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Patriotism, Freedom and the American Dream

Democracy Project, Mar. 30, 2008 by Phil Orenstein

What a month. America’s college basketball fans have been riveted to their TV screens as the NCAA tournaments roar into the Final Fours during the month of March Madness. But what has recently been inundating the scene in the world of politics, religion, academia, the economy and international call-girls rings should be dubbed March Madness as well.

This March, we’ve seen our share of madness from the pulpit as Barack Obama’s radical pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright vilified America and Israel and cursed the white race in venomous sermons played relentlessly over the internet and cable TV. In March we also witnessed three governor’s sex scandals exposed, leading off with former New York Governor Spitzer’s escapades with hookers which brought him down with such a loud thud that the stock market rallied over 400 points the next day, as brokers on the exchange floor celebrated the fall from grace of the arrogant king with no clothes. Their good cheer soon faded as the sudden collapse of Bear Stearns threatened to spread havoc throughout US and world markets. Professors got into the act as well bringing anti-American and anti-Republican politics and the cult of Obama into the classroom. The content of a business ethics class at Loyola Marymount University recently featured the screening of the Obama recruitment video “Yes I Can,” as the professor likened him to Martin Luther King.

In contrast to the madness and all the hollow rhetoric about change, there was an inspiring message of real change and empowerment from Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, who spoke to a packed room of Queens Village Republicans and friends at the March club meeting at St. Anne’s Post of the Catholic War Veterans. It was a stirring speech to fight for the Republican principles of patriotism, freedom and the American dream, with the faith that the American people can make the change themselves by empowering citizens with more freedom, lower taxes, and keeping the government out of the people’s business.

He used his own example of positive community spirit and activism to fight crime, youth gangs and drug abuse, early on in his career. During the 1970’s when criminals were running rampant in the streets and subways of New York City, Sliwa worked as the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in the Bronx. When he finished work late at night, he took the “Muggers Express” down to his home in Brooklyn where pickpockets, drug addicts and youth gangs ruled the subways and bullied the riders, while the understaffed New York Police Force seemed to be AWOL. Fed up with the violence, and believing that as an American each person can make a difference, he saw a problem and determined to do something about it. So he began a personal campaign to promote positive civic values and community spirit with likeminded youth that he encountered, encouraging them to act as a positive force to protect citizens in their communities.

The Guardian Angels was born when Sliwa led a group of multi-ethnic teenagers from a Bronx High School, out of a drug and crime ridden environment, down into the subways on safety patrols in order to combat the widespread crime and violence and to make citizen’s arrests. The Angels, dressed in trademark bright red jackets and berets grew into an international volunteer organization with chapters in over 100 cities around the world. With a solid grounding in civics education and community service, which is presently absent from public schools, Sliwa also brought the Angels into the classroom to present drug prevention, civics and safety programs.

Today, while Democrats concentrate on getting our troops out of Iraq, we have real problems and issues here at home. Youth gangs and drug abuse are festering not only in our housing projects and poor communities, but the Bloods and Crips are recruiting in our public schools as well. According to Sliwa, we have a crisis of broken homes and families leading to 70% of black, 36% of hispanic, and 32% of white children born out of wedlock. The three R’s are no longer taught in our schools and the fourth R, respect is no longer taught in the home. Respect for parents, teachers and country is generally lacking in our youthful generations X and Y. Academic campuses try to tear down our country and degrade our military forces in the classroom. They blame America first for all the inequities and conflicts in the world and poison the minds of our youth with ingratitude and contempt for our lofty heritage.

Democrats like Clinton and Obama, employ positive sound bites such as “hope,” “a new America” and “change we can believe in,” to mesmerize young people and sway the gullible among us. In reality they are beseeching us to elect them to fix all the problems with healthcare, education, poverty and the economy by taxing wealthier citizens in order for the state to provide cradle-to-grave care for all Americans since in their minds, we are too faint and frail to take individual responsibility for our own lives. However, increasingly bigger government and an emasculated populous ever more dependent on an elite class to govern all their affairs is not the answer. The best solution is always more freedom, individual liberty and smaller government, and Republicans are the ones who have to carry that message out to citizens in the streets and communities just as Sliwa did in the late 1970’s. [Emphasis added]

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