To Rise and Not to Rest - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
To Rise and Not to Rest

In the news of late are all sorts of accusations concerning hate, prejudice, race-baiting and class warfare. Not surprisingly, these indictments have been hurled from left to right, although some might argue that they are best applied in the opposite direction. Now, liberals have long contended — often in direct opposition to the historical record — that Republicans have been hostile to minorities and their plight. But nothing can be farther from the truth; it is they, in fact, who have done their best to keep certain groups down.

According to the leftist manifesto, if you were born into certain circumstances, you must act a certain way; preferably one dictated by the left. Those born to blue collar families must sell their souls to unions that are little more than political slush funds; women must put their “reproductive rights” ahead of their faith and families; and it is imperative that blacks and other minorities “be down for the struggle.” These folks are frequently told by the media-controlled modern culture that, far from embracing the things that have made America great, it is these very things that are holding them back; especially those two great bugaboos, faith and capitalism.

On the other hand, conservatives do not look at classes of people based on accidents of birth; on the contrary, they believe that the American Dream, when firmly rooted in our Constitution and the work ethic as espoused by our founders, can ameliorate all disadvantages arising from those circumstances. And this is an essential difference between the left and the right.

To repeat; the left believes that their circumstances of birth entitle groups to special rights not enumerated in our founding documents and certainly not advantageous to their long-term advancement. Conservatives believe that the very rights upon which our nation was founded are precisely those which, when applied to the letter of the law, will improve the lot of all Americans, regardless of the station to which they were born. 

Attaining this prosperity takes a certain amount of guts and determination, as well as an innate love for and belief in the underpinnings of what used to be called the American Way: a combination of hard work, integrity, and, most of all, freedom from governmental interference. Our nation was born of this foundational belief: that our natural rights come from God and that governments are necessary to secure them; not to invent or constrain them.

My old high school’s motto was “Life is to rise, and not to rest,” which I think neatly sums up the way in which conservatives view America. We love people that are vital and energetic about life, work, and faith, and who are willing and able to interject that vitality and energy into growing our economy and strengthening our moral fiber as envisioned by our founders. The left loves those who are morose and lackadaisical about most aspects of life, and who bring that pessimism and even anger to the national stage; witness the Occupy Wall Street gang. It’s almost astounding that these disparate outlooks on life can coexist in the same country; one still seen by most around the world as the land of opportunity where the streets are paved with gold.

Which is why liberals seek to separate certain classes of Americans from others; so afraid are they that a revival of classic American optimism might threaten to overwhelm their decades-old propaganda war against the goodness of our country. After all, a high tide lifts all boats. Likewise, a moral and economic malaise will drag down the spirit of the whole country; anyone who lived through the Carter years can well attest to that. But they will also recall the difference made by a man who espoused the worth of our founding values and appealed to the patriotism and optimism that naturally attend them.

So the question for Americans seems clear: can a country that has flourished for two centuries, that was founded on certain moral, governing, and economic principles, suddenly abandon them and still be viable? The answer, as astonishingly demonstrated in the past three years, must be a resounding no.

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