I weep for my country’s waning confidence in itself, its institutions, and, most of all, in the remarkable collection of humanity woven throughout its fabric.
I weep for my country’s addiction to anger, its increasing intolerance of nonconformity, and the eagerness with which it punishes those who dare to think or express themselves differently.
I do not weep over harsh words, for harsh words have always been a feature of a free society. I do weep for those who would censor speech with which they disagree and who justify this repression under the guise of protecting the weak, when by so doing the censors are rather creating weakness.
I do not weep for protests, which have been an invaluable impetus for positive change throughout our history. I do weep for lawlessness, recklessness, and wholesale vandalism. The freedom to protest does not include the freedom to destroy, for destruction necessarily infringes on the freedoms enjoyed by other citizens.
I do not weep for a biased media, for a truly free media will—and should be expected to—let the world-view of the individuals who comprise the institution affect the way they communicate. Media outlets have always taken “sides” throughout our history. I do weep for the prevalence of media outlets that feign indifference to particular political and societal goals but choose to only tell those stories and use those selected facts that support hidden narratives.
I weep for an educational system that has replaced education with indoctrination. For most of our history, the idea of “higher learning” focused on providing students with knowledge and encouraging their curiosity in order to teach them how to think. This model is rapidly fading away as educators across a variety of disciplines choose to teach their charges what to think.
I weep for those who seek to tear down the foundation of this country: that ours is a nation founded on the basis of supremacy of the rule of law and has since always relied upon the rule of law as the best gift it can provide its citizens. The rule of law is a promise that Americans will be treated as fairly as possible, have access to as much opportunity as possible, and be provided with the chance to have a life full of health, happiness, and prosperity.
The fact that this promise has been imperfectly kept does not diminish its importance. Fallible, imperfect human beings cannot be expected to design or govern a perfect society. We must respect the rule of law, even as we continue to try to improve it.
It should be self-apparent that the rule of law cannot prevail without people to enforce its provisions. I weep for the men and women who serve America in law enforcement. It’s shameful and foolish to condemn an entire institution that has done such an incredible, measurable amount of good, much less to do so based on isolated incidents. It’s repugnant and self-destructive to vilify the men and women who provide this invaluable public service, despite the dangers, despite the hours, despite the contempt and violence to which they are so often subject.
I remain proud of my country and those who built this remarkable nation. They were imperfect men and women, as we all are. But they worked, they dreamed, they built, and they made an America that continues to be the nation that Lincoln rightly called “the last best hope of earth.”
Richard Trzupek is a chemist and environmental consultant as well as an analyst at The Heartland Institute. He is also the author of “Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA Is Ruining American Industry.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.