Friday, July 5, 2013

Two Competing Political Philosophies

From American Thinker:

Happy Birthday, America!

This week we celebrate our country's birth. Patriots honor America as a republic conceived as a polity in which all may live safely and securely in the enjoyment of their inalienable, God-given rights. We are inspired by the high idealism of the Founders and stirred by the poignant remembrance of all those who have fought, worked, and sacrificed to make the USA the freest and most prosperous country in the history of the world.

Our joy may be tempered by the realization that liberty and prosperity appear to be at risk. Particularly dismaying about this challenge to America is that it comes from within.

While the following statement is always true to some extent, today it is of existential importance: there is a battle being waged for the soul of America. It is fundamentally a battle of vision and values, of philosophies and principles. It is a struggle between those who adhere to the founding fathers' noble principles and those who -- whether from personal grudges or delusional self-importance, demoralized character or spiritual dullness, warped intellect or diabolical ideology -- wish to reinvent our beloved republic.

The philosophy of the founders was still predominant in our culture and national spirit in the 1950s. Every week, we heard the announcer of the TV series "Superman" proclaim without irony or apology the Man of Steel's commitment to "truth, justice, and the American Way." By "the American way,"we all knew that he referred to the freedom inherent in those God-given rights cited in the Declaration of Independence. Those who cherish and believe in those same venerable principles today have a philosophy that, if summarized in a single word, may be termed "Americanism."

There are myriad alternative philosophies to Americanism, more than can be listed. What all of them have in common is that they either repudiate American values, ideals, and principles outright or compromise them in some way. To varying degrees, they are illiberal, atavistic, elitist, retrograde, Old World philosophies -- that is, they have been tried before and have been found wanting. They may be repackaged to appear as new, fresh, progressive ideas, but they belong to other times and places. Again, for convenience, I'll lump together these anti-American philosophies under the label "alien," since they are foreign to America's founding principles.

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