One of the definitions of the word “legacy” is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor, or from the past.
Just this past weekend, 21 year-old Jordan Spieth became the second-youngest competitor to ever win the Masters Golf tournament. His impeccable, 18 under par finish ties that of Tiger Woods. During the spectacle we have come to know as “March Madness,” the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team continued to build an impressive legacy with their 10th national championship. And the Duke men’s basketball team won their 5th national championship. The University of Kentucky fell just two games short of setting a standard when they lost in the national semifinal game to Wisconsin – finishing their “legacy building” season at 38-1.
Once upon a time when one walked into the famed Boston Garden and gazed into the rafters, they saw countless banners; legacy items of championships belonging to the Boston Celtics and the Boston Bruins. And in Pittsburgh their legacy is known as the “City of Champions” based upon the numerous Super Bowl championships of their famed Steelers.
It is not just sports teams and franchises that build legacies; American families do as well. I am so proud of our simple West family legacy that began with my dad, Herman “Buck” West, a World War II Army veteran. Dad can look down from Heaven and smile as his grandson, my oldest brother’s son, my nephew, carries on our legacy as combat veterans as an officer in the US Army.
But not all legacies are positive. What concerns me the most is that the legacy of American strength, opportunity and exceptionalism – 238 years and running – is meeting its greatest challenge.
Here at home we are no longer stressing and emphasizing the legacy of the indomitable, individual entrepreneurial spirit. As a matter of fact, we have a president and others who seek to be president that have openly spoken words to the effect of, “if you own a business, you did not build that.” That belief is the anti-thesis of the free market, of opportunity based society, and the economics that have given America a legacy of exceptional success – individual success. We cannot shun that legacy for the degraded immoral state of advancing the dependency society and the welfare nanny-state under the false narrative and gimmickry of “fairness,” “fair share,” and “economic patriotism.”
This legacy of gross debt, 93 million Americans out of work, a workforce participation rate below 63% does not a champion make. America’s legacy is that of victors, not victims.
Our American legacy is also built upon the respect and regard for the rule of law – not pens and phones. We are a Constitutional Republic, not a constitutional monarchy based upon the whims and ideological intransigence of one. Concisely put, we don’t trust power imparted to one, hence why we have coequal branches of government and a representative democracy.
But it is not just our domestic woes. The American legacy has been that of a beacon of liberty and freedom, a leader, a standard bearer. Ours is not a story of “leading from behind,” which we simple folk from the South would call “following.”
And it is on the global stage where we find our legacy suffering the most.
We sit and acquiesce to a terrorist-sponsoring Islamic regime that supports chants of “death to America.” Doing this while Iran holds four Americans hostage and continues to expand its regional belligerence – and express their obtuse disdain towards our country. We sit at a table with the enemy while we dispatch campaign operatives to undermine our ally – as Spock would say, “fascinating.”
We have secured defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and allowed for the resurgence of the most savage and barbaric enemy. And amazingly, the new normal is not to take responsibility but to seek blame elsewhere. We have destabilized a country, Libya, which has become a sanctuary for Islamic terrorists who forced us to abandon our embassy and conducted attacks against the South Korean and Moroccan embassies.
And let us not forget the shameful new legacy of abandoning Americans to die and creating a false narrative, a lie, in order to cover for the nefarious and despicable action. No, we shall never forget Benghazi until the truth is uncovered.
We are now embracing Cuba, and their legacy as a ruthless repressive communist regime has not changed. Worse, they are harboring individuals who have blood, American blood, on their hands – yet our President reached out and shook the blood stained hand of Raul Castro. President Obama would have been better served to stay here in America and shake the hands of those survivor families and victims of the “workplace violence” attack by Nidal Hasan at Ft. Hood ceremony, honoring them with the Purple Heart.
But is the new legacy that the Purple Heart for these Americans means nothing as they are still not receiving benefits? Yet the Army will be paying for hormone treatment for disgraced traitor Army Private Bradley Manning.
This weekend in Panama, President Obama stated that the Cold War had ended – but someone needs to tell Vladimir Putin. Russia just had fighter planes intercept an American RC-135 surveillance aircraft in international airspace. And Russia has decided to lift the ban on selling Iran the potent S-300 anti-aircraft weapon system.
The legacy of President Lincoln was to preserve the Union and defeat slavery. The legacy of President Kennedy was to challenge us to the greatness of putting a man on the moon. The legacy of President Reagan was economic restoration and the defeat of the “evil empire,” the Soviet Union. Their banners fly proudly.
The legacy of “fundamental transformation of America” flies no banners. It is not the legacy of victors. It is the legacy of losers.
America must have a leader willing to restore the legacy of this Constitutional Republic. Someone who will bring back championship banners.