Wages of Sin
The wages of sin is … ? Just leave it to your imagination. If you are sleeping well at night, then you probably do not want to and should not read this article. Otherwise gut it out, read the article, and take heed of the action necessary. It does seem that every body is against what the United States of America stands for these days. It even seems that we are pitted against ourselves –the South versus the North versus the West versus the South West versus who knows which region. See what Robert Freer means when he says the wages of sin.
Wages of Sin
By Robert E. Freer, Jr., President of The Free Enterprise Foundation
“Nations do not have friends. They have Relations.” Lord Palmerston
“There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.” Count Otto Von Bismarck
The United States is often the butt of mostly affectionate gibes at our survival over impossible odds. The one above is but one of many. I have always liked Churchill’s. “Americans always do the right thing after they have tried everything else.” Regrettably, I fear we may be running out of rain drops to run between. They are coming in ever increasing number, and I envision us outside the castle wall as boiling oil is about to be poured on our heads. If so, it is to be expected. We have deviated from the path laid out for us by our Founders to follow “the devices and desires of our own hearts” and should expect to get burned. I hope that Bismarck, Ronald Reagan and George Washington are right and that we will return to a morally sound path required for the Mighty Hand that has protected us from our founding to continue His benevolence. To paraphrase Lincoln, it is not whether God is on our side, but are we on His?
From The Shores of Tripoli to Petersburg, Vicksburg, San Juan Hill, the Marne, Argonne, Bastogne and Guadalcanal, men and women of valor have for more than two centuries projected the moral and physical force of this nation in as convincing a fashion as is possible. Ingrained in the American fighting man was the moral backbone of the whole nation, a nation that understood the values of individual freedom that demanded the valor and blood be expended even on distant shores to protect the folks at home. Ingrained in the American fighting man today is still the understanding that if he is there, not where he wants to be, he and his unit are the last best hope for mankind to preserve his way of life back home.
In the modern era, the forces opposed to freedom spin a philosophy of collectivist conscience that submerges individual responsibility into a group think that subjects, confuses and confounds all that we stand for and replaces it with defeatist relativism. Respect for others is built from respect for self, and we are being challenged to think the worst of all we do. Is it any wonder that our foreign and domestic policy is beset by turmoil?
Our enemies, and they are our enemies, are pleased that our national confusion is creating an atmosphere of surrender. A nation that has lost its way cannot pass on values to its young. A nation that has lost its way cannot protect its borders, discipline its people, and build a sense of national uniqueness about which to be proud. A nation that does not insist on cultural and historical education is headed toward defeat and disintegration.
We don’t need a seismic catastrophe to wall off the far West and Southwest from the Heartland, it is happening by spiritual erosion every day. The South similarly is backed into a corner, fighting hard for the values that are still taught there, while The Eastern elite make fun of Southern accents and “backward ways.”
There is still time. There is still hope, but too much damage has been done to escape unscathed. Domestically we are, as predicted by economic realists, in the early stages of a jobless recovery with more than ten percent unemployed. The self satisfied elitists considering our shared misery, seem not concerned that the common man, they claim to want to serve, feels the greatest pain from the job killing policies ruling the land. If we continue on the present path of pervasive governmental intrusion into business, our recovery will take as long as the last depression, and woe awaits us if it takes another world war to snap us out of it.
In the international arena, our wings have been clipped by our national profligacy. There can be no Pax Americana when our shield is hemorrhaging from within, and our thinking is befuddled by a loss of national purpose. Like our own bodies, the body politic cannot operate properly unless it is fit. The social scientists who “tap our knees” suffer from myopia. Their specialization considers finance, manufacturing, the pace of scientific discovery, or social change without looking at the whole. A holistic approach would reveal we no longer have the strength of purpose or of tangible resources to lead a world that sorely needs our steadying hand. Action and inaction are but the two sides of one coin. Unfortunately for us and the world, it is coming up tails.
While the percent of our resources we devote to the defense sector is not large, it is the most attacked by those who would still prefer we support our national security through bake sales. As a percentage of GDP, national defense is about 5 percent of our national product. Hardly large in comparison to what by some calculations is 84 percent devoted to welfare entitlements. Rational analysis would allow more to be devoted to providing a larger standing army and Marine Corps as well as the naval and air forces fully able to project our power throughout an unstable world. In the present environment, however, I suspect even if we had the resources, we are too befuddled by our national identity crisis to have the will to know when and how to use them.
Are we that resolute nation of individual freedom and opportunity known to earlier generations of patriotic Americans? Do we still hold our liberties as our most sacred possession? As the world’s melting pot, do we still require that complete amalgamation is the rule for all immigrants? We must all become loyal to those uniquely American values and share our dream of individual freedom under law for it to be secured for even one.
Until we rediscover our roots, you can expect that Germany and Russia will play out their unique destinies by following a course that drives them closer together. Poland and Georgia will be pressured to accommodate resurgent Russian expansionism as will the Baltic States. Already Ukraine and Ostia are being submerged.
Without credible U.S. power, you can expect extreme dislocation and a horrible war in the Middle East that will sorely test our commitment to Israel. Europe will continue to fragment with France not having the strength to hold the European Union together without a committed Germany. The Moslem world must confront the Wahhabists, who would hijack its peaceful core or see its people submerged in a sea of blood.
China and the U.S. must together fashion a more stable basis for their symbiotic relationship while courting India and Brazil to assume responsibility to help maintain the fragile peace that is just short of dissolving at the Midnight which could destroy us all. There is much to do, but where are we to find the leadership required to see us safely to more peaceful times and tranquil waters?
Copyright © 2010 by Robert E. Freer, Jr. All rights reserved
About the author: Robert E. Freer, Jr., is president of the Free Enterprise Foundation. He is also a professor at The Citadel and was selected in 2005 to be their first John S. Grinalds Leader in Residence and in 2009 to be their first BB&T Visiting Professor in Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership. A regular contributor to the Mercury, Prof. Freer may be reached at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like him to appear before your group or organization to speak on any of the subjects about which he writes, please contact him at The Citadel. Copies of his earlier columns may be found at The Free Enterprise Foundation
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