The American Ideal suffered yet another blow yesterday with the massacre in Tucson, AZ. Not unexpectedly, the vitriolic speech has turned to Party Politics, obscuring the critical points we should be discussing.
- America is dream, made corporeal, breathing on the ideal of responsible freedom and law. We battle vociferously in the realm of ideas, and we manifest our idealistic passions at the ballot box. Our coups d’état occur regularly, but at the point of a pen not the muzzle of a gun.
- You can hate a vision or an ideal, but you must never personify it. You should work tirelessly to destroy the momentum of ideals that run contrary to your vision of America, irrespective of whether that is Left, Right, or Center; but you must never seek to destroy the institutions or individuals who espouse those ideals.
- Be patient. The polarity of Left and Right keeps our societal pendulum predominately on Center. This is the rare genius of our unique political system; it has been incontrovertibly proven over the last 235 years. Trust in it.
- If you believe in the Second Amendment, as I do, you have a critical responsibility to secure your guns. Time and time again, children commit atrocities with their parents’ firearms. With freedom to own a gun comes the responsibility to keep it secure. If we don’t get better at this, soon, the Second Amendment will come under direful attack. To preserve your rights, secure your weapons.
- You must not procreate unless you are committed to exercising your primary duties as a parent. These include fostering your children’s morality, monitoring their psychological well-being, knowing where they are, with whom they are, what they are reading, to whom they are listening, what they are doing on social media, what they are ingesting, and basically every minute aspect of their lives. If there is an unpardonable failure of contemporary society, and a serious threat to the existence of our culture, it is this: the failure of parents to nurture their young. Get on it.
- There is a moral right to the use of force. Force was the tool with which we founded this nation. Force is the tool we use to defend freedom and democracy. Force is the tool we use to defend personal liberty. Force is the tool we use to enforce justice. But when force is used to silence free speech, quell the right to assemble, or deny the rights of man as gifted by universal ethics, or God if you wish, it is an abomination; and nothing is more anti-American, anti-Freedom, or anti-Constitutional than applying force to have your individual ideals imposed on others.
The horror, fear, and sadness precipitated by this tragic event have naturally spun our collective discussion in myriad directions. I truly hope, when the passions cool, we can begin a serious and thoughtful discussion on what it means to be an American: our rights, our responsibilities, and what’s at stake.
This is not about party politics, talk media, the Tea Party, the Weather Underground, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, Jane Fonda, Twitter, Facebook, or Mein Kampf. They are simply satellites, revolving around our ideological center of mass. If the center is strong, the satellites stay in orbit. If it loses gravity, we risk the satellites becoming planets of their own. Then, all is lost. Graham Nash said it well:
You, who are on the road,
Must have a code that you can live by
Teach your children, well. There is no greater responsibility. Upon them, the future rests.