DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE ART OF BEING A HAPPY WARRIOR
When we celebrate Thanksgiving in a little over a week, after being thankful for family and friends, for health and comfort, for food and shelter, it may be time to be thankful for the left.
I have seen far too much despair and defeatism, too many comments that suggest there is no hope for America and the only thing left to do is pour a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. I understand the place of despair and pain that such words come from. But they also testify to how sheltered Americans are from the cold winds outside.
Eight years of Obama is bad, no doubt. But try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That’s what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they’ve given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean a jail sentence and homeschooling is illegal whether they’ve given up hope.
There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting and did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They are taking place today in Europe. They are taking place in South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight without being shot or sent to prison. Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.
We face a hard fight, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of the world. The international left has made America its special project. It knows that if it can extinguish the hope of liberty in this land then it will drive the rest of those who hope for freedom across the ocean deeper into despair. And it wants your despair. It wants you to give up so that the rest of the world gives up too and bows under its chains.
And yet this fight is a glorious one. This fight is our birthright. And we should be thankful for the fight.
It would be more pleasant if there were no Obama or Axelord. If Alinsky had never been born and Marx had never been whelped. It would be nice if we lived in a world where red were just a color and the Democratic Party were a rural movement suspicious of the federal government and dreaming of an agrarian utopia. But then so would never having to work for a living or getting up out of bed.
Life is challenge and we face all kinds of different challenges. We get up early out of bed in the morning and drive to work. We rise in the middle of the night when the baby cries and we go to the hospital when our loved ones need us there. And we do these things not only because they are our duty, but because these challenges make us who we are.
Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It calls to more of us and in that it also ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.
Good emerges in response to evil. We need our enemies to remind us of who we are and what we can do when our backs are against the wall. We need evil to remind us of the good that we are capable of. As a whetstone sharpens a sword, so evil sharpens us into a weapon against it. It makes us morally stronger and teaches us the stark truths that we cannot take refuge from evil; we must confront it.
If there were no left, would there be nearly as much patriotism among true Americans as there is now? And if there were no left, how many of us would really contemplate the core principles of freedom and free enterprise? If there were no left, how many of us would ponder what we truly believe and what compromises we are willing and unwilling to make? If there were no left, would we be the same people that we are today?
Would we value freedom as much if we did not have to defend it? Would we hold it as dear if we did not fear that it would be taken away? Would we even be aware of what freedom is and what a free people must be if not for the dark hand of those who wish to strip us of those freedoms?
It is the left’s opposition that has added urgency to a hundred issues, from the national debt to the War on Terror to freedom of speech and of religion. It has made us think about those issues, it has caused us to take them out of the back of our minds and hold them up to the light as a reminder of how important they are and what must be done about them.
War is the great teacher and this is a political war, short on bodies and heavy on minds, it is a war in which casualties are not taken in the chest or the arm, but in the mind, in reason and emotion, and against these weaknesses, we can and will prevail.
As we fight the left, we become stronger, more dedicated and more purposeful. We become the men and women that we were meant to be.
As you sit around your tables, thinking of all that you have gained and lost this year, remember and be thankful for the left, for though the winter ice gives way to the summer sun and bitter defeat gives way to sweet victory, it is defeat and hardship that teaches better than comfort and ease. We can learn more from our defeats than we ever could from our victories. Our defeats teach us endurance and fortitude, they teach us that defeat can be borne and that its sting can be turned into the weapon that unseats the foe. And our foes make us who we are.
Their evil teaches us to find the good within ourselves. Their strength teaches us to find our own strength. And their plots against what we have teach us how many treasures we have, not least of these being the full value of our freedom and our happiness that they wish to take from us. Their war on America is teaching us to be better Americans.
We should be thankful for the left, its assaults on us are teaching us how to fight and its plots against our freedom are teaching us how to be free.
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