Book Review: ‘American Crusade: Our Fight to Stay Free’

What's at stake in America now
June 23, 2020 Updated: June 23, 2020

We’re in the midst of a war. No, it is not about COVID-19 per se, although that’s extremely serious. It is not about the harm to our economy or the riots—both catastrophes, in and of themselves. Rather, it is the ongoing war by communism against America’s soul.

Pete Hegseth’s new book, “American Crusade: Our Fight to Stay Free,” is the right book at just the right time. Hegseth, the co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” and a Fox News senior political analyst, reminds us that great republics such as America die when they forget who they are, become lazy and arrogant, or betray their founding ideals.

In dealing with these ideas, Hegseth redefines common terms that should allow all Americans to pause and then bypass preconceived notions. He defines the Declaration of Independence as America’s soul, distinguished from the Constitution, which is America’s body.

Hegseth calls the Constitution brilliant—the second most important political document ever written by man. It has checks and balances, coequal branches of government, and federalism. However, he makes the outstanding point that if the Constitution is not grounded in the principles of the Declaration of Independence, then the Constitution means nothing.

It is the Declaration of Independence that is the source of American beliefs. Without this valuable document, America is simply not America, even with a Constitution.

American Crusade
Pete Hegseth’s new book that calls for us to protect our freedoms.

Progressives Are Not Liberals

Progressives, Hegseth believes, think the Constitution can “evolve” to fit their view of the world. But they know that the Declaration cannot, and does not, evolve. Understanding this point is vital to understanding America’s politics.

Hegseth says that progressives are global citizens, not American patriots. The left has appropriated the word “liberal,” and while some old-school liberals still exist, “they are a dying breed—literally and figuratively.”

He believes that progressives don’t care about fair elections; they want power any way they can get it. When progressives have power, Hegseth says, taxes must always be higher to support an ever-increasing number of governmental programs. In addition, he sees government as the god of progressives, with abortion representing the ultimate replacement of God’s will by the government.

Progressives emphasize the needs of the group over the rights of the individuals, while capitalism is based on individual rights.

The Distinction Between Globalization and Globalism

For Hegseth, globalization is a technological reality. We make a reservation to fly to Israel with the click of an iPhone app. Globalism, on the other hand, is a scheme to eliminate national sovereignty in order to centralize control over the means of production. Hegseth goes on to say that simply put: Globalism is worldwide socialism.

Hegseth feels that American government contracts should be awarded only to companies that demonstrate pro-American economic patriotism. Some multinational corporations have grown so dominant that they have become more powerful than the countries in which they reside. Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet (Google) sign contracts with foreign governments—most especially China—that enable them to circumvent U.S. taxes and competition while enriching the most despotic regimes in the world.

The Distinction Between a Democracy and a Republic

Our founders rejected the idea of a pure democracy because democracies are governed by a simple majority rule. Whoever gets the most votes makes the rules—including abolishing the very rights we assume are immutable. Our republic inherently guarantees an individual’s rights, no matter the view of the majority, and no matter the impulses of those with government power.

Progressive Views

Other parts of the book cover topics that show progressive ideas as compared to traditional ways of looking at them. Here are just a few examples that seem timely:

Gun Rights

The Second Amendment grants Americans the privilege of owning and possessing firearms because an armed populace cannot be subjugated. Hegseth says that progressives want to take away gun rights, not for the sake of citizen safety but in order to control citizens. He says to look at Venezuela for confirmation that unarmed citizens are at the mercy of their government.

Gender

Traditionally, one’s genitals or chromosomes determine one’s gender. The progressive view, according to Hegseth, claims that gender is a choice; it’s what he or she decides gender to be. Progressives think that laws and social norms therefore should conform to these decisions and that a person’s biological sex is irrelevant. Hegseth calls out the progressives as a ridiculous “multiple-choice gender.”

Socialism

Hegseth says the progressives favor socialism, which is exactly the opposite of traditional thought. With socialism, the rights of the individual are made secondary to the desires of the collective. Moreover, he says that socialism runs counter to human nature: the drive to create value, build, take risks, and choose how to make a living.

At its best, a capitalist economy can raise wages, lower unemployment, and put American workers first, because this economic system unleashes the God-given human spirit.

Fighting for Freedom

Pete Hegseth’s background as a warrior on the battlefield allows him to see how fragile freedom is. He concludes by saying that it is not the time for passivity but time for action by American Crusaders to promote the cause of freedom: “Without faith—without belief in a power and principles greater than oneself—life is selfish, small, and scary.”

American Crusade: Our Fight to Stay Free’  
Pete Hegseth
Center Street
352 pages

Linda Wiegenfeld is a retired teacher with 45 years’ experience teaching children. She can be reached for comments or suggestions at LWiegenfeld@aol.com