Have we forgotten? Maybe we just don’t care anymore. Perhaps we’ve been led to such a degree of segregation that our politics not only shape our optics, but our reality.
I know where I was on 9-11-2001. Do you? Every one of the Greatest Generation remembers where they were on December 7, 1941. The Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor was a “day of infamy,” which killed 2400 Americans. And yet, sixty years later a similar slaughter occurred when radical Muslims attacked New York and killed nearly 3000 people. One attack galvanized a nation and led to victory, and America’s leadership of the free world. The second attack quickly devolved into recrimination and politics which has brought America to the brink of destruction.
The pop diva Miley Cyrus, was eleven years old in 2001. I wonder if she or her ilk remembers the 9-11 attack or cares about it or our country. You may be surprised to learn that historical writing can take many forms. Homer’s “Iliad” celebrated the noble Greeks of the Trojan War. Livy wrote of the grandeur of Rome. There is another type of history writing called declension history where “present events have declined in virtue or political or economic power” and where there is “the erosion of tradition.” I doubt the odious and pitiable Ms. Cyrus thinks much about history. However, many of us see and lament our country’s decline brought about by feckless politicians and the failed policies of progressive-liberalism.
There is an old Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Unfortunately, we do. Will future historians write the history of America as one of declension? I hope I’m wrong and future historians will look back and laud our country for a resurgent virtue, and a rebirth of American freedom.
These days I am less concerned for myself than for my children and grandchildren. I wish I could do more than just write, call Congressmen or vote. The latter certainly doesn’t seem to make much difference because our elected leaders don’t listen to the people. They are hell-bent to give the Iranian Mullahs atomic weapons and $150 billion in cash to support worldwide terrorism and jihad.
A recent poll showed that only 21% of Americans support Obama’s deal with Iran. I find incredible that forty-two Democrat Senators and any American would support such a horrible surrender to The Supreme Leader of Iran who continues to curse us and vows to annihilate Israel.
A friend of mine continues to speak of peace and maintains that most Muslims are not inclined to kill those of other faiths. I believe she’s right. Unfortunately, I rarely hear or see these “moderates.” At the same time repeated estimates say that 10% of the 1.5 billion Muslims of the world are radicalized. Folks, that’s 150 million who are jihadists or sympathetic with them. I love my friend, but she refuses to believe that we are at war with a pernicious philosophy. Apparently, Boehner and the boys in Washington likewise believe it’s business as usual and refuse to stop Obama. Are they so blinded by politics and the desire for power that they do not see the dangers of the ongoing invasion of Europe and our own country by millions fleeing poverty and war? All the while Al Qaeda, ISIS and jihadists target for assignation citizens like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in their online magazine Inspire.
Liberal-progressives write and tell me I should “go to the back of the bus” and shut up. These illiberals say this is a “medical” column and I should focus on giving medical advice. No, this is an opinion column which contains my opinions. Perhaps I will someday be forced to shut up, but I love my country and my family too much to play it safe these days and not do my duty. As Thomas Paine once so eloquently said, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.” I like the Apostle Paul’s words even better. To paraphrase Paul, “I [will fight] the good fight, I [will] finish the race, I [will] keep the faith.”
My race began in medical school where I rediscovered my faith and I began my post-doctoral training at the John Gaston Hospital in Memphis. This rough inner city hospital is now gone from an equally rough town. The Gaston actually had a police precinct station housed in its emergency room where a sergeant directed patrols and SWAT teams. The Gaston ER had the only “drunk tank” I’ve ever encountered in my forty years of medicine. During medical school I learned to sew up flesh, repairing the wounds of the knife and bottle club. I’ve resuscitated stabs to the heart, gunshots to the head and dug maggots out of gaping hip ulcers and live roaches out of children’s ears. I’ve spent the night caring for people who drank Aqua Velva shaving lotion and huffed paint thinner till their kidneys shut down. I worked 100 hour weeks and was up all night in the hospital every third evening. You become resourceful if you survive in what we called the trenches. I even managed to put out a fire that sprang from an EKG machine one night while I worked to save a poor soul whose face I can’t remember.
My faith and my wife kept me whole through all those nights and in later years all those trips to the emergency room at 2 a.m. I like to think I did some good along the way. But medicine has changed. Times have changed. The country has changed. Perhaps this is “no country for old men” as Tommy Lee Jones’ character rhapsodizes at the end of the Cohen brother’s movie by the same name. And then Robert Burn’s poem surfaces in my mind, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
No, I will not shut up! It is not a time for this warrior to go gently. It is past time to say “No” to the Mullahs and to Washington’s tyranny. I’m not a Donald Trump fan. He is not smooth and is often indelicate to politically sensitive ears. But America needs a street fighter, and what some have labeled “Trumpism.” He voices my sentiments of resurgent American nationalism and virtue, and “rages against the dying of the light” and the destruction of our country.