Tony Blankley
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It's an opportunity to change the world. Why, for example, shouldn't it be possible for the Europeans to pull together, just as the 13 new American states did in 1787 for their constitutional convention? Then, too, the states were jostling for power and money. But, after a long struggle, they managed to constitute themselves, under the motto "We the People," into a powerful, democratic, federal state that has endured to this day.

The Americans enshrined "the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. But is that any different than the European dream of peace, freedom and prosperity? Could the words "We the People," or "We Europeans," also be chiseled into the constitution of a European federal state one day?

It warmed my heart to see leading leftist Europeans invoking America's founding words and ideas as they struggle through their collapsing fiscal and political structures. Yes, of course, I understand that such a call for the "American model" is being used with the objective of reducing the power of the European nation states and forming a stronger, more centralized European government. And I am also cheerfully aware that -- as I have long argued for -- the several peoples of Europe are moving in exactly the opposite direction: They are increasingly demanding, and voting for, stronger nation states and less centralized European government and power.

At a time when Americans increasingly fear we are declining and doubt the efficacy of our form of government; at a time when the Chinese are prancing around the world bragging that their model of authoritarian state capitalism is superior to American democratic, private property based capitalism; in this dreary, confused, uninspired autumn 2011 -- our words "We the People" and "the pursuit of happiness" crackle through the centuries to yet touch the hearts and minds of our jaded, world-weary European cousins.

Our founding words and ideas are ever young. They are imperishable. And we should not wander from our faith in them. On America's Thanksgiving Day 2011, we should be thankful for what our founding Fathers created and bequeathed to us and to the world. And we should be strengthened to fight for the more complete application of those ideas in the election year that follows this week's prayerful Thanksgiving celebration.

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Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate