Commentary: Wake up, America!

By Hylton Phillips-Page

“A Republic, if you can keep it” is how Benjamin Franklin described the type of country they had created after the Constitutional Convention. There has not been a period in my lifetime when this country has been more threatened from within than it is today. The antifa and Black Lives Matter movements are attacking the foundational principles of this country and Western civilization in general, seeking to replace it with a system of government that will have far less freedom than we have today, likely an anarchistic or Marxist state.

If you think antifa and BLM are benign groups simply seeking racial justice, I suggest you do more research. A simple Wikipedia search will reveal the goals of antifa, and their actions speak volumes about the lengths they are willing to go to achieve those goals. BLM is a little more complicated. They no doubt have racial justice as a goal, but they too would like to institute a Marxist state. If you doubt that, watch a short interview with the co-founder of BLM entitled “We Are Trained Marxists – Patrisse Cullors, co-founder, Black Lives Matter” which can be found online.

The evidence that this movement is about the destruction of Western civilization and not racial justice is clearly on display. If it were about racial justice, why would the following statues be endangered?

• Christopher Columbus, credited with bringing Western civilization to the Americas.

• Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator who ended slavery.

• Ulysses S. Grant, the general who defeated the Confederate Army and fought the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction.

• Winston Churchill, who defeated the Nazis and fascism in World War II.

So far, the Democrats have embraced antifa and BLM, hoping it will help their chances in the 2020 election. They seem totally unconcerned with the lawlessness and destruction of private/government property or the impact on people’s lives and the economy. Many corporations are also jumping on board, hoping they will be spared. Elected officials and private citizens have even taken to kneeling in front of these people, hoping to curry favor with them. In the end, they will all be devoured; they simply are not radical enough and are just steppingstones to gaining power.

Our founders were not perfect people; they were representative of their times and should be judged that way. We all have issues in our lives by which we would rather not be judged. The totality of our actions throughout our lives is a far better indicator of our positive or negative impact on the world, and that should matter more. Until recently, that was how our leaders were judged; now, they are expected to be perfect people. Can anyone stand that kind of scrutiny? I suspect not.

The Founding Fathers, with all their flaws, created a country that is the envy of the world. Overall, we have more freedom than any nation on Earth, both personally and economically, giving us an unsurpassed standard of living. Our founding documents were aspirational and clearly did not include all groups at the time of our founding. However, we have made steady progress toward endowing all groups with the same rights since then. Is there any group that feels disenfranchised today who was better off 50 to 100 years ago? Minorities have gone from holding very few positions of power to holding many today. We have even elected a Black president, twice.

We are at a crossroad, and America has a choice of continuing this progress or starting over or going along with antifa and BLM, hoping that what replaces the current system will be better than what we have today. I do not see the current leadership of antifa and BLM having the education or intellectual fortitude of our founders and doubt they will produce a better world. Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, etc., are simply not Marxist values. The Republicans alone stand against this madness.

This past week, a number of companies withdrew ad revenue from Facebook insisting it do a better job policing “hate” speech. I don’t envy Facebook, which will have the impossible task of implementing a policy that makes everyone happy. Is hate speech directed at our president among the items expected to be taken down? How about hate directed at those extolling the virtues of America and Western civilization? Hemingway’s quote on bankruptcy could just as easily be applied to liberty: “We lose it gradually, then suddenly.”

Hylton Phillips-Page lives in Rehoboth Beach.