Romney: "Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. . . . For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2 percent. But, if those things are absent, 76 percent will be poor. Culture matters."
This is the key to understanding the underclass here and in Europe. But it is the antithesis of what is taught at American universities. They -- and the rest of the left -- teach that it is not values or culture that most determines human behavior. Violent crime is not caused by a murderer's lack of moral values, father, self-discipline, church life, or marriage, but by poverty and/or racism.
Romney: "Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition . . . ."
Exactly right. Every free country on earth was formed by Christianity or shaped by a Christian country that imposed it (India and Japan, for example). And the freest of them all, America, has been the most Judeo-based Christian country in the world.
Romney: "The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family."
And each one of these values has been under siege by the left. The left undermines personal responsibility by excusing the irresponsibility of all but white Christian males; undermines the dignity of work with ever-increasing entitlements; shifts "the merit of service" from individuals and communal institutions to the state; and weakens the family by strengthening people's reliance on the government, and by removing all stigma to unwed motherhood.
Romney: "From the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man."
This is why one of the mottos of this country is "In God We Trust." This is the heart of the cultural civil war in which America is now engaged. Do human rights come from the Creator or from men?
Romney: "People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology."
A very significant statement -- a major Mormon figure stating that mainstream Christians and Mormons have "different faiths." But even more important is his truly American realization that all Americans, of every faith (including Islam, one might add), and even those who have no formal religion, "can meet in common purpose." And that purpose is living by and promulgating the American value system: "Liberty," "In God We Trust," and "E Pluribus Unum."
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”