A Sorely Needed Civics Lesson

One hundred and twenty years ago, Theodore Roosevelt wrote "True Americanism" in the Forum magazine. The piece is a striking contrast to the ongoing barrage of anti-Americanism that too often emanates from the media and the present White House occupant. Thus in April of 1894, Roosevelt maintained that

We Americans have many grave problems to solve, many threatening evils to fight, and many deeds to do, if, as we hope and believe, we have the wisdom, the strength, the courage, and the virtue to do them. But we must face facts as they are. We must neither surrender ourselves to a foolish optimism, nor succumb to a timid and ignoble pessimism [.] We enjoy exceptional advantages, and are menaced by exceptional dangers; and all signs indicate that we shall either fail greatly or succeed greatly. I firmly believe that we shall succeed; but we must not foolishly blink [at] the dangers by which we are threatened, for that is the way to fail.

So why do our present leaders distort and downplay the jihadist threat to the world? The FBI has purged all references to Islamic organizations and ties to terrorism, thereby putting agents and the country at risk. Such political correctness is destroying our ability to defend ourselves. 

Consequently, Americans "...shall never be successful over the dangers that confront us; we shall never achieve true greatness, nor reach the lofty ideal which the founders and preservers of our mighty Federal Republic have set before us, unless we are Americans in heart and soul, in spirit and purpose, keenly alive to the responsibility implied in the very name of American, and proud beyond measure of the glorious privilege of bearing it."

The 26th President had a great deal to say about immigration and it is quite apt in light of the "immigration bedlam" that confronts America today.  He asserted that

not only [is it] necessary to Americanize the immigrants of foreign birth who settle among us, but it is even more necessary for those among us who are by birth and descent already Americans not to throw away our birthright, and, with incredible and contemptible folly, wander back to bow down before the alien gods whom our forefathers forsook [.]

And yet, American students of the last 40 years have been the recipients of a tirade of anti-Americanism that has permeated their thinking, resulting in utter disdain for this country.

One can only imagine Roosevelt making mincemeat of Obama's notions of American exceptionalism when he wrote

As a matter of fact, however, those of our countrymen who do believe in American inferiority are always individuals who, however cultivated, have some organic weakness in their moral or mental make-up; and the great mass of our people, who are robustly patriotic, and who have sound, healthy minds, are justified in regarding these feeble renegades with a half-impatient and half-amused scorn.

To Americanize the immigrant, Roosevelt believed that

We must Americanize them in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at the relations between Church and State. We welcome the German or the Irishman who becomes an American [.] We do not wish German-Americans and Irish-Americans ...; we want only Americans, and, provided they are such, we do not care whether they are of native or of Irish or of German ancestry. We have no room in any healthy American community for a German-American vote or an Irish-American vote, and it is contemptible demagogy to put planks into any party platform with the purpose of catching such a vote.

And, yet, Obama continues to balkanize this country by pitting one group against another all in the name of so-called racial equality. His latest move to "create a two-tier race-based legal system in Hawaii, where one set of taxes, spending, and law enforcement will govern one race, and the second set of laws will govern every other race" is repugnant and divisive.

Roosevelt understood the inherent destructive force of bilingualism.

We believe that English, and no other language, is that in which all the school exercises should be conducted.

Nonetheless, how can it be that so many of my students' parents who have lived in America for over 20 years still do not speak English? That very fact alone indicates their refusal to integrate into this country. 

Roosevelt had no use for those who would make a mockery of patriotism.

...the man who can do most in this country is and must be the man whose Americanism is most sincere and intense. Outrageous though it is to use a noble idea as the cloak for evil, it is still worse to assail the noble idea itself because it can thus be used. The men who do iniquity in the name of patriotism, of reform, of Americanism, are merely one small division of the class that has always existed and will always exist,-- the class of hypocrites and demagogues, the class that is always prompt to steal the watchwords of righteousness and use them in the interests of evil-doing.

So NSA snooping is meant to protect us; ObamaCare will give us "free" healthcare; and Obama hopes to turn the unprecedented wave of undocumented children from Central America into a humanitarian disaster while effectively harming American interests.

Teddy Roosevelt understood the need for Americans to support American ideals and values, because "[t]here are philosophers who assure us that, in the future, patriotism will be regarded not as a virtue at all, but merely as a mental stage in the journey toward a state of feeling when our patriotism will include the whole human race and all the world."

How prescient are these words when one recalls that Obama hauled Arizona before the United Nations Human Rights Council and turned "his skirmish with Jan Brewer from a states rights dispute into an international human rights cause." Thus, the President of the United States decided to place Arizona’s law in the hands of the United Nations

Roosevelt stated that "[o]ne may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable citizen in the community. The man who... loses his power of doing good work on this side of the water, and who loses his love for his native land, is not a traitor; but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. He is as emphatically a noxious element in our body politic as is the man who comes here from abroad and remains a foreigner [.]" In contrast, one is reminded of the recent gallantry of the Borinqueneers 65th Infantry who refused to march in the Puerto Rican Day Parade which was dedicated to an FALN terrorist.

Unlike the 44th President whose contempt for America becomes more clear each day, Teddy Roosevelt maintained that

...it remains true that, in spite of all our faults and shortcomings, no other land offers such glorious possibilities to the man able to take advantage of them, as does ours; it remains true that no one of our people can do any work really worth doing unless he does it primarily as an American. It is because certain classes of our people still retain their spirit of colonial dependence on, and exaggerated deference to, European opinion, that they fail to accomplish what they ought to.

Yet, we have tilted so far left that by continuing to emulate European socialism we now have a welfare state that is threatening to swallow us all.

It would serve us well to reclaim the idea that "above all we must stand shoulder to shoulder, not asking as to the ancestry or creed of our comrades, but only demanding that they be in very truth Americans, and that we all work together, heart, hand, and head, for the honor and the greatness of our common country." 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

One hundred and twenty years ago, Theodore Roosevelt wrote "True Americanism" in the Forum magazine. The piece is a striking contrast to the ongoing barrage of anti-Americanism that too often emanates from the media and the present White House occupant. Thus in April of 1894, Roosevelt maintained that

We Americans have many grave problems to solve, many threatening evils to fight, and many deeds to do, if, as we hope and believe, we have the wisdom, the strength, the courage, and the virtue to do them. But we must face facts as they are. We must neither surrender ourselves to a foolish optimism, nor succumb to a timid and ignoble pessimism [.] We enjoy exceptional advantages, and are menaced by exceptional dangers; and all signs indicate that we shall either fail greatly or succeed greatly. I firmly believe that we shall succeed; but we must not foolishly blink [at] the dangers by which we are threatened, for that is the way to fail.

So why do our present leaders distort and downplay the jihadist threat to the world? The FBI has purged all references to Islamic organizations and ties to terrorism, thereby putting agents and the country at risk. Such political correctness is destroying our ability to defend ourselves. 

Consequently, Americans "...shall never be successful over the dangers that confront us; we shall never achieve true greatness, nor reach the lofty ideal which the founders and preservers of our mighty Federal Republic have set before us, unless we are Americans in heart and soul, in spirit and purpose, keenly alive to the responsibility implied in the very name of American, and proud beyond measure of the glorious privilege of bearing it."

The 26th President had a great deal to say about immigration and it is quite apt in light of the "immigration bedlam" that confronts America today.  He asserted that

not only [is it] necessary to Americanize the immigrants of foreign birth who settle among us, but it is even more necessary for those among us who are by birth and descent already Americans not to throw away our birthright, and, with incredible and contemptible folly, wander back to bow down before the alien gods whom our forefathers forsook [.]

And yet, American students of the last 40 years have been the recipients of a tirade of anti-Americanism that has permeated their thinking, resulting in utter disdain for this country.

One can only imagine Roosevelt making mincemeat of Obama's notions of American exceptionalism when he wrote

As a matter of fact, however, those of our countrymen who do believe in American inferiority are always individuals who, however cultivated, have some organic weakness in their moral or mental make-up; and the great mass of our people, who are robustly patriotic, and who have sound, healthy minds, are justified in regarding these feeble renegades with a half-impatient and half-amused scorn.

To Americanize the immigrant, Roosevelt believed that

We must Americanize them in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at the relations between Church and State. We welcome the German or the Irishman who becomes an American [.] We do not wish German-Americans and Irish-Americans ...; we want only Americans, and, provided they are such, we do not care whether they are of native or of Irish or of German ancestry. We have no room in any healthy American community for a German-American vote or an Irish-American vote, and it is contemptible demagogy to put planks into any party platform with the purpose of catching such a vote.

And, yet, Obama continues to balkanize this country by pitting one group against another all in the name of so-called racial equality. His latest move to "create a two-tier race-based legal system in Hawaii, where one set of taxes, spending, and law enforcement will govern one race, and the second set of laws will govern every other race" is repugnant and divisive.

Roosevelt understood the inherent destructive force of bilingualism.

We believe that English, and no other language, is that in which all the school exercises should be conducted.

Nonetheless, how can it be that so many of my students' parents who have lived in America for over 20 years still do not speak English? That very fact alone indicates their refusal to integrate into this country. 

Roosevelt had no use for those who would make a mockery of patriotism.

...the man who can do most in this country is and must be the man whose Americanism is most sincere and intense. Outrageous though it is to use a noble idea as the cloak for evil, it is still worse to assail the noble idea itself because it can thus be used. The men who do iniquity in the name of patriotism, of reform, of Americanism, are merely one small division of the class that has always existed and will always exist,-- the class of hypocrites and demagogues, the class that is always prompt to steal the watchwords of righteousness and use them in the interests of evil-doing.

So NSA snooping is meant to protect us; ObamaCare will give us "free" healthcare; and Obama hopes to turn the unprecedented wave of undocumented children from Central America into a humanitarian disaster while effectively harming American interests.

Teddy Roosevelt understood the need for Americans to support American ideals and values, because "[t]here are philosophers who assure us that, in the future, patriotism will be regarded not as a virtue at all, but merely as a mental stage in the journey toward a state of feeling when our patriotism will include the whole human race and all the world."

How prescient are these words when one recalls that Obama hauled Arizona before the United Nations Human Rights Council and turned "his skirmish with Jan Brewer from a states rights dispute into an international human rights cause." Thus, the President of the United States decided to place Arizona’s law in the hands of the United Nations

Roosevelt stated that "[o]ne may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable citizen in the community. The man who... loses his power of doing good work on this side of the water, and who loses his love for his native land, is not a traitor; but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. He is as emphatically a noxious element in our body politic as is the man who comes here from abroad and remains a foreigner [.]" In contrast, one is reminded of the recent gallantry of the Borinqueneers 65th Infantry who refused to march in the Puerto Rican Day Parade which was dedicated to an FALN terrorist.

Unlike the 44th President whose contempt for America becomes more clear each day, Teddy Roosevelt maintained that

...it remains true that, in spite of all our faults and shortcomings, no other land offers such glorious possibilities to the man able to take advantage of them, as does ours; it remains true that no one of our people can do any work really worth doing unless he does it primarily as an American. It is because certain classes of our people still retain their spirit of colonial dependence on, and exaggerated deference to, European opinion, that they fail to accomplish what they ought to.

Yet, we have tilted so far left that by continuing to emulate European socialism we now have a welfare state that is threatening to swallow us all.

It would serve us well to reclaim the idea that "above all we must stand shoulder to shoulder, not asking as to the ancestry or creed of our comrades, but only demanding that they be in very truth Americans, and that we all work together, heart, hand, and head, for the honor and the greatness of our common country." 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com