By Stan Welch
It’s been a long time since I’ve been through as tough a few weeks as I have these last few. Emotionally, it’s been like one of those crazy whirling teacup rides at the fair or the amusement park. But there’s been nothing fair or amusing about it.
I have two great loves in my life. One is my love for America, land of the free and the home of the brave. I make no apology for my patriotism. I make no apology because my patriotism is not some mindless chest thumping, some pride born of the absence of any true awareness. My patriotism lives despite my knowledge of the many flaws this country has.
I know about the Trail of Tears, the brutal way our government suppressed and destroyed the American Indians. I know that Africans were bought and imported and exploited. I know that the Irish were brought over as indentured servants, no different than the Africans, except that the term of their slavery was finite. I know that the Mormons were discriminated against. I know that we seized large tracts of land once held by Mexico. I know that thousands of Japanese were imprisoned during WWII. I know all of these transgressions, and yet still I love my country.
I love my country because despite its flawed history, it is still the brightest beacon of freedom on the entire planet. Even now, battered by liberal insanity and willful degradation of our freedoms, there is no better place to live. Yet, in the midst of my patriotism, my love for country, I cannot ignore the signs of decline that surround me. Our Supreme Court, after being loaded with liberal activists by a president who has only kept one promise, his promise to fundamentally transform America, has destroyed traditions both political and religious.
Gay is the new normal, despite homosexuals making up less than three per cent of the population. Marriage has been nationalized, like some Argentine oil field. It is now a federal case; and when was the last time that the federal government increased freedom? Homosexuals can now force business owners, or even churches, to comply with their wishes. Bakers must bake; florists must provide flowers; and preachers, regardless of their most heartfelt beliefs must bow to the Supreme Court, instead of the Supreme Being, or face the consequences. No one seems to realize that rule by majority, with protection for minorities has gone by the wayside.
My other great love is for my Southern heritage, my personal and family history. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina is not just a song to me. It is a mantra. But I must admit, that mantra has been truly tested lately. Closer to home, the same tyranny by minority has made itself felt. One week I was mourning the death of nine fellow citizens. The next week, as if by some dictator’s fiat, I have been told that two hundred years of South Carolina and American history has been stripped away, to once again accommodate a minority of the population.
I have been told this despite a compromise made years ago that removed the flag, and rightfully so, from the Statehouse Dome, and relocated it to the Confederate Soldier’s Monument. This was done on the word of the black legislators at the time who promised that this concession would be enough. It wasn’t, though was it? So one is left to wonder if the word of those black legislators is any good.
Worst of all, the energy behind this assault has come from those who have no love for the South. They are commentators and talking heads who have grown up mocking the South and all it stood for and all it stands for. They have no sense of place, no sense of self. They stand only in their own self righteousness, and not in the sand and loam and red clay of my homeland, or yours.
Do you truly mean to tell me that I should succumb to such fools and despisers of all that I believe in? Is that your message, Governor Haley? Is that your message, President Obama? Never waste a chance to advance your own agenda? And what reason for such obeisance do you offer? I have been told by people who know me that I am too angry, that I should relax and go with the flow more. Really? Even if the flow is headed down the toilet? Even if the current is dragging me away from freedom, from my history and my home?
Yes, it’s been a very rough few weeks. Frankly, I feel battered and in some ways betrayed. I wasn’t in a very celebratory mood on the Fourth of July. I didn’t spend that time in revelry or shooting fireworks. I spent it quietly, considering the future of my country, and of my state. And my usually ebullient love for both was more than a little melancholy.