A couple years ago, while having a brief discussion about history with one of my son’s junior high school teachers, the topic of America came up. I asked him why he thought America had been, historically, so successful. He said it was simply because we were a big country with friends on two borders and vast oceans on our other two. Oh, and we had a lot of natural resources. That was it.
Dude, that’s like, you know, deep!
I suggested to him that Natural Law was at the base, the heart, the core, the foundation of our success. It led directly and indirectly to an intellectual and moral climate that brought forth limited government by, of and for the people, republicanism, the free market and the rule of law, all of which in turn were responsible for the freest, most successful country in the history of the world.
He looked at me as if I just told him I thought the Earth was flat.
Sadly, this is a common, almost obligatory belief amongst educators and elites today, albeit comically easy to refute. The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world and that didn’t stop its citizens from having to wait in lines for potatoes, toilet paper and, hopefully, a glimpse of some poor quality meat product every now and again. And it has oceans, seas and the Arctic on its borders. We don’t even have to recount the histories of India, Mexico, et. al., to discount the theory that size means economic bounty.
On the other hand, we have Hong Kong and Taiwan as examples of tiny countries with almost no resources that have been economic powerhouses. New Zealand, Ireland at times, Luxemburg, Switzerland? Perhaps political and economic systems are a better determinant of success?
Let’s return to the left’s dismissal of American greatness and general dislike for countries and people with inherent advantages. Everyone loves the underdog. I get that. I do too. But I also like logic and consistency.
Let’s look at another successful country, a really, really small one. One whose peoples have been persecuted more so than any other. Millions upon millions murdered, many in the most barbaric manner. It is history’s biggest underdog. It is still targeted today. Rockets are fired into it on an almost daily basis. Iran has vowed to wipe it off the face of the Earth. Several of its neighbors would be fine with that.
It is a democracy with citizens who are free.
And, incredibly, many on the left in the West- and throngs around the world- actively despise it. Biblical prophesy, anyone? A potentially nuclear Iran and a newly belligerent Russia, Israel not truly supported and defended by the U.S. for the first time in modern history?
President Obama authorizes airstrikes against ISIS and he is generally cheered and supported, yet when Israel retaliates (defends itself) for Hamas attacks (these are attacks killing Israelis on Israeli soil!) they are roundly criticized. Hamas was using U.N. facilities to stash away rockets and other munitions, knowing that Israel would be condemned by the “world community” if they struck these sites!
Fortunately, Israelis have a man of courage and honesty, a sober, intelligent adult with a knowledge of history for their leader. Some are born to lead. Washington, Disraeli, Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan, etc. Benjamin Netanyahu is of that ilk. Throughout history, great leaders have appeared, it seems, when they were needed most. Unfortunately, I don’t see the next great American President on the horizon. If such an individual exists, the mainstream press, Hollywood, Big Academia, Big labor and even many in Big Business would huff and puff and arrange billions of dollars in such a way as to preclude that person from becoming President. And the incredibly intolerant, stifling, politically- correct dogma that pervades our culture in general today would make it nearly impossible for that person to govern effectively anyway.
Yet Netanyahu, in a speech given at the United Nations this week, rightly criticized the efforts of several world powers to reach a nuclear “deal” with Iran, saying: “To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.”
He also accurately accused the U.N. Human Rights Council of singling out Israel for criticism when other parts of the world are awash in atrocities. He called the Human Rights Council’s name “an oxymoron” and stated that the body has become “a terrorist rights council.” He further pointed out that the council’s treatment of Israel reflects “the return of one of the world’s oldest prejudices.”
Would that Benjamin Netanyahu, or one like him, were leading America today.