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Why can’t Americans afford to overlook the evident decay in the
standards of public integrity that the Clinton years have represented?
The dangerous truth is that America will not always be basking in
material prosperity and international security. And when the next crisis
comes, we will have to meet it principally not with material or military
might, but with the moral and spiritual strength that has been the real
key to our survival in previous national crises.

The Democrats and Bill Clinton have assaulted and squandered this
strength, and the Republicans have let them get away with it. Now that
we have sullied and weakened our national character for the world to
see, what happens when the next moment of trial arises? Surely it must
come again, for human affairs always present some new time of testing.
Perhaps, after many years of trying, we will eventually succeed in
building the communist Chinese into a formidable military adversary.
Perhaps a time of economic crisis will give rise to political
temptations akin to those that led the German people astray in the last
century.

Are we ready for such a challenge? Now that we have demonstrated to
ourselves that our leadership lacks the moral resolve to deal with a
crisis of turpitude even within our own government, do we have reason to
be confident of our moral resolve to face further crises at home or
abroad?

We have good reason to doubt the condition of our national character.
We are well down the path of abdication of our liberty to an
ever-expanding government power, which in turn takes tender care to
cultivate in our people the very failures of character that are already
draining our moral self-confidence. This vicious circle is particularly
evident in our abdication of what ought to be the leadership role of
parents in the lives of their children, in favor of a wholesale
conveyance of education over to government power. We have forgotten, I
suppose, that education shapes the consciousness of citizens. But do we
really think that a government-dominated education is going to produce
citizens capable of dominating their government, as the education of a
truly vigilant self-governing people requires? I doubt it.

In fact, the classrooms of our public schools have become ground zero
of our national surrender of the premise of our good character and our
decency, and of the principle of our claim to rights and liberty. First
we surrendered responsibility for education to the government. Then,
specious judges required that we entirely separate the educational
endeavor dominated by the government from faith in God or
acknowledgement of His will. In classrooms all over this country God has
been banished, and His authority is no longer in any sense reflected in
the curriculum. The result is that the fundamental principle of our
liberty — that our rights come not from any human hand, but from the
hand of the Creator, and must be exercised with respect for His Will –
necessarily sounds like pure gibberish to many of our publicly educated
children. After all, what can it mean to get rights from a Creator whose
name we cannot speak and whose authority we no longer acknowledge as a
people?

Having abandoned the principle that makes us free, we have
substituted for it an ideology that contradicts any claim by the
powerless or weak among us that their fundamental dignity and basic
rights be respected. Our Founders guaranteed this respect by committing
our nation to the truth that human dignity is based not upon human power
or choice, but upon the choice of the Almighty God. This was the
wonderful, providential insight with which this nation made a new
beginning, refuting all the centuries of oppression that had come
before.

And in all those centuries, what was the principle that ultimately
underlay every form of government? It was the simple principle that
might makes right, that those with power have the rights, and those with
absolute power have all the rights. Whatever elegant robes it wore, this
principle has been, by and large, the basis for most governments in most
places throughout history. Those who attained power by fire and sword
could then claim the favor of whatever god or gods they worshipped. And
the power of the sword became the divine right of kings and established
a foundation for the claims of absolute despotism and absolute
oppression.

And now, in our schools, our children are taught this ideology. It is
not taught in the civics courses directly, yet. For the moment it is
taught directly only in the science courses. It masquerades there as
science, though it is taught with the firm vigor of indoctrination. It
is the only so-called scientific theory which is not allowed to be
questioned, and to which our children are not permitted to consider any
alternative. It is the ideology of evolution. Evolutionary dogma has
been established as the intellectual litmus test determining, with the
force of science, what our children can believe about themselves and
their nature.

Why do the ideologists of government education insist upon the
dogmatic teaching of evolution to our children? Because it represents
the total subversion of the major premise of our free way of life. How
can we educate children to respect the rights on which our way of life
depends if they believe that dogmatic evolutionary doctrine is true?

The evolutionary process produces no moral authority — just results
of fact. And is there any particular reason to respect those results?
Evolution might appear to say that people have more or less reached the
same point, and we might have sentimental reasons to think that this
rough equality of results is a good thing. But when someone reaches for
a gun and says he intends to produce a new, and less equal result, does
evolutionary theory give us some basis to object? Quite the contrary;
such bids for power are actually the very engine and underlying premise
of evolution. Stated crudely but with reasonable accuracy, that premise
is the survival of the fittest.

And what is the survival of the fittest? It is the domination of the
stronger over the weaker. And do students of evolutionary theory express
much regret for the weaklings who are extinguished? No, they don’t. The
losers are extinct because they were not able to cope, and why should we
shed too many tears about their passing?

Evolutionary doctrine turns out to be the same brutal, ugly principle
that, dressed up in fancy scientific duds and applied to human affairs,
historically governed most human political affairs — might makes right,
and we need not shed a tear of concern for the hindmost, for justice
cares only for the strong.

The evolutionary dogma our children learn in science class trains
them to dismiss the principle of justice on which our nation was
founded, and which offers liberty and justice to the weak as well as to
the strong. It trains them to accept in its place an ideology that
offers no sympathy for the weak, and confirms the domination of the
strong. By banning God and the Declaration from the schools, and basing
education on evolutionary dogma instead, we have destroyed in the
schools — and therefore in the heart and consciousness of our children
– the principle without which our whole way of life is a meaningless
sham.

And the implications go far beyond the schoolhouse door. Indeed, in
the epitomizing moral challenge in America today we see a direct
reflection of the same abandonment of principle, and of the same
surrender to the age-old lie that might makes right. How else can we
understand the arguments that are made by the proponents of abortion?
They tell us that child in the womb is rightly subject to his mother’s
choice, because he is not viable apart from her body, and is wholly
dependent on her physically — that is, because she has him absolutely
in her power.

At root, the pro-abortion position is the claim that absolute power
means the absolute right to dispose of the being in your power in any
way you choose. It is the same awful, ugly premise of despotism and
tyranny — and of their correlative slavery and oppression — that has
consigned so many human beings to misery throughout the centuries of
mankind’s existence.

We are a people supposed to be governed by a principle that respects
the dignity of all, whatever their weakness or strength. Instead, we are
now embracing the lie that once again surrenders the very heart of our
civilization to the principle that might makes right, and that whoever
has the power has the right to destroy the lives of those within his
power.

But the corruption of the best is the worst. And we are not merely
returning to the external political tyranny of the past. We are
embedding it even more intimately in the souls of our people than mere
external political tyranny can do. For the abortion doctrine hardens the
hearts of those who ought to be the prime nurturers of our most
compassionate instincts, giving us our first experience of that natural
love and affection which ought to be the paradigm for all our human
relations. Having turned the heart of motherhood into a heart of stone,
how can we be surprised if our national heart sinks to the depths of
depravity?

And how then can we expect to remain a people capable of meeting the
tests of the new century, when America will be challenged again and
again to lead the eternal fight of justice against the ambition of human
power unconstrained by a principle of conscience? Americans oughtn’t to
underestimate our importance in that battle. The American people have
three times in this century been the essential key in the effort to beat
back the global shadow of evil. Without us, the history of the 20th
century would have been a history of successful tyranny, and of
successful domination of the world by wills that had no respect
whatsoever for the dignity of our common humanity.

We made the difference. And we ought to understand that if that
experience suggests our role, we have a responsibility that will be
weightier still in the 21st century. And we must contemplate what shall
be the consequences for the world if we are no longer fighting the
shadow of evil, but casting it ourselves.

I think that the Clinton years have been the warning of what shall be
the consequences if we do not act with urgency now. Clinton has
systematically tested whether a president could get away with egregious
lying and abuses of his office, and our response has been a test of
whether there was still left in the representatives of the people enough
integrity to call such a president to account. The answer that was given
in the last two years was, “No, there is not enough integrity left in
our representatives.” Apparently, the lesson that might makes right has
been learned well by the Democrats, and the Republican tradition of
principled defense of ordered liberty has become an endangered species.

We should not rest easily with this precedent established. We have no
protection, any longer, from the abuses of executive power. The system
of checks and balances has broken down. Our representatives did not have
the courage, because they no longer have the integrity, to do what the
Constitution requires. And the roots of that failure can be found in our
national epidemic of abandonment of moral principle, and its replacement
with the principle that results justify themselves.

We are not ready for the new century. Our national soul is sick,
possibly unto death. And as clouds of future danger, seen and unseen,
gather in the early days of the new century, we slumber in the easy
chair of our material prosperity, and cheerfully send our children off
to be trained in the new ideology of power. Not all of them will survive
the lesson, because those who learn it best will be the iron-fisted
masters of the others in a new America, offering liberty and justice to
the strong — and scarcely a glance to the rest.

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