Imagine a CEO apologizing to the world for his unimaginably successful enterprise, doing so morning, noon, and night; demeaning the business’s unimaginable success and generosity. Imagine that the CEO in question is the CEO of the United States of America: the President.
Then ask yourself, “Why does he do this?”
And that will do it, at least for any reasoning mind. But, before finalizing your answer, it might be helpful to look at the business’s history; America’s history. Without a basic understanding of that, it is impossible to respond intelligently. So, what to do?
Read the basic founding documents, which include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. They showcase the philosophical, traditional, and political foundations on which this business we call America has been built and preserved.
The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Constitution of the United States, ratified June 21, 1788: The Principles of the Constitution include checks and balances, individual rights, liberty, limited government, natural rights theory, republican government, and popular sovereignty, to wit, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Bill of Rights, limiting government power, December 15, 1791: The first ten amendments to the Constitution gave citizens more confidence in the new government and contain many of today’s Americans most valued freedoms. The House originally approved 17 amendments. Of these 17, the Senate approved 12. Those 12 were sent to the states for approval in August of 1789. Of those 12, 10 were quickly approved (or, ratified). Virginia’s legislature became the last to ratify the amendments on December 15, 1791.
Now, for a more adult perspective, consider the following anecdotes:
The Civil War: The Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, while the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be. That war resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states, or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether The United States, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world. The result: (1) the Union was preserved; (2) slavery was outlawed.
World War II: “September 1, 1939, was the first day of a war that would claim an average 27,600 lives every day, or 1,150 an hour, or 19 a minute, or one death every 3 seconds.”[i] The result: (1) Victory, and (2) Generosity of a magnitude almost beyond belief:
The Marshall Plan and Europe: From 1945 through 1947, the United States was already assisting European economic recovery with direct financial aid. Military assistance to Greece and Turkey was being given. The newly formed United Nations was providing humanitarian assistance. In January 1947, U. S. President Harry Truman appointed George Marshall, the architect of victory during WWII, to be Secretary of State. Writing in his diary on January 8, 1947, Truman said, “Marshall is the greatest man of World War II. He managed to get along with Roosevelt, the Congress, Churchill, the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and he made a grand record in China. When I asked him to [be] my special envoy to China, he merely said, ‘Yes, Mr. President I’ll go.’ No argument only patriotic action. And if any man was entitled to balk and ask for a rest, he was. We’ll have a real State Department now.”
In just a few months, State Department leadership under George Marshall, with expertise provided by George Kennan, William Clayton, and others, crafted the Marshall Plan, which was presented by Marshall to a Harvard audience on the fifth of June, 1947. Formally, the European Recovery Program (ERP); the Marshall Plan, was to rebuild the economies and spiritual wellbeing of Western Europe. Marshall was convinced that the key to restoration of political stability lay in the revitalization of national economies. Further, he saw political stability in Western Europe as the key to blunting the advances of soviet communism, which was, is, and always will remain just another socialist failure.
The result: The Marshall plan worked, and it worked well.
The Rebuilding of Japan: After the defeat of Japan in World War II, the United States led the Allies during the occupation and rehabilitation of the Japanese state. Between 1945 and 1952, the U.S. occupying forces, led by General Douglas A. MacArthur, a true prodigy, enacted widespread military, political, economic, and social reforms.
The result: Look at Japan today. MacArthur’s stewardship worked well.
What other power in the history of the entire world would have done any of this? The answer: none, because no other power could even if they would. The American CEO who apologizes for America without surcease is devoid of any sense whatsoever.
[i] An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Copyright © 2002 by Rick Atkinson, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, Page 5. (1939 WP: 2.4 billion – 2016: 7.36 billion)