Wednesday, July 3, 2024

#185 / Teach Your Children To Love America


Peggy Noonan, formerly a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, is now a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Noonan is advising her readers to, "Teach Your Children to Love America." 

Noonan's advisory was published in May. Today, the day before our national birthday celebration, seems like a good day to mention it. On the face of it, this advice might seem either "wrong," or certainly dangerous. To the degree that this advice can be held to mean that children should be told to do whatever the national government says, or (even worse) whatever "the President" says, it is clearly a dangerous prescription. This is ever more true, these days, as we face the possibility that our next president will be preaching "dictatorship" as the model to which we should aspire. 

When a presidential candidate touts "dictatorship," even for a day, what that candidate is actually saying is, "do what I say, what I require, and don't give me any backtalk." If you are being told to "love your country," and I am the elected head of the government, doesn't this mean that you should get in line, right now, and do what I tell you to do?

Well, I am pretty sure that Noonan doesn't want to send that message. But let's be clear. This "Love Your Country" message might be easily misunderstood. We need to be aware of this danger.

Tomorrow, on the Fourth of July, let's remember what this country is really all about. What this country is really all about is "self-government." That's what the Declaration of Independence proclaims, and that's the reason to "love America." It may be - think about it - that this "love of country," when properly understood, may be the very best and strongest way to innoculate ourselves against those would-be dictators, who claim that, "I alone can fix it.

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