At the 2012 Republican Convention former U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in her speech, “There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.” That got me to thinking of some other prophetic statements regarding America’s self-destruction spoken by others in the past such as, “If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free, Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.”, Ezra Taft Benson; “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”, Thomas Jefferson; “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” and “Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself.” President Ronald Reagan; “If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.” Benjamin Disraeli; and “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” , stated by Mr. Alexis de Tocqueville.
What all of these prophetic statements speak of is America’s greatness as well as its curse. Our nation was established with the greatest of intentions, that is to have codified in our foundation that man is to be governed not by man, but the Creator’s endowed rights to his life, his liberties, and his pursuit of happiness to be limited only by his equal respect to the same of that of the other citizen. Our nation has an abundance of natural resources, natural gas, oil, coal, and precious minerals. With our great nation’s unique freedom to achieve to our wildest dreams and aspirations, we too have freedom to give in to our lowest desires and weaknesses. We can be the greatest of people who continually look to achieve greatness and not settle for mediocrity, to become the best educated on what responsibilities are borne by our cherished freedoms, to live within our means, and take ownership of our decisions – successes as well as our failures – or we can be a people who celebrate the lowest of ourselves and cherish a life of triviality, be all too willing to exchange our birthrite of individual liberties and freedoms for the promise and illusion of government-provided security and social utopia – whether it is as a nation or globally – to look for others to be the creditors and bearers of our ill-temperance and irresponsibility. If you take inventory of this nation’s situation today, you would realize that many of the prophetic warnings went unheeded to our detriment. But it doesn’t have to be our nation’s future. At the end of the day no one or no nation can defeat us, but ourselves.
Another of my favorite quotes that come to mind was said by Thomas Jefferson, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” And nor should it.