Jewish World Review March 23, 2010 / 8 Nissan 5770
It's a Civil War: What We Do Now
By Dennis Prager
The country took its biggest step ever down a road diametrically opposed to its original intent of keeping the state small so that the individual can be free and great.
Therefore, in this unprecedented crisis of values, this is what needs to be done:
1. Know and teach America's core values.
We got to this point solely because over the past few generations, Americans have forgotten the values that have made America distinctive and great. Even the "Greatest Generation" failed to communicate them.
In a nutshell, they are what I call the American Trinity: "In G0d we trust," "Liberty" and "E Pluribus Unum." The left has successfully made war on all three — substituting secularism for G0d and religion in as much of American life as possible; substituting equality (of result) for liberty; and multiculturalism is the opposite of "E Pluribus Unum."
People who do not understand American ideals — especially small government — now dominate our schools, our entertainment media and our news media.
(My own contribution here is a video titled, "The American Trinity" at www.prageru.com. Please view it and forward it.)
2. Recognize that we are fighting the left, not liberals.
Conservatives and centrists are no longer fighting liberals. We are fighting the left.
Liberalism believed in American exceptionalism; the left not only does not believe in it, the left opposes it. President Obama, when asked if he believes in American exceptionalism, replied, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."
Liberalism believed in creating wealth; the left is interested in redistributing it.
Liberalism believed in a strong defense. The left believes in cutting defense and a strong United Nations.
3. Democrats should be referred to as Social Democrats.
This is not meant to be cute, let alone as a slur. But calling Democrats Social Democrats is an effective way of reminding Americans that there is no longer any difference between what is now known as the Democratic Party and the Social Democratic parties of Europe. When the Democratic Party returns to its roots as a liberal, not a left-wing, party, we will happily resume calling the party by its original name. However, since no Democrat can cite a significant difference between the Democratic Party and the SD parties, there is no good reason not to use the more accurate nomenclature.
4. Work tirelessly to repeal the bill.
We must single-mindedly work to repeal the government health plan. We all know that it is difficult to repeal entitlements because they are like drugs and it is very difficult to wean people off drugs. But it is not impossible. We need to warn our fellow Americans that entitlements will do to America what drugs eventually do to addicts.
All Republicans must run for office on the "repeal" issue. Even when they lose, the difference between right and left, between Republicans and Social Democrats will have been made clear; and clarity is our best friend.
5. Our motto: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."
I used this phrase in addressing the Republican members of Congress. It has become widely used, including by Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., on the House floor during the Congressional debate on Sunday. It encapsulates this epic battle of American values versus leftist values. Every movement needs a motto. I nominate this.
6. Do not let other matters distract.
Neither Republicans nor conservatives are united on every issue facing America. Immigration is one example. But we are united on the big government vs. free individual issue, which, more than anything else, has defined America. If we allow any other domestic issue to divide us, we will lose.
And here's why: If Americans forget what America stands for, it won't help us if there is not one illegal immigrant here. And if we do remember what it means to be American, we can handle anything.
7. Acknowledge that we are in a non-violent civil war.
I write the words "civil war" with an ache in my heart. But we are in one.
Thank God this civil war is non-violent. But the fact is that the left and the rest of the country share almost no values. The American value system and the leftist value system are irreconcilable. If the left wins, America's values lose. If American values prevail, the left loses.
After Sunday's vote, for the first time in American history, one could no longer confidently believe that the American system will prevail. And if we don't fight for it, we don't deserve it.
JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.
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