As the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds streamed across the skies above New York this week, I got some old familiar feelings, too often panned by the left and their allies in the liberal media.
They were patriotism and gratitude.
It was the same stirrings in the soul that Americans feel during the playing of the national anthem or seeing a group of servicemembers in uniform at the airport.
Our nation’s response to COVID-19 should serve to strengthen these feelings rather than diminish them in a cacophony of Monday morning quarterbacking by hysterical anti-Trump influencers. There will be light that comes out of the darkness of this pandemic.
One of those rays should be a renewed appreciation for this great nation.
The coordinated government response to the pandemic and the cooperation of the American people to respond to sacrifice to help protect communities from being overwhelmed by the virus, has truly been unprecedented.
The White House, NIH, CDC, FEMA, Public Health Service, military and state and local officials have deployed personnel, materials, and guidance like at no other time in our history.
In just three months we have ramped up what the president has called a "whole of America" response.
It's something to be very proud of, despite the relentless attacks on the president.
We live in a society where if you have gender confusion, you’re told to be proud of it.
If you are differently-abled, you should be proud of it.
If you are a person of color or an immigrant, you should be proud of your heritage.
Certainly, everyone should take some degree of pride in who they are, where they come from and the unique characteristics that make them special. We are all God’s creation.
However, over the last decade, that philosophy no longer extends to pride in our nation. Of course, many Americans are still proud of their country, but there is an undercurrent in the liberal press and in social media that suggests taking pride in America is either being naïve to the challenges of our diverse and complex society or outright xenophobic, racist and ethnocentric.
Further, people of faith expressing their pride in being followers of Christ, for instance, are increasingly viewed by the leftists dominating media platforms as intolerant or even hateful.
It's true that government failure in America to include urban violence, opportunity deserts in communities of color, disparities in public education, taxpayer abuse at the hands narrow special interests and nonexistent political courage to curb spending and debt, seldom give us a real chance to cheer.
For too long, too many in both parties have refused to accept the fact that government lacks the institutional competency to do many of tasks it has ordained for itself since the New Deal.
That shouldn’t negate the enormous success of the present national response effort.
Having greater spirit and pride in what we have done together in these months, also doesn’t ignore the fact that as with anything, certainly some things always could have been done better.
But again, as it has done so many times before, America — and Americans — have weathered the storm and risen to a great challenge, the likes of which virtually no one alive can recall.
It’s important for Americans to remember that the leftist narrative driven by many in the press and digital influencers is intended to fundamentally change the way we think about ourselves, our neighbors, God and our nation. In order to accomplish that insidious goal, they need to slowly strip away your confidence in the things that hold us together, namely our faith and our patriotism.
In order for statists to succeed in having greater control over your personal and economic freedom, they need fear, panic, distrust, and hate — to replace pride, resiliency, faith and liberty.
Ronald Reagan saw this coming when he said in 1987, "Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style . . . We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise.
"And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs . . . I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit."
Vacuous attacks on the president during COVID-19, inane questions at press conferences, constant suggestions by personalities on television the American people are routinely lied to, questioning the president’s mental fitness, and suggesting the White House is complicit in the deaths of thousands of Americans, all are aimed not just at defeating Donald Trump but shaking confidence in our society.
So fly that flag, and reject the ramblings of the perpetual armchair generals, philosophers and hysterical anti-American mouthpieces. Have faith in your God, in your nation and in your neighbor and we can get through anything. We are Americans.
Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004, as Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. His new book Let it Sink In: The Decade of Obama and Trump provides a look back at the 2010s to prepare us to defend freedom in the 2020s. His critically-acclaimed book, Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. Read Tom Basile's — More Here.
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