By Dean Kalahar
In the current climate of economic uncertainty, and questions regarding the health of capitalism, there is little talk concerning the well being of other vital institutions that sustain western civilization at large and America specifically. Unfortunately, like a canary in a mine providing an early warning signal to dangers, numerous examples can be given of widespread institutional decay across our cultural landscape.
America’s religious institution has been eroded by the secularization of society, the welfare state, the misguided belief in the separation of church and state, and attacks toward any outward expression of religious passion. Our public education institution has been decimated by bureaucracies and unions that have failed to teach children how to read, write, or add, while choice and vouchers are fought at every turn. Our family institution has been redefined into a bizarre amalgam of gender, sexual, and parental proclivities. 40% of children are born out of wedlock and 25% of teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease. The overt-sexualization of our society has created confusion and despair among our children, while infanticide has become an all too easy choice. Biological and psychological realities for sanctioning marriage between a man and woman for the sake of their posterity have been ruthlessly attacked by those seeking to re-define the universal order.
What we are experiencing is terrorism of the politically correct variety. A cultural war is being raged in America by a progressive “tolerance” movement that is intolerant toward many institutional traditions, principles, and laws that were created and tested over thousands of years of trial and error. The attackers show a condescending hypocrisy of moral relativism towards any concept that might interfere with their self-anointed sensibilities of creating a utopia so as to avoid self awareness.
The sad irony to today’s problems is that the government swears it is the last best hope in remedying our economic and social ills. Yet, this same government has implemented misguided government policy that has visibly created the deep fracturing of the economy while invisibly undermining the religious, education, and family pillars of our nation. Americans who are worried and focused solely on the economy need to wake up and see the walls of the republic crumbling.
Warnings have been offered before. In the 1980s, A Nation at Risk report was issued. It said the biggest threat to the United States during the darkest days of the cold war was not an attack from the Soviet Union, it was the collapse of the education system from within that would allow the Soviets to easily overtake America. Today, our biggest outside threat is Islamic extremism. Sadly, al-Qaida and the Taliban need only to wait us out while we allow the un-checked power of government and progressive ideology destroy, from within, our social fabric. Once this happens, brutalizing non-believers and instituting Sharia law will be the only form of terrorism necessary to end western civilization as we know it.
When the Nation at Risk report was released, few worried about the collapse of our economic, governmental, family and religious institutions, so little was done to stem the tide of our failing schools. No one believed our world class education system would decline to the point of bringing down the American experiment. 30 years later, however, when you add the significant erosion to the remainder of the institutions that support our way of life, that early warning has turned into a clarion call. The present danger to our nation is potentially catastrophic.
Is there hope? President Ronald Reagan made America great again, and defeated communism, by unleashing liberty with the principles and power of free market capitalism. We can defeat Islamic extremism and regain the cultural strength of our nation’s institutions by restoring our belief in freedom and the fundamental constructs of western thought. It is time to stand up for the founder’s blueprint of life, liberty, and property that defines the traditions of market economics, education, religion, and family guided by limited government.
We can rebuild America to be, as Reagan said, “a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” If we, however, ignore the warnings and sow the seeds to our own destruction, as the Romans did long ago, our fate will be written in the epilogue of history. Gone, a nation whose torch was smothered when a complacent arrogance forgot what made them great, and the humility to stand vigilant in defending liberty was lost.