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Is There Really a War for America’s Soul?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File

A great title can get people to read your book, attend your event or click on your op-ed. I often choose a title before I write a piece to keep me on track when I have too many things to say and too few words in which to say them.

The War for America’s Soul” is the title of a conservative event sponsored by Salem Media, parent company of Townhall, that is touring the country. The title is borrowed from the latest book by Salem syndicated talk show host Sebastian Gorka.

Is that title accurate or is it just hyperbole to sell a political event? Not only is it disturbingly accurate, but too many elected Republicans are still unwilling to see or admit it.

Shouldn’t we be able to define what America’s soul is before we determine that America is in danger of losing it? I submit that America’s soul is built on the moral imperative of Liberty for every citizen, with free markets and self-government as the best possible means to achieve it.

Today, we have both admitted and hidden socialists serving in elected office who do indeed threaten America’s soul. Just as that little devil Mr. Applegate in the musical "Damn Yankees" enticed Joe Boyd to sell his soul to help the Washington Senators win the pennant, America is being enticed by numerous Mr. Applegates.

The siren song of socialism lures us to sell out our God-given freedoms with endless enticements of free stuff and the promise of not having to work for it. Self-sufficiency and personal responsibility is marketed to the masses as not being all it’s cracked up to be.

Growing government compulsion is further sold to the public by wrapping it up in a pretty bow and calling it, “compassion.”  As a result, an unprecedented number of Americans are prepared to vote away their own freedoms and the freedoms of their neighbor. AOC argues that we need more of that government compulsion to guarantee our "freedom," which shows she has no concept of what freedom even means.

The act of restraining oneself from fostering dependency in others is a profound act of generosity. We know this instinctively in our business and personal lives. We see it in the therapist who chooses to help her client terminate therapy rather than extending it as a means of long-term income for herself. We see it in the father who teaches his son or daughter to not be afraid of failure or to make mistakes. We see it in the adult child who honors his aging parent’s wishes to live independently in his home as long as he can.

Self-sufficiency requires that we be free to make our own choices and our own mistakes. Adults learn to welcome the consequences of those choices as a means of learning and self-growth. Without free will, we are limited to nothing more than obedience or rebellion—two sides of the same coin. We remain children and the government becomes our parent.

The value of personal freedom and independence being necessary to happiness is common sense. So, how did conservatives lose so much ground in this argument?

Through a variety of promotion and bias in news reporting, entertainment, education and pop culture, the Left has succeeded in convincing a great number of citizens that it is selfish to want to restrict one’s own power and that of the government —that collective intervention and intrusion into every area of our lives is compassionate.

There is nothing new under the sun. Socialists continue to work toward reducing each of us to nothing more than mindless, collective identities. This is how they justify the need for big, bigger, and biggest government.

More openly than ever, they are marching us towards statism, authoritarianism and the abolishment of every one of our rights.

That is the very definition of “The War for America’s Soul” and it's certainly an apt title for a political tour. Hopefully, it will help us find the way to banish Mr. Applegate and his soulless bribery and convince citizens that even if everything they ever wanted were free, it would never be worth it.

We must counter the marketing, the enticements and media hype by using the strongest means available and do it, as John F. Kennedy said, "with vigor."

Our motto ought to be, God gave us free will. We should never expect less from our government.

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