Most people under the age of 30 do not remember just how good life can be in America, what it means to live through a sustained era of both peace and prosperity. My hope and prayer for 2018 are that at long last, they get this chance. The signs, at least some of them, point to this being a very real possibility.
After World War II, life in America was pretty sweet. Not perfect, but perfect enough. After two decades of Depression and war, we came out of it with an economy on fire, and our beloved country became the envy of the world.
This all changed, of course, with the assassination of an American president on November 22, 1963. The 18 years that followed were filled with the Vietnam War, social upheaval, race riots, more assassinations, Watergate, an energy crisis, Soviet expansion, Iranian hostages, and Jimmy Carter’s economic and spiritual malaise.
The election of Ronald Reagan, in 1981, returned us to an era of peace and prosperity, one that would last 20 years, straight through to September 11, 2001.
Unfortunately, on that terrible September morning, we were at war again, including a pre-emptive war based on disastrously bad intelligence. Peace and prosperity went up in flames due to another bitter, divisive, and costly effort in nation building that, to this day, seems to have no end.
Then, in 2008, our economy collapsed, which ushered in the tragedy of Barack Obama — an incompetent, vain, bigoted, and angry president filled with a bitterness he was all too eager to poison America with, a country he loathes.
Among other travesties, Obama handed the Middle East to Russia and ISIS, stifled an economy that should have come roaring out of that recession, codified a repression of Christianity unseen since our founding, and with malicious intent (and the help of a boot-licking media) cynically fabricated racial, religious, and cultural divisions, based almost exclusively on hyper-politicized lies (Trayvon Martin; Benghazi; You Can Keep Your Insurance; Hands Up, Don’t Shoot). Obama could have made America great again. He, instead, chose the dark side.
This is not to say that the good times were all good, were only about chocolate rivers and peppermint trees. There was the Cold War, Korea, Sputnik, AIDS, Iran Contra, the unforgivable attacks on Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, Rodney King and the Los Angeles riots, O.J. Simpson, impeachment, Columbine, Oklahoma City… Stressful times, but stressful times that passed.
And that is not to say that only bad came from the bad times. Few things have made America greater than the civil rights movement or landing on the moon.
Nevertheless, America and Americans deserve a return to peace and prosperity, as do the 120 million or so too young to even imagine such a thing. And of all people, President Donald J. Trump could, in many ways, be the man primarily responsible for this gift.
To begin with, after only a year in office, President Trump has almost single-handedly put our economy on track to again be the envy of the world. Like most leftists, Obama thought he could alter human nature, could strangle forever the natural American impulse to strive, aspire, and dream. All he did, though, using the oppressive power of the state, was to temporarily smother those magnificent qualities. With Trump’s (and the GOP’s) tax reform, regulation reform, and use of the bully pulpit, you can feel a decade of imprisoned ambition already starting to explode.
Trump also understands what Reagan did — that the best way to avoid war is to let the world know you are more than prepared for it. He also seems as eager as anyone to avoid stupid wars, but not through Obama’s suicidal and nihilistic practice of leading from behind, which only invites aggression and anarchy.
If special counsel Robert Mueller does the right thing, which means he must finally put an end to a stupid conspiracy theory hatched by the sore losers among our political and media elite, which means that for the sake of his country, he must avoid a constitutional crisis and tell the truth — AND if Trump can avoid the needless drama he too often creates, America could really become great again — not just economically, but that national spirit that no leftist or phony journalist can tear asunder.
You see, when America is great, when body bags are not coming home from overseas, when the economy is firing on all cylinders, no matter how hard the media and Democrats try to destroy that progress, we do come together as a country, as a people, as Americans…
And we do so in the best and most natural way, without really thinking about it — because we do not have to. When things are good, the fact that we have so much more in common than not is what defines us. When things are good, we can just go about the simple but important business of living our lives — a rare luxury indeed.
Race, gender, geography… All of that surface nonsense falls away, becomes white noise from bitter crybabies who are only happy when good people are not. As our focus drifts away from the stress and the petty differences that come with war and a managed decline, we can then choose to turn towards a national optimism and confidence in the future that allow us to focus on what really matters…
Faith, family, neighbor, and again making our dreams come true — because it is only through those things that America can become great again.