First VSA Column from Steve Deace: Who am I, Why am I here?

Steve Deace, a TOP-100 nationally syndicated radio host, explains why he agreed to join the team here at Veterans for a Strong America:

As a people we have faced low points before, but we’ve always overcome them and remained the last, best hope for freedom in a fallen world.

We overcame the desolate days of Valley Forge. We overcame the fractured and tattered days immediately following the Civil War. We overcame the destitute days of the Great Depression. We overcame the upheaval of the 1960s. We overcame the days of misery indexes and Soviet domination in the 1970s.

In the past we’ve always overcome our challenges because when in doubt we returned to the three things that are foundational to American Exceptionalism — our faith in God, our faith in the human spirit’s God-given potential, and our faith in the cherished institutions and traditions established by our Founding Fathers. But now that we are turning our backs on that trinity of American idealism, we are losing faith that we can overcome these current dark days.

According to a Gallup Poll released on Monday, the American people have the least amount of confidence in their government ever. Only 30% of Americans expressed confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court, only 29% in the presidency, and only 7% in the Congress. Unfortunately, the hopelessness and despair we are feeling here at home is being exported abroad.

The enemies of freedom and liberty sense weakness, and like any good predator are poised to pounce when they smell blood in the water. Make no mistake, there’s blood in the water daily now. As a member of the media, each day I receive rundowns on the biggest news and newsmakers from several well-known media outlets. Here’s just a sample of some of the headlines that were in my inbox on Monday alone:

  • “Radical Islamists now control significant area along Israel’s northern border”
  • “Al-Qaeda’s ISIS names leader of caliphate — formally declares Islamic state”
  • “Iraqi survivor explains how he crawled for hours to escape ISIS after they slaughtered his family”
  • “More horrible violence in Nigeria — churches targeted”
  • “ISIS demands pledge from all Muslims”
  • “Bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens found”
  • “Russian jets and experts sent to Iraq to aid army”
  • “Two more Americans detained in North Korea”
  • “Iran caught cheating on arms embargo with nuke talks set to resume”

The world is undoubtedly a dangerous place as it is, but when the world’s lone superpower founded on the ideals ours was lacks the moral wherewithal and vision to be a light to other nations, it gets even darker. That’s why when I was offered the chance to help spread the message of the patriots here at Veterans for a Strong America I agreed without hesitation. For it is not a strong military that makes America strong, but it’s a strong America that makes for a strong military.

Therefore, the military and foreign policy issues we are wrestling with today are a direct reflection of the chaos that currently reigns in our culture and domestic politics. We cannot have a declining culture here at home and then expect to project strength and leadership to the rest of the world.

Case in point, how come the families of those four Americans killed at Benghazi still have not received justice? The same reason we’re $17 trillion in debt, not counting millions more in unfunded mandates. For the same failed and feckless “leaders” guiding America down the primrose path here at home are the same ones unilaterally disarming our stature abroad.

We live in an era of unsure footing. We lack so much confidence in ourselves and our institutions that we no longer believe we can truly make a difference in the world, even if we tried. Look at our current debate over America’s place in the world for evidence of what I mean. Essentially there are two sides.

One side suggests we need to be what amounts to the world’s mall cop, immersing ourselves in every hostility every time regardless of whether there’s a clear American objective. The other says since we proved “nation building” in a post-9/11 world is an iffy proposition, that means we either can’t or shouldn’t lead at all because we’ll just make the evil we can’t stop anyway even worse.

I reject both of these flawed premises.

I think American Exceptionalism means we neither ask our best and brightest to sacrifice their lives in an unjust cause, nor do we sit around waiting for whatever unjust cause our enemies concoct to happen to us before we act. I am pro-life, and believe any government’s most important moral obligation is to protect that God-given right to life. That means we don’t take engaging in hostilities cavalierly because innocent lives can get caught in the crossfire, but that we’re also not mere bystanders while innocent lives are threatened.

It takes courage and conviction for a nation to draw the important distinctions between super power and empire, and between meekness (power under control) and weakness. Only a nation with strength of character and moral certainty can make it so. Such a nation we once were, and such a nation we can be again.

That is the mission of Veterans for a Strong America.

(Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and the author of “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)


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