribute is ambition and little else. Meanwhile, our youth witness how many of our leaders act. If it's not Mark Foley chasing young pages around Washington, it's Bill Clinton turning the White House into a bordello, committing perjury and somehow remaining in office. If it's not William Jefferson caught on tape accepting a $100,000 bribe from the FBI, it's Larry Craig being busted in an airport men's room for solicitation of sex.
All of this is having an effect on the public, which is badly divided by left and right, forgetting in the process, that we are all threatened by the same enemy. Many people in our society are now starting to accept the idea that 9-11 was an inside job carried out by the Bush Administration to provide an excuse to start wars for oil. That itself is a scary idea that so many people could believe that. But consider that there is a University of Wisconsin professor who is pushing that very position. That is a prime example of how our youth are being educated today. They are not taught the essentials that my generation and my father's generation was taught. Rather they are taught all the historical errors of their country. Now we have a whole generation of young, college-educated people who cannot find the Middle East on a map, but can wax eloquent about gay issues. Sadly, it doesn't take a grade school dropout to swallow the notion that 9-11 was Bush's doing.
Along those same lines, it seems we have raised a whole generation of Americans who have not learned the fact that our freedom has come at a price. They take it for granted and have bought into the notion that they are entitled to everything. Some feel that way out of a sense of victimization; others simply out of a sense of entitlement. Sacrifice, public service and responsibility have gone out the window. It amazes me that in the midst of all this, we have still managed to produce those marvelous young men and women who are willing to wear the uniform of our country and put their lives on the line. They are the very best that our society has to offer. Yet, they get no respect from certain institutions like the universities.
Another factor which must be considered is the coursening of our culture. When did it become ok to sell pornography openly in stores or on the Internet? When did it become commonplace to see convicted child rapists (a rampant phenomenom in America) given probation or light sentences of say, one year, which happens with regularity in states like Vermont and Massachusetts? When did we get the notion that we no longer had the sovereign right to control our borders and decide who may enter our country? When did it become commonplace for hip-hop artists to perform "songs" about violence, rape and killing cops, using a stream of 4-letter words in the process? (In my lifetime, I have witnessed the slow death of one of our great American art forms; black music with actual singing and musical instruments.) When did it become acceptable for a university newspaper (Colorado State University) to display a headline reading-"F--- Bush!"? When did it become acceptable for a high school to invite speakers to explain to a (mandatory) student assembly that unprotected sex and drug experimentation were good ideas to be encouraged? (Boulder High School in Colorado-2007) Maybe, just maybe, it started when we legalized abortion. Since then, babies by the millions have been terminated as a choice. Maybe that was when we lost our soul as a people.
But how easy it is to lose one's soul when God has been driven from the public arena. Now any reference to God is open to attack. The result? We are now starting to emulate the Europeans, who are so proud of the secularization of their societies that ancient churches and cathedrals over there are now little more than museums for tourists. Enter one today and you only see other tourists- no services going on-maybe an old priest walking around a lighting candles. I hope the Europeans enjoy their secularization while it lasts. In another two generations, with present demographic trends, Europe will be majority Muslim-but it will not be secular.
So today, Christians and their faith are under constant attack. Jews are also under attack for their perceived allegiance to Israel; thus, we see anti-Semitic speeches on college campuses, in many cases, by Muslim speakers invited by the Muslim Students Unions. Such is the case at my school-UC Irvine. Meanwhile, university leaders (like ours) wring their hands and talk about freedom of speech being paramount while calling any criticism of these hate-filled speakers as Islamophobia, a moral equivalent of the anti-Semitic speeches themselves. The bottom line is that while our own majority religion ( and that of our Jewish citizens) is being attacked from the left, Islam, with all of its intolerance and violent elements, is being cowtowed to by that very same left.
During the Cold War, one of the goals of the communists was to undermine us from within. Destroy Americans' faith in the country. Do away with religion and its values. Bring down the American economy and all our other advantages over other nations. Make America into just another nation among equals. Divide public opinion. They would be proud today at what has been happening here. Ever wonder what happened to all the American communists and sympathizers when the Soviet Union collapsed and Eastern Europe threw off Communism? They couldn't still proclaim themselves Communists and preach Communism as the ultimate answer lest they be laughed out the country. Where did they go? What are they doing now to help speed up the rotting away of our society and our power? There may be some clues in what I have written above.
So in my opinion, could America collapse from within due to our deep divisions? Absolutely, and I think there is a small but very vocal and active element in our society working to that very end. It is up to us to stand up for our country and our traditional values while at the same time, somehow, come together again. In this essay, I have written from an obviously conservative view, criticizing liberals. My essay is, in fact, divisive because I strongly believe that conservatism must prevail in this country. That in itself shows that our coming together will not be easy.
Be sure to stop by fousesquawk and thank Gary for such a well written piece.