Leave it to the French

I find myself desperately clinging to what I believe is our national identity. I began reading “The Reagan Diaries” again. My sons gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago, but I never finished it. I long for the wisdom of Reagan. It is interesting to hear him speak about the same problems we face today. Only he believed they were opportunities to teach people about what America was really about. It reminds me that we need to constantly fight against misperceptions and lies about who the United States is.

I have heard my President going around the world now and apologizing for us. I do not believe we have anything to apologize for. I am reminded of the words of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) during last year’s Presidential campaign. It was during the CNN/You Tube debate where candidates took questions from selected videos submitted on You Tube. One of the questions was from a Muslim woman who asked the  candidates what they would do to reach out to the parts of the world who don’t like us very much. All of the leading candidates – Romney, McCain, Giuliani, Huckabee – actually tried to answer that question. I will never forget Duncan Hunter’s answer. He said, “What I would say to the world is, ‘When you were sick, we brought you medicine. When you were struck by natural disasters, we sent help. When you were attacked by your neighbors, our young men fought and died to protect your freedom!’ I will never apologize for the United States of America!!” Man, I almost jumped out of my chair! I was so moved by this conviction. I hope he runs again, he is a great man.

I do not approve of my President’s words of apology to our foreign neighbors. In my search for someone who gets what America is all about, I have found a forgotten ally. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy was elected as President of France. He ran on a pro-American agenda. It seems the people of France are ready to be friends with the US again. On one of his first post-election trips, he came to the US and spoke to Congress. It would be awesome if we had some Americans who spoke about our country’s sacrifices for the rest of the world as eloquently as he does. Here are some of the highlights:

“From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person.

“America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who—with their hands, their intelligence and their heart—built the greatest nation in the world: “Come, and everything will be given to you.” She said: “Come, and the only limits to what you’ll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.” America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

“My generation shared all the American dreams. Our imaginations were fueled by the winning of the West and Hollywood. By Elvis Presley, Duke Ellington, Hemingway. By John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth. And by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, fulfilling mankind’s oldest dream.

“What was so extraordinary for us was that through her literature, her cinema and her music, America always seemed to emerge from adversity even greater and stronger; that instead of causing America to doubt herself, such ordeals only strengthened her belief in her values.”

I also want to post the entire speech here as well. It is a moving tribute to those who sacrificed so much to help free his nation and in turn, our own.

I hope you will take time to watch at least the first 10-15 minutes. It had me almost in tears (I’m at work, had to hold it in!) Where is the fan of the US here in the US. I know you’re out there.

Please join me in renewing in ourselves the optimism of Reagan. And let’s fulfill Mr. Sarkozy’s expectation of America. That as we take on our own economic “enemies,” such an ordeal will only strengthen our belief in our values.


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