Monday, December 19, 2016

The Genius of the Electoral College

Today is the day that the electors from each state cast their votes for the next president via the Electoral College.  This is the actual process that determines who will be president; not the popular democratic vote.

Donald J. Trump, who "lost the popular vote," as we have been reminded ad nauseum from many of our brothers and sisters on the left will nonetheless be elected as The United States of America's 45th chief executive today.

With all the whining and confusion surrounding the Electoral College vs. the popular vote, I figured it was worthwhile to take a look at the genius of our Founding Fathers and why they set things up the way that they did. First, let’s look at a basic short tutorial about the Electoral College that was excellently done by Prager University:

Also, this well-done short article explains why the Electoral College was so important in this particular election. Essentially, it saves the rest of us from being dictated by the far left goofy state of California:

"Clinton’s 2.3-million-popular-vote plurality over Trump depends on the votes in a single state: California. Clinton has more than a 4-million-vote plurality over Trump there. In the other 49 states plus the District of Columbia, Trump actually has a 1.7-million-popular-vote plurality over Clinton. So California single-handedly turns a Trump plurality into a Clinton plurality....
He also won the national popular vote cast outside of the single state of California. Moreover, Clinton won all of California’s 55 electoral votes despite the fact that 4.3 million of the state’s voters voted for Trump."

Without the Electoral College, the presidency could very well be decided by the top half-dozen most populous states, while the rest of the nation would be ignored by presidential campaigns.  That hardly seems like a good way to unite the remaining 44 states with the "decider states".  A "Dis-united States" would soon be the inevitable outcome of that debacle.  Once again, our Founding Fathers' genius is on display in our representative republic.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Election of Trump and the Left's Fears

Anyone living in the United States over the past several generations can tell you that the American people have become increasingly divided in their political outlooks.  It would seem now that those divisions are so diametrically opposed as to be irreconcilable.  That, perhaps, is one dark path (or is that two dark paths which diverged from each other?) that we may very well continue to travel down.  There has always been a progressive/conservative divide in the nation, particularly since the turn of the 20th century.  That divide, with the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, seems to be widening into an impassable chasm.  Even loving members of my own family are at nasty odds with each other over this outcome.  (As a disclaimer, I did not vote for either egregious candidate of Clinton or Trump.)

I noticed from the evening news that the Left has taken to the streets in protest in many cities last night decrying the election of Trump.  They have tried to subtly or not so subtly shame anyone that voted or supported the policies of Trump and the Right.  Some have vowed social unrest and civil disobedience even.  They are fearful what the future holds for them in our country.

I get it. 

I too was afraid and deeply troubled when President Obama was elected in 2008 and then inexplicably re-elected in 2012.  I had done enough research prior to his first election to know that Obama was not whom he portrayed himself to be.   Sadly, I was correct.  That said, despite my disdain for identity politics, I was at least hopeful that our first black president would be able to further improve already-healing race relations amongst our citizenry.  Instead, President Obama squandered this opportunity and only inflamed race relations.  He did everything to replace one “oppressed” group with another.  The good will instilled in him by all Americans with his election was wasted. 

Ironically Trump has now won on the backs of millions of white working-class families that had previously voted for Obama.  And yet, the intolerant among the Left such as Van Jones claim that Trump’s election was a “white-lash” against a black president.  If one voted for Obama and then subsequently voted for Trump, that would seem to me to negate the facetious charge of racism.  Indeed, higher numbers of Black and Hispanic Americans voted for Trump than had previously voted for Romney in 2012.  Could it possibly be that Americans voted for Trump over Clinton because of choices in policies?

President Obama ran roughshod over the Constitution and governed by executive order when he could not move his agenda forward by congressional legislation.  Further, when existing laws ran contrary to his agenda, such as the Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by Bill Clinton, he simply refused to enforce them as per his constitutionally sworn duty.  Indeed, he often championed the overturning of such laws by the courts when he could not get the peoples' representatives in congress to do his will.

Along the way, many of our constitutional rights were eroded, if not fully curtailed.  Business owners were challenged in court for practicing their religious principles, many to their financial ruin.  Our right to be secure in our persons and papers unless a warrant was issued was fully violated.  The tenth amendment guaranteeing States the power to do all that was not explicitly stated as duties of the federal government became a laughing stock.  Federal grants of funds were threatened to be withheld for education etc. if States did not comply with executive branch mandates to provide transgender bathrooms and privileges.  And the right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as stated in our founding document as a nation, was wholly undermined with the pernicious HHS mandate requiring even religiously affiliated schools, hospitals etc. to provide abortifacients to their employees via health insurance, even when it was against their freedom to exercise their religions as they had so chosen.  Even a half a billion dollars a year in tax-payer's dollars was given to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics throughout the country.

Hillary Clinton would have simply continued President Obama’s failed and morally egregious policies and further restricted our constitutional rights.  She would have continued down the path of anemic economic policies and continued to put herself above the rule of law, all the while enriching her cronies and herself. 

The Left fears that all of these “gains” for their various constituency groups that they have garnered under Obama’s tenure will be rolled back or stripped away once again.  Where these gains conflict with constitutional rights intended for all Americans, I say that they absolutely should be eradicated. 

That is not to say that we should be hostile to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and those that are fearful on the left.  Indeed this country was not founded on “tolerance” but rather on freedom and respect.  Freedom though is not in the doing of anything we want, but rather on the ability to choose to do what we ought.  We ought to be respectful of one another, even when we disagree.

To the Left, tolerance is a virtue.  It isn’t.  Further, their idea of tolerance only applies to those that agree with their notions.  Disagreement with their “enlightened” view will certainly NOT be tolerated by them.  Respect must be afforded to all Americans by each of us, Left and Right, and especially with those with whom we disagree on political and social issues. 

Nobody is going to come and lock up law abiding Muslim or Hispanic Americans.  Nobody is going to insist that gay people must live their lives back in the closet, which is ironic since many on the Left want religious people to only live their faith behind closed doors and not in the public square. 

We are a wonderful nation composed of myriads of people and their differing views.  We will never all agree with one another, nor should we.  We should continue to state, challenge, and live our views and convictions.  The debate of ideas is how we come to find that which is the best amongst us.  Denigrating and condescending towards those with whom we disagree will only invite more of the same in return.

I lived through eight years of what many Americans considered to be very destructive policies emplaced by President Obama.  All of my friends and family on the Left that are fearful of Trump’s presidency need to take heart.  You too will survive, and even though I have serious doubts about President-elect Trump in many regards, my hopes and fervent prayers are that the country will be better off four years from now.  I tried to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt at the beginning of his first term in office.  Perhaps we all should try to do the same with Mr. Trump.  In the meantime, let’s remember that we are ALL Americans and thus we are all in this experiment in representative Democracy together.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Archbishop Naumann: VP Nominee Tim Kaine is a "Cafeteria Catholic"

The Archbishop of Kansas City, Joseph F. Naumann, posted an excellent article on his diocesan website on October 14th regarding the Democrat nominee for Vice President, Tim Kaine. Senator Kaine professes to be a Catholic, but like many elected Democrat officials, he also takes the politically expedient viewpoint of being pro-abortion.  It is something that has long troubled me as these folks DO know better.

Now I would expect Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to be militantly "pro-choice" in every aspect possible, but when supposed Catholic folks like Nancy Pelosi, John Biden, John Kerry, or Tim Kaine take a pro-abortion stance, it would seem to me that they are trading what their faith teaches them to be right and true for the thirty pieces of silver that Democrat political viability demands.  Archbishop Naumann does a masterful job of calling the problem out in his following article.

Our choices end where another’s more fundamental right begins
"Though he has local roots in the Kansas City area, I have never met vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine. From those who do know him, I understand that he is a very affable and likable person.

In the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, Senator Kaine acknowledged he was blessed with great Irish Catholic parents and grew up in a wonderful faith-filled family. He also mentioned proudly that he is a graduate of Rockhurst High School, crediting the Jesuits with instilling within him a desire for public service and a commitment to advocate for the poor. I wish that was the end of the story.

It was painful to listen to Senator Kaine repeat the same tired and contorted reasoning to profess his personal opposition to abortion while justifying his commitment to keep it legal. He said all the usual made-for-modern-media sound bites: It is not proper to impose his religious beliefs upon all Americans. He trusts women to make good reproductive choices. And when all else fails, there is always: Do we really want to criminalize and fill our jails with post-abortive women?

With regard to the imposition of religious beliefs, Senator Kaine appears to have no qualms with his public positions conforming with his religious beliefs with regard to such issues as the church’s opposition to racism or our preferential option for the poor. He appears not to be conflicted with our public policies mirroring the Ten Commandments with regard to stealing, perjury, or forms of murder, other than abortion.

The founders of our nation actually dealt with this issue 240 years ago in the Declaration of Independence, in which they articulate certain self-evident and inalienable rights that government does not bestow but has a responsibility to protect. Our founders actually believed that the right to life is given to us by our Creator, not by the Supreme Court.

Of course, religion will speak about fundamental human rights issues. However, to understand that the government has a right to protect human life is not dependent on religious belief. As the founders’ stated, these are self-evident truths. They are accessible to everyone through the use of reason. They do not require faith.

Why is Senator Kaine personally opposed to abortion, if he does not believe that it is the taking of an innocent human life? I hope in his science classes at Rockhurst he learned that at the moment of fertilization a new human life has begun with his or her own distinct DNA — different from the genetic code of both the child’s mother and father.

It is difficult to imagine that Senator Kaine has not seen the ultrasound images of his children and grandchildren when they were in their mother’s womb. Is the senator unaware that abortion stopped the beating hearts of 60 million American children aborted legally since 1973?

If he knows these truths of biology, why would he believe that anyone has the right to authorize the killing of an unborn human being? This is where the reproductive choice euphemism breaks apart. Does anyone really have the choice to end another human being’s life? Our choices end where another individual’s more fundamental rights begin.

As far as Senator Kaine’s fear that if abortion is made illegal, our prisons will be teeming with post-abortive women, we actually have decades of legal history in our own country when this was certainly not the case.

Before the late 1960s when abortion was illegal in every state, except for the life-of-the-mother cases, it is difficult to find a single instance of a woman imprisoned for abortion. The laws were enforced against the abortionists. Our own legal experience shows clearly that it is possible to develop public policies aimed at protecting children, not punishing women.

Actually, I wish Senator Kaine would take the time to talk with some of the post–abortive women that are assisted by Project Rachel and other post-abortion ministries helping women and men find healing, hope and mercy after an abortion. Our current permissive abortion policies, placing the entire burden of responsibility for the abortion decision upon the mother, results in millions of women experiencing an inner imprisonment where the bars keeping them from freedom and happiness are the guilt and unresolved grief that inevitably ensues from abortion.

It is interesting that Senator Kaine expressed his personal anguish when as governor he enforced capital punishment sentences. He gave the impression that he attempted unsuccessfully to convince Virginians to abolish the death penalty. Yet, with regard to legalized abortion, I am not aware of Senator Kaine making a similar effort to convince his constituents to work for public policies that protect the lives of the unborn. Instead, he appears eager to champion not only maintaining the status quo, but actually expanding abortion rights.

It is ironic that Senator Kaine expressed such profound concern about imposing his religious beliefs on others, while supporting efforts: 1) to coerce the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based ministries to violate their conscience by including abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations in their employee health plans; 2) to put small business owners (e.g., florists, bakers, photographers, etc.) out of business with crippling fines if they decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and 3) to force every American taxpayer to help fund abortion.

This presidential election presents all Americans with a difficult choice. Both major political parties have nominated very flawed candidates. In making your decision as a voter, I encourage you to think not only of the candidate, but who they will appoint to key Cabinet and other powerful government positions if he or she becomes president. We are choosing not just a president, but an entire administration.

Finally, be wary of candidates who assume to take upon themselves the role of defining what Catholics believe or should believe. Unfortunately, the vice-presidential debate revealed that the Catholic running for the second highest office in our land is an orthodox member of his party, fully embracing his party’s platform, but a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient."

I am heartened to see Archbishop Naumann call out Senator Kaine on this accordingly.  God bless the good Archbishop and I will continue to pray for a conversion of heart for all of those that support abortion - especially those claiming to be adherents to the Catholic faith.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Only Hillary

Donald Trump has been accused of being absolutely deplorable in his actions and ethics.  There is a long list of supporting evidence that substantiates that claim.  Indeed, his own words often convict him of his unfitness for the presidency. It is enough, along with his progressive history, that compels me not to vote for him. Indeed, I just returned my vote by mail and chose to vote for the Constitution Party's Darrell Castle.

All of that said, of the two major party candidates running for president:

Only Hillary Clinton was caught lying to congress.

Only Hillary Clinton was fired from a job for being unethical.

Only Hillary Clinton deleted some 30 thousand emails after she was ordered to hand them over to the FBI.

Only Hillary Clinton had that same computer wiped clean by professionals.

Only Hillary Clinton got the rapist of a teenage girl off on rape charges then laughed about it.

Only Hillary Clinton lied to the American people about Benghazi.

Only Hillary Clinton lied to the American people about her emails.

Only Hillary Clinton lied about being under sniper fire.

Only Hillary Clinton helped depose Muammar Gaddafi and cause Libya to fail as a state which later became a haven for Islamic terrorists.

Only Hillary Clinton funneled weapons left in Libya to rebels (ISIS) in Syria in order to fight the Assad regime, which was the basis for the terrorist attacks on the annex in Benghazi.

Only Hillary Clinton nationally belittled her husband's sexual harassment and rape accusers.

Only Hillary Clinton is a career politician.

Only Hillary Clinton will not release her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks.

Only Hillary Clinton hid subpoenaed information (Rose Law Firm billing records) by claiming she did not have them nor know where they were when a steward later found them hidden in a closet in the residential section of the White House years later.

Only Hillary Clinton lied about supposed corruption of the White House travel staff in order to fire them and replace them with her own cronies.  Billy Dale (head of the office) was prosecuted and later was completely exonerated by a jury after only an hour of deliberations.

Only Hillary Clinton was labeled "extremely careless" about national security by the FBI.

Only Hillary Clinton said she will raise taxes on the middle class.

Only Hillary Clinton benefited from the DNC rigging of a primary election that got Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired as head of the DNC and denied many Democrat primary voters of seeing their candidate, Bernie Sanders, being chosen as the nominee.

Only Hillary Clinton had to return stolen items from the White House.

Only Hillary Clinton said the Benghazi victims' parents were lying.

Only Hillary Clinton wants you to vote for her based on her gender.

Only Hillary Clinton has no real accomplishments after a lifetime in politics.

Only Hillary Clinton has never created any jobs.

Only Hillary Clinton has been investigated by the FBI and found to have put national security at risk.

Only Hillary Clinton received "donations" to the Clinton Foundation from foreign nationals or companies with business before the U.S. Government which later received favorable decisions from Hillary's State Department.

Only Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State allowed Russia to obtain a substantial portion of U.S. uranium reserves.

Only Hillary Clinton was for TTP as the "gold standard" of international trade pacts before she was against it.

Only Hillary Clinton stated, “I do not recall,” “I have no recollection,” and “I don’t know” 56 times while testifying under oath during the Starr investigations.

Only Hillary Clinton was reprimanded by Democrat Jerry Zeifman, a counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Clinton on the Watergate investigation when he stated that she “… engaged in a variety of self-serving unethical practices in violation of House rules.” 

The sad thing is that this list could continue to the point where this blog post would be larger than a Tolstoy novel, but these aforementioned issues are enough to thoroughly impeach her character and integrity such that any person of good conscience should never give her their vote.

Democrat Jerry Zeifman further went on to state that “Hillary Clinton is ethically unfit to be either a senator or president — and if she were to become president, the last vestiges of the traditional moral authority of the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson will be destroyed.”

He is correct.  Sadly for our nation, she will very likely soon be president.  Her complete lack of character and involvement with unethical practices will ensure that her presidency is marred with scandal, corruption, and egregious conduct that will only further deteriorate what is left of the dignity of the office of President of the United States, and our very nation itself.  It is something that only Hillary will do ... and those that choose to vote for her.

Monday, October 10, 2016

To Escape and to Find Beauty

With all of the hate, distrust, rancor, and divisiveness going on in the world today, I cannot help but shake my head in deepest dismay and yearn only to get away from people and "civilization".  Indeed, the older I get the more I long to be in those beautiful quiet places far from the intruding boors of the world.

I am blessed however because I do live in such a extraordinary state that is full of the magnificence of God's artistry.  My beloved wife and I have been spending our weekends venturing out towards some of these less populated spots to enjoy the scenery over the past few months.

There is just something about seeing the brilliant blue sky and breathing in the crisp Autumn air that is restorative to me and allows me to return to the city to deal with the multitude once again come each Monday.

I figured I'd share some of the pictures from a few of our latest travels just to show the beauty of which I speak.

I really cannot wait until the day comes when I can retire to some road far less traveled by up in the mountains near a good trout stream.  At least while the world continues to go crazy all around me, I will at least marvel and have my soul at peace staring in adoring amazement of our Creator's handiwork!  Such is the plan, anyway.

These first several pictures are from the Wasatch Mountains after their first snowfall of the season just a few weeks ago.  The beautiful Fall colors of the Aspens stand out against the brilliant white snow amongst the evergreen dotted mountains.

These next several picture were taken from the sandstone red rock cliffs along Nine Mile Canyon in central Utah.  

 Throughout this canyon, there are a myriad petroglyphs and paintings on the canyon walls that were done by the Ute Indians and the Freemont Indians.  Some of these petroglyphs date back to around 600 AD.  Amazing!

This particular rock below was mounted quite a bit higher up the cliff, but with time and erosion, this red boulder adorned with ancient petroglyphs broke off and fell to the canyon floor so that I might more easily enjoy it! 

What was infuriating was that many of these amazing and irreplaceable petroglyphs were vandalized by idiots and fools that had carved their initials or other vulgarities beside the works of art.  We did find one act of "vandalism" that was rather historical in nature though.  A pioneer travelling through the canyon two years after the ending of our civil war carved his name beside the existing petroglyphs. 

 If you notice, on the center left side of the picture, a representation of a pregnant buffalo adorns this petroglyph on the canyon wall.

This picture below is rather famous and is called "The Great Hunt".  It was done by Freemont Indians over a millenia ago.

Before we entered the canyon, it looked dry and very desolate and inhospitable; however, as we travelled down it, the canyon opened up in spots and the small river that ran down it brought beautiful greenery to the red and fawn colored cliffs.

So regardless of what misery, tragedy, and foolishness go on in the world, I will strive to take care of my friends and family, and retreat as often as I can to the quieter places of the world where cell phone coverage doesn't exist and rambunctious souls don't care to take the time to travel and wonder at the sites to be seen far from the multitudes.

Friday, October 7, 2016

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Addresses the Racial Tension in American Society

I have worked in the wireless industry as an engineer for decades.  Two years ago, the wireless carrier for which I had worked for the past fifteen years was acquired by AT&T.

The adjustment to such a huge bureaucratic institution as AT&T has been difficult for me. Part of the problem for me is that the culture of political correctness is rampant within the company.

I have worked for several large corporations over my career and it used to be that we would simply get by through treating each other with respect and dignity regardless of our differences, but now we are "strongly encouraged" to toe the line on politically correctness in all of its various iterations.  Now, stating an opposing opinion to the PC doctrine would likely result in a reprimand at best and termination at worse. Dissent is not tolerated these days.

Indeed, I have to fight for a new position within the company as my old company is dismantled.  I figured in the "interview" process that is forthcoming, the first thing that will be done is the perusing of my personal FaceBook account by the hiring manager or HR.  As I tend to be honestly outspoken there too, I figured it would be a good time to suspend that account. Freedom of speech only applies if you don't say anything that can be construed as controversial by the PC progressive elements of society and major corporations such as AT&T.

With all of this said, I have been largely critical of the Black Lives Matter movement since it has, in my opinion, been more about identity politics than anything else, in what I have seen thus far. However, my CEO, Randall Stephenson, did recently speak at a meeting of employee resource groups regarding the recent rise in racial tension we have seen in our society.  I found his comments to be enlightening and thought-provoking and figured I would share them here accordingly.

It is my opinion that we need to have more thoughtful discussions such as this instead of simply shouting our positions over one another.  By doing the former rather than the latter, perhaps we can come to understand each other better and learn to respect our brothers and sisters in society as human beings.  Kudos to Randall Stephenson for leading by example in this matter!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Clinton, Comey, and the Utter Demise of the Rule of Law

On the day following the 240th birthday of our nation, FBI Director James Comey concluded a long federal investigation as he made a damning statement of facts regarding former Secretary of State and would-be United States President Hillary Clinton's egregious and illegal use of a private email server and the transmission and reception of highly classified information. (See the attached video for a summary.)
The facts that Director Comey laid out were so devastating that one could only surmise that the recommendation for an indictment must follow. However, in a bewildering miscarriage of justice, Director Comey seemingly ignored every fact that he had just laid out against Secretary Clinton and stated, "We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts."

Evidently the rule of law does not apply to Hillary Clinton.  General David Petraeus was convicted of simply sharing his classified day-planner schedule with his biographer/girl-friend and rightfully so. Hillary Clinton sent emails that were top secret and compartmentalized information that by its very classification is deemed exceptionally harmful to the United States if leaked or intercepted by our enemies, and yet she is given a complete pass. Even Director Comey acknowledged in his statement that "To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences."  

Indeed!  If you or I were to do something of similar magnitude to what Mrs. Clinton did, I can assure you that a long prison term in a federal facility would immediately follow, as it should.
Much of the reaction from the left has been to gloat over the frustration of those of us who wanted to see a just accounting of Mrs. Clinton for her transgressions against the law.  To those that would put party and politics above country, I say SHAME ON YOU!  Hillary will likely become our next president, and her sense of being above the law will only lead her to do even more despicable things that further jeopardize the safety and stability of this country.  She is totally bereft of any shred of integrity or dignity that the office of the president should command.  

Those that intend to vote for such a vile and unscrupulous crook are THE problem with our country today.  Hillary and all of the other corrupt elected officials that are not held accountable to the justice system and We The People will now be further emboldened in their brazen contempt for the laws that govern a just society.  We are about to reap what we have sown.  

240 years after the birth of our nation, the rule of law in the United States of America is now dead. Sadly our country itself will soon follow now.  Our final downfall and demise as a nation will not come from ISIS or some foreign enemy.  It is coming now.  And it is coming from within our own populace that seemingly no longer cares about the rule of law... as long as it is "their person" that gets away with such violations.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Divided We Fall

Once again America has experienced terrorism at the hands of a radical Muslim extremist. What compounds the tragedy of this mass shooting at an Orlando night club that killed 49 people and injured at least that many more though, is that the evil perpetrator behind this cowardly attack was not some foreign-born jihadi miscreant that snuck through our porous border in order to wage war on “the great Satan” but rather a home-grown citizen who was born in Queens, New York and was raised in Fort Pierce, Florida.  This Islamic terrorist was a natural born American. 

So how exactly does this American terrorist grow up cheering the 9/11 attack in high school, thinking that women ought not to drive, and swearing allegiance to ISIS?  What is it about our society today that even allows this to be a possible outcome of an American life?  What has changed in the last few generations that makes such an unimaginably evil thing to even contemplate become a ghoulish reality?  Why does someone like Omar Matteen grow up despising his own country of America?

I would submit that part of the problem exists in the fact that not only do we no longer teach objective United States History anymore, but we absolutely do not teach civics and a justified sense of patriotism and honor to our children.  We no longer teach American Exceptionalism and how this nation in its relatively short 240-year history has risen from a wild frontier colony of Britain to become the greatest economic, military, and innovative industrial power in the history of the entire human race.  Even more importantly, we don’t teach our children how those achievements came to be through a new understanding of liberty and the realization that our rights are not bestowed upon us by some monarch or government, but rather we are endowed with them by our Creator.
Our Founding Fathers, and Thomas Jefferson in particular, fully understood that the American experiment of self-governance would not long survive, let alone flourish, if we did not have a well-educated populace – one that truly understood the virtues of republican self-government, and our duties, both civic and moral, to uphold and protect it. 

As the historian Donald Kagan has put it,
“Democracy requires a patriotic education. It does so for two reasons: first, because its success depends upon the active participation of its citizens in their own governance; and second, because without such an education, there would be no way to persuade free individuals of the need to make sacrifices for the sake of the greater good. We now seem to think we can dispense with such an education, and in fact are likely to disparage it reflexively, labelling it a form of propaganda or jingoism… The encouragement of patriotism is no longer a part of our public educational system, and the cost of that omission has made itself felt in a way that would have alarmed and dismayed the founders of our country.”
Indeed this problem has become so rampant that even President Obama does not find anything exceptional about America, or at least no more so than the typical Brit believes about Great Britain or the average Greek believes about Greece.  American exceptionalism is nothing more than an anachronistic and amusing notion that seems to have perished with the passing of our parents or grandparents.  It was an ideal that was taught in the past along with an “un-enlightened view” of our history.

Today we often still use the radical anti-American Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” which amounts to little more than America-bashing and grievance mongering against the United States.  It has sold over 2 million copies since it was first published in 1980 and continues to sell over 100,000 copies a year because it is required reading at many of our high schools and colleges as we continue to indoctrinate our children with all that is wrong with America instead of looking at a balanced historical approach that also examines our greatest human successes, particularly when it comes to securing and advancing our divinely-endowed liberties for all Americans. 

Our schools once taught more than just the three R’s.  Part of an American education consisted of the schools being actively involved in promoting the values and beliefs that were considered an integral part of the American experience.  Without an over-arching belief in American Exceptionalism and an understanding of the individual rights that our republican government was founded to protect, our citizens see America as just another nation – often corrupt and self-serving – among the hundreds of others in the world.  We no longer see America as worthy of our protection, sacrifices, and certainly not our love. 

Instead, today, we see deep division and hatred of others that are different from us.  We are no longer the melting pot where different cultures assimilate into one proud American culture.  Today we are a deeply divided collection of various ethnic and special interest groups demanding special favors or dispensations from elected officials which are no longer held accountable to us, nor to America’s founding principles of liberty as articulated in our United States Constitution.

In her first major speech after the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, Hillary Clinton invoked the following, “E Pluribus Unum, One—Out of Many, One—has seen us through the darkest chapters of our history.”  There is precious little upon which I agree with Hillary Clinton, but on this issue she is indeed correct.  Republicans and Democrats should absolutely band together under this ideal.  Yes, we should still have our policy debates, but at the end of the day we need to realize that each political side still is honestly seeking what they think is best for America and we need not think of those that disagree with our views as necessarily being evil. 

We need to return to a sense of one out of many -- a united America with common values and a history that overall we can indeed look to with pride.  Indeed, if we do not inculcate and act as examples for our children of America’s exceptionalism, we can be sure that they will no longer feel the need to guard and defend it accordingly.  If we leave them with a vacuum by no longer instructing them on American values, then that vacuum will eventually be filled possibly with a far more sinister world view and set of values.

After the horrific attacks on 9/11, we came together as a united people of our American nation for a little while once again.  Sadly, this Orlando massacre by an American that did not believe in America has not similarly been a catalyst for national unity.  Indeed it has only exposed gaping fissures and very deep divisions in our country today.

If we do not return to instructing our children on American values, American Exceptionalism, rugged individualism that asserts and defends our liberties bestowed upon us by the Author of the Universe, then we can only expect to see more such horrific scenes as some of our children seek to find a belief in something, anything, -- some ideology – however heinous it may be – to fill that vacuum.