American Thinker | Kyle-Anne Shiver | Nov. 27, 2008
What is to become of modern civilization if we Americans throw in the towel on the ideals of liberty and individual dignity, and stop believing that these are worth the suffering required to protect them? How can it be that young Americans do not see the bountiful blessings bestowed upon the rest of the world by us?
Our creative people, free to indulge their unique curiosities, have invented so many life-improving things that it is impossible to catalog them all. While talented inventors have certainly sprung from every other nation, it has been the unique American way of life that inspired making things in such a way and cheaply enough that most of the world’s inhabitants could eventually afford them.
Thomas Edison did not invent the incandescent light bulb, but he was intent on fashioning one that could be easily attainable for the vast majority. Edison was the first to conceive of the idea of power plants that would deliver this modern miracle to homes, businesses and factories on a massive scale unknown then to the world. Edison was also the scientific pioneer that designed the first industrial research lab, bringing together the talents of many in search of solutions to the practical problems of common men and women.
Henry Ford was not the inventor of the internal combustion engine or the automobile, but Ford was the man whose greatest desire was to make a car that common people could actually afford to own and operate. Before Ford’s assembly-line production innovation, only aristocrats and other wealthy people could afford the luxury.
The American innovations in farming alone have spared millions from miserable lives and deaths because of hunger. The American innovations in science and medicine have made incalculable improvements in the lives of real people all over the world for more than a century.
And certainly at the forefront of America’s contributions to world civilization have been the wars fought in defiance of tyranny. Fighting totalitarianism of all stripes has been one of the hallmarks of American existence, and the only land we’ve claimed as victors was enough to bury our dead. Wars fought by Americans, both at home during the Civil War, and abroad, have unarguably provided the greatest advances in the cause of human rights – ever.
As we allow our Country to be downgraded like some worthless stock in meltdown mode, it might behoove us to just take a few moments glancing back at what we will be leaving behind. No Nation has ever been perfect; none ever will be. But destroying the best one to date without a tested plan for a replacement is nothing more than the work of fools.
As I watch It’s a Wonderful Life this year, as is our custom on Thanksgiving Day, I’m going to put America in the place of George Bailey, for we are now at our bleakest hour and see ourselves as Bailey did, as an abject failure without ever having fulfilled our original promise. And just as George Bailey saw what his world would have been like without his simple good deeds and honest striving, so I will imagine a world without there ever having been an America.
As I see this scenario in my mind’s eye, I know that I’ll once again be joyful in the American experiment’s successes and will rejoice at her magnificent contributions to the health, happiness and prosperity for not only ourselves, but in truth, for the whole world.
Happy Thanksgiving, America! You deserve it.
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