Seventy-five years ago today, heroes stormed the beaches to start the fight to free Europe from the evils of Nazi Germany. We owe those men a debt the world will never be able to repay. But in many ways, we are squandering their sacrifice by taking for granted the freedoms they protected and embracing the ideology they helped defeat. Have we forgotten the sacrifice of D-Day?
Tens of thousands of men were killed or wounded in the invasion to retake continental Europe from the Nazis, yet as their friends and brothers in arms fell beside them on those cover-less beaches, they pressed on. The courage required to do their duty in the face of such carnage, and to willingly get on those boats in the first place knowing what awaited them, is not only something the world will forever owe them for, it’s something that does not exist anymore.
When faced with evil, the free world stood up and did whatever was necessary to defeat it. Today, basking in the world that sacrifice afforded us, many Americans can’t even allow people with whom they disagree to speak at an event where attendance is voluntary. They’re happy to throw a flaming bottle of gasoline to silence someone, but would never defend liberty from tyranny because they are tyranny. Much of the political left has become the very evil the Allies were invading to destroy on this day in 1944.
Progressives take to the streets to demand silence from their political opponents. They call for the power of the government to be brought to bear on those who’ve earned more than they have so they can have a bigger piece of it. They divide people by race, gender, ethnicity, income, etc., in order to more easily manipulate them. Aside from the fact that they’re currently casting different people as the scapegoats for all of society’s ills, there’s little difference between the rhetoric of 2019 and 1935. The times and targets of progressives may have changed, but the objective has remained constant – power.
The United States is founded upon the idea that the power rests with the individual, not government. The beaches of Normandy were not stormed to defend ever-growing government power from ever-growing government power that was further along down the path than we were. We were there to destroy it, and we did.
While the perpetrators of that evil were eliminated, the ideology was not. It metastasized, went underground in small amounts, was rebranded as “liberal,” and slowly grew in its new home in the Democratic Party. The party was home to a welcoming host, one that had been adopting various aspects of the “ism” philosophies since the “progressive movement” in the early 20th century caught the fancy of elites around the world.
Communism, fascism, and socialism are all branches on the same tree with the same rotten roots – the idea that government knows better than you do about how you should live your life; that the collective matters most, and if a few individuals have to be destroyed in the process of the collective good, so be it. They are all the antithesis of the American founding.
Gathering in the education system, these “isms” took root in one of the only places they couldn’t be eliminated thanks to tenure. Along with labor unions, where they’d always lived, they had their perch from which to infect the greatest number of people. And infect they did.
It took time, a few converts here and there every year, but they’ve reached critical mass on the left and now control the Democratic Party. One nominee for the 2020 election will be chosen by the party sharing important governing objectives and tactics with our opponents 75 years ago today and the Cold War.
History is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Allies won the sprint on this day and the days following, but the battle continues. Like the hare, many Americans have become content to have the lead and rest on our laurels. Meanwhile the tortoise is still inching forward while liberty sleeps.
We should never forget the sacrifice of those brave soldiers who risked everything to protect our liberty. But, perhaps more importantly, we should never take for granted that liberty by realizing that while we’ve won wars, the larger war rages on. It’s not a shooting war, but it’s a war for the future nonetheless and the same ideals are at stake. Honor those men from 75 years ago today, they absolutely deserve it, but also honor the cause for which they made that sacrifice.
Our liberty is under assault, as it has always been. This time, however, while it is coming from the same philosophical base as in the past, the existential threat is coming from within. Like the men who ran into the fire 75 years ago today, we have to be every bit as resolute. We must not only honor their sacrifice, we have to duplicate it on the battlefield of ideals.