The United States is a country forged and fashioned in the refining ‘furnace’ of valour and vision, rooted and rested in the firm foundations of liberty and godliness, governed and guided in the sure sacredness of the spirit and letters of her laws and Constitution. And secured and sustained by her noble ideals and dream. She is the passion, pride and glory of her citizens. The confidence of her allies. The strength and refuge of the weak. The hope and inspiration of the persecuted. And the terror of the oppressor.
In line with the provision of article II, section 3, clause 1 of the United States’ Constitution, which stipulates that the President ‘‘shall from to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,’’ President Donald Trump presented what has been applauded as a landmark, patriotic and inspiring State of the Union address on February 4, 2019.
Long before, during, and after that speech, President Trump has always demonstrated his love for America. For President Trump, it is America first and America always, with the rest of the world being accommodated. No hypocritical diplomacy. No unrealistic foreign policy in the face of the emerging threatening new order with discordant ideological and social imperatives and narratives that do not care about the original American dream and ideals.
In the ‘ancient landmark’ and ideologically-fashioned and focused appeal, President Trump posits: ‘‘Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.’’ He goes on: “America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.’’ Amen.
Although this article is neither solely about the State of the Union address nor President Trump, it is very instructive to observe that, by the analysis of the address, by Americans, it was a thought-provoking, and historically glorious, ideologically compelling and unifying one. It surely re-awakened a flood of a seemingly lost nostalgia and the sense of pride in Americans for America, and the American dream and values. And also ‘resuscitated’ a seemingly dying sense of jealousy and sacrifice for America in Americans (deadened by imperceptibly gradual but persistent conflicting, corrupting, contentious and conceited strange socio-political and ideological infiltration).
This is the truth. Except for those who may possess ‘empty’ historical and political appreciation about America, (but) do not and cannot discern and comprehend or be apprehended by the divinely-inspired superior vision nor possess the spirit and burning passion in which the original ideals of the founding fathers of the U.S. were forged. Little wonder, ideologically speaking, many of these ‘informed’ folks are rationalisingly bent on ‘removing the ancient landmarks’ that made and still make the U.S. a timelessly tested, transformationally true and triumphantly thick union, with no regard for its implications and consequences.
These are folks who know very profoundly about the document and the letters of America’s Constitution but are ignorant of the spirit behind the letters. These are folks who do not have much consideration for the ‘foundations’ of the ‘building’ but care so much about fixtures, fittings and ‘finishings’, dictated by contemporary competing and deceitful issues of globalisation and an ‘indeterminate’ new world order.
Politics the world over is fundamentally a contextualised, interest-driven hydra-headed beast of no conscience and morals, and which recognises no good or credible standing in the opponent, for the capricious purposes of grounds and bases for ‘castigations’, ‘subversions’, and propagandist campaigns. We know. However, anyone with a fair knowledge of the history of the U.S., and a disposition towards her dream and ideals would be one with this writer in the conviction that disparaging or deprecating, or falling short of acknowledging the gist and substance of that speech on the one hand, and the American consciousness and dream being re-awakened by President Trump, on the other hand, is largely a product and function of un-American, or anti-American ideological ‘shamefacedness’. A nationalistic-defined unconscionable conduct and political disservice, and a dangerous evolutionary social dissimulation, infidelity, and an anti-reactionary cultism.
It remains a given, that even undisguised ‘enemies’ with the ‘mark’, in their dangerous characteristics still command the loyalty of willing followers and admirers. Let alone when appearing ‘as an Angel of light’. This may sound a little impolite or uncivil, but it would be a worse off situation if an unmitigated celebration of eventual ‘victory’ of contentious and corrupting ideological foundations is convoked. Against the sensibilities of the United States. This is a perspective largely oriented in the American dream and ‘ideo-cultural’ foundation. And, life and existence, two different, but compositely-defined organic and systemic phenomena, are explored, experienced, and expressed in perspectives. Multiplicity of perspectives.
One major hindering factor in the determination of the quality and universal veracity of our perspectives is mankind’s inability towards a well-informed, objective juxtaposition between rationality and rationalization. Between rooted individual/communal convictions built on foundational landmarks, ideals and inspired ‘puritanism’ on the one hand, and a ‘floating’ individual/social developmental ‘philosophy’ thriving on the ‘intellectual’, sentimental, ephemeral and hypocritically affective appeals of escapist idealism, opportunistic realism, emotionalism or impressionism, and emerging globalization of a new but ‘uncertain’ social order. This is the conflict and contention plaguing the ‘mixed multitudes’ of the blessed United States’ population.
In a bid to ‘magnify’ and justify our university education and loudmouthed socio-political enlightenment and civilization, we usually get immersed in the sea of self-conceit and rationalizations – ‘passion and prejudice under the name of reason’ (John Wesley). And lose sight of the fact that every point of view in man’s rationalization could be a point of blindness as well.
The agnostic rationalization that makes us abandon the purposes and bases of our creation and existence. The unfaithful rationalization that makes us sacrifice the sacredness of our national and historical heritage, the dream of our founding fathers, and the cherished universal and conservative ideals of our Union and ‘confederacy’.
The rationalisation that makes us allow the ‘passion and prejudice’ of the immigrant or ‘accidental’ citizen, (though we all are accidental citizens of sorts), be they of any sect(s), to subtly, gradually and imperceptibly overshadow ‘our’ common dream and heritage and ‘govern our world.’ The rationalization that makes us relegate the faith and God of ‘our’ fathers to the background. The rationalization that makes us not to see the ‘enemy’ in our true enemy. And the ‘friend’ in a true patriot.
The rationalisation that makes us explain away the subtle deception of the green serpentine lurking in our luscious green grassland; that ‘exalts’ and presents their deceptive appeals to our ‘accommodative’ ideals, without questioning their inability to propagate such beneficial and emancipating ideals in their original places of lineage. The ‘inhibitive’ rationalization that hinders ‘us’ from questioning why and how they take advantage of ‘our’ democratic and human rights benevolence to challenge ‘us’ without challenging the ‘closed’ systems in their originating dictatorial and intolerant social order. Whether they are of Communist Republics, Socialist Federations, religious and social orientations, or the ‘Secularists?’ Our ‘new Americans.’
The statement: ‘If we stop taking new Americans we stop providing leadership to the world,’’ is awesome. In perspective it is true. In perspective it is profound. In perspective it is perfect. Could there be a different perspective? Could there be a different implication? It is possible that every point of view is also a point of blindness.
In measured reaction, let every honest patriot and friend of America call to mind the equally ‘eternal’ words of George Washington: ‘’Be courteous to all, but be intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.’ Again, Washington has this to say: ‘‘Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.’’ And, finally on Washington, for the purposes of this essay: ‘‘Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.’’ The implications of this statement go beyond the immediate treatise. For every nation of the world. Every community.
On his part, another leadership legend, and father of America. Abraham Lincoln cries out: ‘‘Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others.’’ Any perceptive observer would surely discern the spirit behind the letter. Not just the letter. Lincoln, by implications, is harping essentially on ideological preservation. On dream pursuit and realization. This liberty. This dream. Is too precious to be toyed with or be experimented upon. By questionable ‘stakeholders’.
For about 250 years, America, one way or another, has been taking in new Americans, receiving ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ alike, ‘engrafting’ ‘wearied’ olive branches to its ‘tamed’ original ‘stem’, and absorbing individuals of colour and creed who troop in with good intentions. Bad intentions. Unknown intentions.
Again, for nearly 250 years, America has been adored and abhorred; blessed and burdened; built, branded, battered, bombed, but not broken; complimented and censored; dignified, edified and defied; fought, friended and feared; honoured and hated, humoured and hounded for taking new Americans.
And, for almost 250 years, America has tried giving back to the world, including the black world, what it took from it. From Africa. Through the inhumanity of forced capital. Slavery. It has tried. It has shown unqualified honesty and goodwill. But it cannot be fully repaid.
Taking in new Americans every year, obviously has its enviable advantages and has immensely contributed in the growth, greatness and global leadership of America. So far it has yielded enormous dividends and has benefited the world in general. However, the policy remains an unpredictable two-edged sword that cuts asunder both the target and the assailant as well. Even the devil knows how to turn creations of glorious intentions to his debased purposes.
With this policy of ‘generous’ immigration, America has swelled. It has grown from a ‘budding’ stream of water to a large, massive ocean. Obviously commanding the attractions and benefits of an ocean, and also exuding the fears, horrors and dangers of an ocean that can as well provide both cover and ‘candy’, fence and food for deadly sharks that take advantage of its massive generosity to dwell and dine unfettered. And other creatures that can capsize its boats and sink its ships, destroy its economy and endanger its posterity.
America, in order to win the battle against cultural, social and ideological invasion of the emerging order, and still maintain its leadership in the world should sit down and re-examine its policies with respect to ‘’taking new Americans’’. This is because while America is guided by positive, productive and noble motives in this policy, she should also appreciate the fact of threatening dynamics among nations of the world. She should appreciate the fact and ‘frenzy’ of emerging powers and ‘superpowers’.
This unprecedented ‘ideo-cultural’ influence and the interests bent on altering the original ideals, are promoted by ‘Americans’, who ‘must’ be accommodated as ‘citizens’. And, like the mythical experiment with a live frog in an imperceptibly rising temperature, the American dream and ideals are dying without realizing it. Especially, since the last ten years. Without an outcry. Without a conscious national synergy. Without “let or hindrance”.
While the younger generation in the United States may still jump and celebrate, the older generation, who knew about, and still have attachment with the Revolution, ideals and dream of America, are greatly worried about the decaying values and about the future of America. Doctrinal ‘strange fires’ being offered on the socio-political alters of the United States are regrettably but evidently taking possession of this once sanctuary of a nation. IT CANNOT CONTINUE.
For this reason, every genuine American, whose citizenship is unpretentiously rooted in the American dream and ideals should appreciate the emergence of President Donald Trump on the present political scene. A re-awakening and ‘rescue’ mission. Take it or leave it. Only enemies of the original dream and the ideals of the founding fathers of America. Only agents of the competing, threatening outside world. Only apostles and foot soldiers of the emerging new world order, which questions the original ideological imperatives of America, have, and will continue to have problems and issues with President Trump. With their empty rationalizations, and political lip-service. And for the sake of America and her ideals, Trump’s re-election should be seen as a political ‘battle’ that must be won.
It is time America realised that when a ‘host’ takes in so many ‘foreign bodies’, it embraces polarized-inhibitive and conflictive evolutionary ideological paradigm shift. It imperceptibly wears a new face and sociologically alters its ‘language’ and ‘culture’ to a disturbing extent. It is a gradual social process. Injurious to its foundations and pillars of strength and original identity. It may discover, very late, that it has been subtly but systematically compromised and ‘corrupted’ in values and ideals that it can no longer muster the spirit of national consciousness and preserving ideology in a hostile competitive world to maintain the needed cohesion and provide that needed leadership to the world. Extreme conflicting ideologies. Sharply contrasting social orientations and principles. A fallen empire. A dynasty in disarray. Again, listen to Washington: ‘‘Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.’’
While traditionally competing and ideologically incompatible or fairly discordant and opposing nations and their allies jealously guard their original ideals and policies thereby maintaining a culture of national consciousness and cohesion necessary for survival in this emerging world order that threatens existing powers that hide under a transient or illusive global leadership, America is being threatened by a seemingly inconsequential but consistently, systematically and patiently emerging determined lethal ‘centrifugal’ force that ironically draws its strength from the generous but, unfortunately, ‘porously’ guarded American ideals (and) taken advantage of by these competing ‘Institutions’ through the agency of immediate ‘dramatis personae’ found among the ‘‘ ‘larger squad’ under the ‘one squad under God’ ’’, and others who came for that purpose. Surely, there would be more ‘squads’ in the future. Let us remember the golden and prophetic admonition of Lincoln, once again: ‘‘The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity.’’
American ideals promote and protect human rights, liberate the captives, provide and sustain their freedom and liberty, and fight for a world where everyone is free. Not where everyone should come and live free in America. But where everyone who lives in America is free. Where everyone who lives in Iran is free. Where everyone who lives in Somalia, Nigeria, Cuba, Pakistan, Venezuela, Palestine, Iraq, South Africa, etc., is free. Where everyone is an embodiment of such ideals. Liberty. Independence. Faith.
But practically speaking, who is this embodiment of such American ideals? One who takes advantage of these ideals, and without some bridle, without some self-control, without some restraint and respect, without some consideration, sacrifice, and modesty, goes all out to express every imagined, entrenched and wishful ‘right’? Like a man/woman that has longed for a release from the ‘chain’ of inhibition and limitation, ‘chain’ of restraint: moral, political, social, and who runs out in every direction in celebration of unusual and new-found freedom without minding whom and where he/she runs into, jams, hits and throws down on the road in his ecstasy? And considers every other road user, who demands some caution and restraint from him/her, a hater of his/her new found freedom? Expecting them to show some understanding, where he/she has shown none, (obviously implying an implicit acknowledgment of their superiority, over him/her, in reasoning and of their much more nobility in ideals)? Not also considering any little role she or he could play to contribute in liberating those still in ‘chain’ in their former social order?
Who is the embodiment of these ideals? I, the West African citizen by birth, or any other individual, who ‘accidentally’ or providentially becomes an American citizen, and who then decides to go there to teach President Trump how to govern America? Teach American Congress how and what laws to make, and teach American courts and judiciary which way their dispensation of justice and pronouncements should go, to make America a ‘better society’? When this ‘I’, he or she has not used their new found status and opportunity to make their home country, an ideal place? A home of genuine democracy, and a beacon of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law? Do I see ‘original’ Americans shouting a support for this African-American? As a true embodiment of American ideal of liberty? Freedom of speech and expression? In order not to hurt him/her? Or do I see them telling him/her of the need of not only to expect civility, but also to exhibit same, and of his/her responsibility to humanity and to help put his/her originating country in order?
Do I see Americans of some strange orientations shouting, undermining and disrespecting their dream, ideals and their passionately patriotic President who occupies that exalted, symbolic office (the greatest office of the greatest nation on earth, not even undermined by enemies of the nation, not even by political opponents, in history), in empty and unpatriotic rationalization, in order to accommodate this African who seems more interested in introducing cultural, ideological, social and legal/paralegal doctrines to essentially and largely promote a ‘strange’ new social order, and his or her way of life so that he/she can be free in a free country to live as a ‘Nigerian’ a ‘Ghanaian’, or an ‘Egyptian’, in America without giving respect, preference and honour to the ideals and dream of his/her host country? Knowing that it was such ideals, (good enough to accord him/her the dignity of humanity), that made it possible for him/her to be accepted there in the first place? If you consider those coming behind you, you would not burn the bridge after crossing it.
As America takes new Americans, and sometimes appear to be mindless of the counter-potency of such a two-edged sword of a policy, and seems to be disposed to casting unfaithful glances at her ideals, it might be cautionary as well to open our ears unto President J. F. Kennedy’s appeal to the veterans of Foreign War Convention, August, 1960, thus: ‘Now let me make it clear that I believe that there can only be one defense policy for the United States and that is summed up in the word, ‘first.’ ’’ He goes on: ‘‘I do not mean first, but. I do not mean first, when. I do not mean first, if. I mean first— period.’’
As I conclude, I hereby elect to make the following posers to every objective-minded and rational individual on this page. What is the spirit behind taking new Americans? Is it to make all impoverished, oppressed, in-bondage people all over the world to come live free in America? Or is it for America to provide a transformative global citizenship-oriented leadership to the world by systematically influencing the nations of the world unto embracing liberty and freedom and empowerment for their citizens? And, can America succeed in that mission without foreign nationals already benefited by that policy channelling the energy and imperatives of their new found status back home? Or are they to ‘remain’ in America to accuse, blackmail, arm-twist, and ‘obstruct’ the United States and her leadership? Or to use their new status and privilege to go into alliance with some other politically disoriented Americans to mobilize to influence or try to make America change her foreign policy in the interest of the intolerant ideals of their own home countries? With America turning against its traditional allies and friends and core values? And betraying the vision and ideals of her founding fathers? Ideologically spitting on their Monumental graves? Knowingly or unknowingly?
America might lose national consciousness and cohesion. America might lose its leadership role and position. America might be ‘conquered’ ideologically, socio-economically, diplomatically, and militarily only if it forgets her dream and the ideals of her foundation. As J. F. Kennedy puts it: ‘’We celebrate our past to awaken the future.’’ America’s future will be dead and lost if she doesn’t awaken it in the light and ideals of her firm foundation and glorious past. All subtly or eloquently opposed to this are enemies of the Union. No matter the sentiment. No matter the ‘support.’
In the eternal words of President Reagan, if America ever forgets she is one nation under God, according to the ideals of her founding fathers, she will become one nation gone under.
Except all hands come on deck. Except America recognises that there is a formidable enemy, within, working for the greater enemy without. Except America realises that the emerging uncertain new social order is determined to sink America as a prime target. Except America galvanises for national consciousness and cohesion to withstand a potent ideological conflict, social contrast, and political contention, America, in the prophetic words of President Reagan, will become one nation gone under.
• Onyedi is Founder/President, Diamond-Crest for Youth Education Foundation; Email: [email protected]