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Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
-- Ronald Wilson Reagan, from the speech, "A Time for Choosing", October 27th, 1964
July 4th is, of course, the birthday of the United States of America - the greatest nation the world has ever seen. I say that sincerely, as a proud friend and (now former, for the moment) guest of that wonderful nation.
For me, July 4th is always a fairly bittersweet holiday. And today, for the first time in 11 years, I find myself in the distinctly odd position of celebrating it while being well outside the USA.
I have to say, it is a distinctly unpleasant feeling.
Nonetheless, today is an important reminder for all of us about the two sides of America.
On the one hand, it serves to remind us of what America was - a bastion of liberty, a grand and wonderful experiment in self-government, and the ultimate realisation of the fundamental truths of this Divine gift of freedom. It serves to remind us that freedom is never free, that it requires us to trade the ultimate cost for the gift of perfect value, and that it is not the right to do whatever you please, but is instead the substitution of hard-fought, hard-won self-discipline for externally imposed discipline.
That is what America was - free, strong, proud, happy, and most of all, profoundly good.
As the legendary President Reagan constantly reminded his fellow countrymen, America was a great nation because it was a fundamentally good one. It believed in the Word and the Law. It was a Christian nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the idea that free men have the right to govern themselves as they, and they alone, see fit.
On the other hand, look at what America has become today, and you will see immediately that the dream of the Founders, who fought and bled and in many cases died to achieve it, lies in ruins around you.
America is no longer recognisably American any more. Its people do not care about their own posterity and have invited in tens of millions of invaders - and that is the correct term - to replace themselves, for reasons which seemed to make some kind of sense at the time but have since clearly proved to be lunacy. Its spirit lies broken and almost - but not entirely - spent. Its substance has been eaten away by ruinous debt and delinquency. It is no longer a nation unto itself, but a heterogeneous and squabbling Frankensteinian empire held together rather tenuously with sticky tape and screwdrivers at this point.
The country is rapidly pulling itself apart into armed and hostile camps, and it will not be very much longer before the talking stops, and the shooting starts.
This is not the country that the Founders, or any of their contemporaries, imagined. But they predicted it, or something like it, when they warned successive generations that their new system of government was designed as a republic, and was intended for a moral and virtuous people and would be wholly inadequate for the governance of anything less.
So why is it that someone like me still loves America - or at least, the idea of America?
That is simple enough to answer.
I have lived there. And I have lived elsewhere.
I tell you now, as a man who has traveled the world and seen much of the manner in which the rest of humanity lives, that America truly is the last, best hope of Man on Earth.
There is no question but that America is a deeply flawed nation. There is a lot wrong with it - much of which is the direct result of decades of wrongheaded and deeply stupid policies which, to paraphrase Walter Bagehot, sacrificed a great deal of hard manliness for the sake of a little progress.
Yet, as P. J. O'Rourke astutely observed in books like Holidays in Hell... pretty much everywhere else is worse.
Other countries have better food - though I tend to contest this, since my idea of fun involves a bloody rare ribeye steak washed down with a fine red wine. Then again, I'm a borderline barbarian so maybe my opinion is not terribly useful in this respect.
Other countries definitely have better women - no man who has spent any time dating Russian, Ukrainian, Colombian, Thai, or Vietnamese women will ever want to go back to dating fat, entitled, sloppy, tattooed, pierced, degenerate, and just plain unfeminine women from the big American urban centres.
Other countries certainly have more sensible and transparent tax laws - anyone who has ever tried opening a business in Singapore or Hong Kong can tell you that their way of doing things makes vastly more sense than the American way.
Other countries absolutely have better infrastructure, transportation networks, and mass transit - any visitor to Western Europe can tell you this, and anyone who has ever used the Moscow metro system will tell you that nothing else in the US comes anywhere close in terms of speed, efficiency, and timeliness.
Other countries clearly have superior social safety nets - which is why liberaltards love to rabbit on and on about Canadian or British universal health care (which, by the way, doesn't work very well) and the welfare systems in France, Germany, and Holland.
Other countries have actual culture and history - it can be argued, in my opinion fairly accurately, that outside of the big cities American culture largely consists of strip malls and townships connected by big highways and interstates.
All of these things are true.
And yet... there is nothing like America. Nowhere else comes anywhere close.
America is still the last best hope of free men on Earth. It is still the place where, for all of its great and very obvious problems, a free man can be welcomed and given true freedom - to live in peace by the fruits of his own labours, as long as he obeys the laws of the nation and abandons his old culture and roots to partake of the wonderful blessings of a huge and beautiful country that is home to a profoundly good and decent people.
It is this second part of the bargain that far too many immigrants have forgotten, or simply ignored outright, for fifty years.
And this, more than anything else, is the reason why America has come to the breaking point today.
The United States of America has been subjected to perhaps the greatest human invasion in recorded history. Over 130 million people, if you count both the immigrants and their descendants, have invaded the United States of America, and now profess little to no allegiance to its history, traditions, laws, system of government, and its Lord and Creator.
This cannot endure, and it will not. Sooner or later, the "America" as we know it today will break apart and dissolve. And there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it.
But, do not despair, brothers, for as I told you earlier, the true spirit of America is still out there. I have seen it. I have felt its magnificent presence. I have partaken of bread and wine (well... beer, technically) with the people who embody that spirit and will one day revive and restore it to its rightful place.
The last, best hope of free men, who are blessed with the chance to live and love the land and its people under the magnificent clear blue skies of the Lord of Creation, is still here. It still endures. The Stars and Stripes still fly high in the morning breeze. The God-Emperor is still the President. And the world, even now, still looks to America to show us all how great a good nation can become.
Happy birthday, America. Happy 4th of July to all of you, my brothers. For those of you who are military veterans or currently serving, you have my utmost respect and gratitude - it is my privilege and pleasure to write for you.
And to everyone, a happy and restful holiday.