Because I live smack dab in the middle of the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, I get requests from media all over the country about what’s said on our radio program concerning presidential politics.
Every once in a while those requests come from abroad. Despite the fact our current domestic leadership is diminishing America’s stature across the world, parts of the globe still recognize how important American leadership continues to be.
It’s two conversations with reporters from England and Germany that have stuck with me. These are two countries the United States historically has a lot of ties to. Two countries that we have been at war with and also fought alongside. Two countries who despite their cultural differences, were birthed and built by the same Western Civilization that gave us the values we call “American Exceptionalism.”
Yet despite all of that history, my conversations with these reporters brought an inconvenient truth to light. They might also have been from “Western” nations, but they actually have more in common with Marxist China than the principles the United States was founded upon.
Allow me to provide two examples.
In my conversation with the London reporter, she asked me a lot about conservative opposition to a welfare state. After a while her polite interview questions eventually evolved into a debate. When I had answered several of her challenges, I stopped and asked her why this particular topic was of such interest for her.
“In the United Kingdom we are quite proud of our welfare state,” she told me. “We are happy to help people who need it.”
“You’re providing a false choice,” I responded back to her. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t charity, its Marxist wealth redistribution at worst and cost shifting – or re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic – at best. That’s why you’re country is so in debt, and our country is as well, for buying such a false premise.”
Then I moved in for the close.
“Besides,” I concluded, “compassion is not measured by how many people need government but by how many people no longer do. There is no more compassionate thing than providing someone the means and opportunity to maximize the value of their God-given talents to their fullest potential. For this blesses both the one using the talent and the one(s) the talent is being used for.”
She looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights. Her blank stare had “this does not compute” written all over it.
Then there was my conversation with a German reporter. His demeanor was far more excited while talking to me. As if he had discovered a rare species in the wild.
“I’m fascinated by how you do politics here,” he told me towards the end of our talk.
When I asked him why that was the case, he responded, “It’s far different from how we do things in Germany. We don’t hear talk about religion or religious liberty at all. You and your wife also homeschool your kids, and that’s not even legal in Germany.”
What this rather pleasant and polite fellow had just admitted to me is that he hails from a statist country, where the state plays god and rights of conscience are strictly regulated. Unless, of course, you’re using your conscience to indulge in all the depravity the sexual revolution has to offer. Then you’re perfectly free to destroy yourself and ask the taxpayer to pick up the tab for the consequences. On the other hand, any attempt to live out your faith contrary to what the state deems politically correct is verboten — even to the point of mandating how parents are to raise and teach their children.
In other words, you’re not an individual made in the image of God who grants us our rights. You’re a ward of the state. Instead of a constitutional republic devised to protect individual liberties from the state, it is the state which both grants liberties and thus can take them away. Our Founders rebelled against this statist concept and considered it tyranny. Sadly, whereas we once inspired our European forbearers to throw off the shackles of such tyranny and embrace liberty, now our European forbearers inspire Progressives in America to reject liberty and embrace tyranny.
And since it comes complete with strip malls equipped with Wi-Fi, “free” stuff from the government, and all the bells and whistles today’s technology can muster, the citizenry is too comfortable to pledge their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to rise up and demand their freedom. Western Progressives are following the same game plan the Marxists in China use to keep people in line. It sure beats tanks in Tiananmen Square.
This is why our progressive president is quicker to embrace Castro than Netanyahu. Why he has a cozier relationship with Iran than Israel. Why he sides with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Egypt. Why he apologizes for Islam and criticizes Christianity. It’s also why the woman who wants to succeed him, Hillary Clinton, shamelessly accepts so much money from foreign interests to further her schemes.
American progressives simply have much more in common with nations and ideals that oppose American Exceptionalism. The sooner we have the courage to admit this and stop saying imbecilic tripe like “I don’t want to question my opponents’ motives,” the sooner we will do what must be done to preserve liberty in America.
We’re right to criticize Obama for failing to call Islamic terrorism what it is. We’re right to ask how he can defeat an enemy he won’t name. But how can we win the battle for the home front if too many on our side are similarly unwillingly to call progressivism in America what it really is?
That’s why this place is called “Veterans for a Strong America.” If we won’t defend our homeland we have nothing to offer the rest of the world.
(Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)