Opinion

Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill’ Speech Reinvented Today: America is Good

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Posted: Oct 26, 2020 12:01 AM
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Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill’ Speech Reinvented Today: America is Good

Source: AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

In 1988, President Reagan delivered his final State of the Union speech where he famously described America as a “shining city on a hill.” During his two terms in office, he presided over eight years of economic prosperity and started the process of dismantling communism around the world. Under his leadership, America became a beacon to the rest of the world, serving as a model of what they could become. Newly democratic countries copied their constitutions after ours, and so many people wanted to move to the U.S. that Reagan agreed to implement a guestworker program to accommodate more of them. 

Now, 32 years later, the left has bashed America so much through its self-hatred that people are becoming concerned that maybe the U.S. really is a terrible country. President Trump ran for president in 2016 on a slogan of “Make America Great Again” to try and turn the stigma around. But after almost four years of Trump as president, we’re at a precipice with this election: Do people believe the country is good, or have they bought into the lies? 

There is a movement building to combat the tearing down of America. Thomas D. Klingenstein, chairman of the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank, outlined it in a remarkable speech this month called “America is Good.” He laid out the dichotomy, juxtaposing good America versus the dark, dire one the left portrays. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, they all think the U.S. is terrible. Of course, it’s true we aren’t living in the Reagan era any more — Trump does not have Reagan’s personality and the left has made everything about race and rioting — but America is better than ever.  

Klingenstein says the left would have you believe that America is so bad that adopting their revolutionary agenda is the only way to fix it. Instead of individual rights, a tyrannical government will build a society on group rights and identity politics, ensuring that all groups have equal wealth and power. It will require “both a massive redistribution of wealth and power and new principles and values.” They want to destroy the American way of life. 

The left says America is bad because it is racist. Only if you accept their premises does their argument make sense. “If racism is systemic, built into all institutions of American life; if it is in our DNA, then the system must be overturned.” They want to replace it with "a collection of cultural identity groups, ranked in order of victimhood (though all oppressed by white males), and aggregated within highly permeable national boundaries." This is what the left refers to as multiculturalism and diversity. Klingenstein says they have it backward, instead "America’s greatest strength is having transcended race, and the one major exception, slavery, was very nearly our undoing." Black Lives Matter is a racist movement. You can’t have a racist movement trying to fix racism.     

The left is aggressively silencing anyone who tries to say that America is good. Big Tech censorship is increasing, stomping out influential voices and moving on to the rest of us. Republicans "are fighting an enemy which believes that there is no disputing its facts." We cannot let them get away with this and set the narrative. 

Trump started fighting back against the indoctrination during his first term. He issued an executive order in September directed at federal agencies and federal contractors banning critical race theory training that promotes sex and race stereotyping and scapegoating. Another executive order set up a “1776 Commision” to teach patriotic education, combating the creep of critical race theory in the public schools. If re-elected, he is expected to go after Google, Twitter and Facebook for censorship.

This election isn’t merely about a handful of political issues. It’s much more serious than that. Klingenstein says, "We are not fighting about taxes, or masks, or Medicare policy. We aren’t fighting about the environment, or immigration, or gun rights. We are fighting for the greatest nation on Earth which has brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any nation in history. 1860 was the slavery election; 2020 is the Cancel America election."

Fortunately, we are in a unique position with Trump, he stands up to the political correctness and lies. Like Reagan, Trump knows that America is exceptional. Klingenstein sums it up, "The election is really about an existential crisis facing the country — do we support a man who thinks America is good — Trump — or a man who is controlled by a party that thinks America is racist — Joe Biden?" America is incredible. "America has brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any nation in the history of the world," as pundit Norman Podhoretz often points out. Why are so many people trying to come to America if it is so horrible? 

Numerous people have endorsed the America is Good movement including Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Tammy Bruce, Bill Bennett and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Trump retweeted the message and a petition has been started. In just a very short time, we will know whether we have gone over the precipice or if the threat to our country has been defeated.