There are those who respond to the phrase “take our country back” by demonizing it as racist, evidencing white supremacy. We should not forget that during our 243rd Independence Week, the Betsy Ross flag, which was our first symbol as a new nation, was assailed as being racist. Of course, there was nothing said when the American flag draped the U.S. Capitol during the inauguration of one Barack H. Obama.
Just recently, actor Chris Pratt, who does not hide his Christian conservatism, was chided as promoting white supremacy for wearing a t-shirt with an American flag and the rally cry of “Don’t Tread on Me.” Of course, that reference comes from the revolutionary-era Gadsden flag. Interesting point, I have a Gadsden flag patch on my Victory motorcycle vest. And I also have a t-shirt with the Gadsden flag on it. Y’all know, the yellow flag with the coiled snake. Does it make me a racist for sporting the “Don’t Tread on Me” slogan of our early patriots?
Of course, not, but the progressive, socialist left has made it their cause de jour to denigrate anything about our founding as a nation.
And so, when constitutional conservatives talk about taking our country back, it has nothing to do with the phobia of the left. However, it does serve to illuminate the sentiments of the leftists towards our exceptional nation, one whom we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of walking on the moon.
What does “take our country back” truly mean?
It is a sincere desire to return to our founding principles that set us on this course some 243 years ago. America represents a grand experiment that was unheard of in the world. It was written about by such great men as John Locke and Sir William Blackstone. America would be the first ever country to codify the theory of natural rights and incorporate them into our constitutional republic. Yes, that belief that “man” naturally is endowed with inalienable rights from their Creator, not by other men, those being life, liberty, and property. As Thomas Jefferson studied these principles, he wrote them into our Declaration of Independence, solidifying the premise that individual sovereignty reigned supreme of the institution of government. Our Constitution would establish, as part of our rule of law, expanded, specific individual rights, our Bill of Rights, which were, as Jefferson stated, part of the “laws of nature and of nature’s God.”
Of course, there are those secular humanist, leftist detractors who would counter by saying that Jefferson was not a “religious” man. However, these are Jefferson’s own words, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Even Jefferson recognized the supremacy of God and the self-evident truth that our individual liberties are His gift, not that of man or government. And in these times of relativism and subjectivity, many have come to believe that there are no absolute truths, to the detriment of our nation. Constitutional conservatives desire a return to first principles. That is the meaning of the reference, “take our country back.” Our Constitution establishes that we seek a “more perfect union,” but in doing so, we must have a solid foundation upon which to build, and sustain, this impeccable constitutional republic of now 243 years. Most do not last even 20 years.
For the progressive, socialist left, they also seek to “take our country back,” but they desire a return to the supremacy of government to bestow rights on the individual. And their so-called rights are not based upon the laws of nature, certainly not nature’s God. It is about their ideological agenda, the laws as they benefit their political gain. For the left, they wish to return our nation to being exactly what the Founding Fathers rebelled against, what Thomas Jefferson articulated as the violations and usurpations of King George III. For the left, they wish to “take our country back” to a time when a handful of people decided for the collective, what their rights were. And today, the ideological rights of the progressive, socialist left are elevated over our constitutional rights, those inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator.
The left in America wants to delegitimize the Creator as being incapable of determining gender or being in control of the weather. If that is the case, then how could such an inept Creator even be a creator at all, and therefore able to endow inalienable rights? This is indeed the seminal philosophical confrontation in America. It is not one of Republican versus Democrat, but it is one of governance, whether the individual is still sovereign over the institution of government. It is the difference between whether we as individuals are competent enough to pursue our own happiness, or shall we be made subservient to the rule of the few who shall guarantee our happiness.
There is NOTHING progressive about the progressive, socialist left. All that they embrace and believe in has been proven deadly to human will, and life. Socialism and Marxism does take us back, back to a place and time when individuals had no value, only that which was assigned to them by royalty, elites, and feudal lords.
Two hundred and forty-three years ago, our Founding Fathers decided to go forward and create a nation established upon individual liberty. There are those of us who wish to take us back to those founding principles. And there are others who wish to take us back to the tyranny that we revolted against, after reason failed. The American patriots learned that one cannot reason with tyranny … a lesson that still applies to today.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias. Mr. West also writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com.