America's greatness derives from the American people...the workers, teachers, farmers, scientists, pastors, rabbis; those who lead, and those who follow in a thousand vocations and avocations. As a Nation, we have recently been going through tumultuous times brought on by unrealistic expectations fed by wild-eyed social planners and financial “geniuses,” and loss of faith in the institutions that were the foundation upon which America rose to preeminence during the last century. That loss of faith is the result of careerist politicians and bureaucrats whose objective is to achieve and maintain self-serving political power rather than serve the people who elected or appointed them.
Cheerleading is one of the important functions of the national leadership, and when that turns dark it is fulfills the words contained in the book of Proverbs: "Where there is no vision, the people perish:.." If we condemn out roots, if we malign our faith, if we choose to follow a path of corruption, and accept those as a "new normal," we inevitably decline into a pit of self-pity, despondency, anger, decay and destruction while being clueless that it was self-inflicted; and that is where we were this time last year.
The founders of this Nation suffered great economic and physical hardship, some even gave their lives. Over the course of the nearly two and a half centuries since the United States became a Nation, additional hundreds of thousands have given their lives to maintain the freedom enjoyed today. President Lincoln and the Civil War relieved our black brothers and sisters of physical slavery but they let themselves become the latter day slaves of political and socio-economic slave masters in a political party that has made them subservient in ways that destroys not only their pride but their souls; and for too many their lives.
It is not the rich who make America great although they benefit from its greatness; and, it is not the poor, whatever their race, who diminish its greatness. The latter are unwitting, even complicit victims of those politicians noted above, cloaked in pseudo-righteousness but who keep the poor in bondage to advance their own interests. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, minorities’ eyes will open to the reality that the political party they trusted for too long has betrayed them for political power and personal gain.
Those same politicians, both left and right, crafted what is arguably the worst form of international commerce, globalization, because it is designed to make the rich more secure in their wealth while the remainder of the world's population “feeds” at their behest. Globalization is the ultimate planned economy where the rich and political elites do the planning and are insulated from the consequences of mistakes and natural or manmade catastrophes.
To the extent that the last year’s general election was a choice between opposing philosophies of Globalization versus Nationalism, Nationalism won. That fact bodes well for everything domestic, and it will provide a huge opportunity for all Americans if they avail themselves of it.
Just as the Pilgrims struggled to survive then reaped a good harvest, those who engage will reap the potential benefits that the current trend portends. When the "harvest" is ready the greatest benefits will devolve to those who took risks and to those who work to bring the “harvest” in. Opportunities will increase for anyone and everyone who takes advantage of them.
Finally, the Creator who fashioned this Nation established here a beacon that has shone brightly for more than two centuries, it continues to be the place where people beat the doors down to enter and be free. Today, we thank that Creator, may He be forever praised; and may those who do not know, seek Him and receive the blessings and peace that passes understanding that He freely and abundantly bestows.
Col. Pappas is a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel. He flew fighter jets in Vietnam and commanded one of the largest Marine Corps Air Stations in the Far East.