America the Preeminent
There is bound to be a great deal of hand-wringing and equivocating over the next few weeks as America surveys and addresses the world with a harder eye, looking aggressively for its enemy and reassessing who are its friends. Many commentators both at home and abroad long accustomed to spouting diatribes and sneers against the U.S. and its political and legal traditions and principles will whine and carry on about the importance of our respecting the points of view of those whose perspective (and therefore principles and purposes) differs from ours, some to the point of enmity. This sort of talk will presuppose or allege that American strength is just a matter of luck, or is gotten through evil deeds, and that we have no more right to use it against others than has a big kid to bully the other children on a playground.
This will be perfectly consistent with the relativistic nonsense that has always characterized the foamings of such persons, and it will be utterly wrong. The simple truth is that America is strong because at its heart, America is virtuous, more virtuous than any other nation. We are so because we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
America, in its recognition and elevation of the supremacy of the individual, and its distrust and contempt for government, embraces truth, and with that reverence for truth comes power. All other perspectives on the relationship between citizen and government are wrong, based upon lies, and incapable of generating real strength and vitality. There is no second way to doing it right, there is no third way.
There is a reason why nations and cultures with thousands more years of continuity on which to draw remain primitive barbarisms from which natives flee to our shores, while America, in a mere 230 years has roared past the rest of the world to utter preeminence. All the rest, to a greater or lesser degree, embrace fictions and illusions about government power and individual rights in the basic ordering of their societies, ranging from group "rights" to the divine right of kings. Even those with a tradition rooted in sound instincts, such as Great Britain, are tentative about the truth, unwilling to commit themselves to written foundational documents, and retaining in the face of all reason the trappings of aristocracy.
This is not, of course, to say that we are necessarily superior persons. As individual Americans we only share in and contribute to the national virtue to the degree that we personally honor and defend the principles from which it springs, but many do so passionately and all are graced with access to that heritage, unlike any other people. Though they are available to all, no other nation on earth has adopted American mechanisms of commitment to liberty-- rather they ooze forth elaborate rationalizations for clinging to their degenerate power structures, while begging for our aid, sneering at our traditions, cowering behind our troops, copying our technology, corrupting our politicians, lusting after our wealth, and, in many cases, longing for our ruin.
Because this is so, we in America are in a unique position as regards the proprieties of our response to the heinous attack, launched without prior declaration or challenge, upon our people and property on September 11th. Where any other nation or culture must be circumspect and tentative, questioning its righteousness and guilt-ridden or fearful over an exercise of power, we need not. We are the bastion of liberty on earth. Our superiority falters only to the degree that we betray our principles, and though we have indeed thus lost ground over the past 75 years, the wellspring from which we stray is so bountiful and fecund that even after three quarters of a century of indulging socialist and statist apostasy, corruption, and sloth America still towers above the rest of the world, in full possession of the moral authority to act as we see fit, answering to no one.
America is not the bully on the playground, it is the adult; born of and still grounded in the only mature social philosophy in known human history, and certainly in the world today. Let us have little patience for those who wish it were otherwise, and who seek to make it so by persuading us to share their defective and self-serving world-view. Let us stand tall in our quiet pride and well-earned self-respect. Let us go forth in our power and do justice.
© Peter E. Hendrickson
For an important follow-up to this piece, please see 'About Weapons Of Mass Destruction'