Perhaps you share my irritation at the anti-Christopher Columbus attacks from the political left wing in America.
On the northern coast of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, at the beach town of Arecibo, stands a 600-ton, 350-foot-tall statue — taller than the Statue of Liberty. It’s the largest homage to Columbus in the world. The statue survived the devastation of Hurricane Maria three weeks ago.
Children of my generation knew that in 1492, a courageous Columbus “sailed the ocean blue” on those dangerously small boats, the Niña, Pinta and Santa María.
I predict the honored memory of this great Genoan explorer, who opened the New World for the Old World, will also survive.
I have a personal custom of celebrating national holidays by flying our American flag on my front porch.
I flew my flag in honor of Columbus on Monday, on the national holiday created by an act of Congress in 1934.
On that same day, police were guarding a statue of Columbus around the clock in New York City against vandals, while Indigenous Peoples’ Day was proclaimed by politicians in many cities.
A few years back, when this deluge of political correctness was growing, I heard a National Public Radio report on a fifth-grade public school teacher from Milwaukee who claimed to be part Native American. Each year at this time, he conducted a trial of Columbus for genocide, so that his students would truly understand what the man who discovered America was really all about.
Freely using the free speech they deny others, we have organized groups trying to destroy yesterday’s heroes retroactively, imposing their current values on yesterday’s leaders. They judge and magnify their supposed worst attributes, while intentionally ignoring their great accomplishments.
A Shining City on a Hill
President Ronald Reagan, a great American whom I was privileged to know, often spoke of the ideal America as “a shining city on a hill.”
He also said in his farewell address:
We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important. … Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.
Make no mistake, there is a much larger issue here than Columbus and his alleged failings.
Generations of failed schooling in America has produced younger generations ignorant of the better aspects and meaning of our history. The perverse desire to take down Columbus and his holiday is of a piece with the demand to remove statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Rather than attempting to reform and improve, they want to tear us down, as one writer said: “one dead white guy’s statue at a time.”
This is nothing less than an attack on the legitimacy of the United States itself.
The ideal of American exceptionalism certainly is abused by some demagogic politicians, but the concept does have real meaning.
A fair reading of the Declaration of Independence adopted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 makes it clear that the principles that define America are universal.
What makes America exceptional is that Americans were the first to embrace them. What a tragedy for humanity it will be if, in the course of human events yet to come, Americans turn out to be the last.
Yours for liberty,
Bob Bauman, JD
Chairman, Freedom Alliance
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