Fantasy worlds can be great fun. Born in the imaginations of novel writers, movie directors, video game programmers, and even the daydreams that each of us entertain. Inside these fantasies, we share a world with only those of our choosing – one that runs according to our expectations. By wishing, we can – in the words of Star Trek’s Captain Picard – “Make it so.”

We give up such guilty pleasures only reluctantly – when reality intrudes. The boss expects a job to be done, our spouse needs a shoulder to cry on, the children need to be ferried to the soccer game or band practice. Various devices such as money, alcohol and drugs can extend the period of fantasy – perhaps even enhance its effects. But, in the end, they exact a cost so high that most of us are unwilling to pay. And so, with a wistful smile, we close the door on our fantasy world and step out into the real one.

It’s called that – the real world – because eventually it will force its values, rules of play and penalties on all who fail to recognize it as such. This it will do with increasing salvos of discomfort. They may begin with a mother’s prodding words, “Frankie, it’s time to get up for school,” and progress as we move through life to, “You’re fired” or “I’m leaving” or “I sentence you to spend the rest of your natural life in a federal penitentiary.”

Perhaps because of our vast resources, there has been no greater fantasyland than America. Here feminists, ACLU lawyers, the gender-uncertain, ivory-tower Vietnam-era academics, gun-control fanatics, anti-religious bigots, guilt-ridden multiculturalists, new age crystal gazers and a thousand other divisive ism-peddlers have had America dancing to their conflicting tunes. Reparations and open borders were just around the corner. Then reality struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and America dialed 9-11.

Who responded? Who was first to enter the burning skyscrapers, with little thought for their own safety? Who was first on the scene, clearing the area, controlling the crowds, and evacuating the building? Who willingly gave their own lives so that others might live? Who were the doctors and the nurses that set up shop near the base of the soon-to-be-rubble and burning buildings to treat survivors? Who were the ironworkers who left jobsites from across the country to help sort out the twisted rubble, and the rescuers who dug day and night with their bare hands, searching for survivors?

America has seen the pictures. America has read the stories. America has heard the first-hand accounts. America has wept with them as they kept on, refusing to stop the search for victims, even when they themselves were too exhausted to continue.

Who were they? They were the “oppressors” ruining the visions and personal pursuits of the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world. They were the “all men are rapists” who feminists blithely assure us inhabit every American bedroom, inflicting infinite pain and suffering on their wives. They were the objects of scorn the media loves to hate. They were the Protestants and Catholics and Jews the ACLU lawyers have dedicated their lives to keep from influencing the nation’s impressionable young schoolchildren. They were the bland white objects of hatred whom the multicolored multiculturalists seek to eradicate from the history textbooks and the face of the earth. They were the evil Christians who the Gaia-worshipers and crystal-gazers assure us are destroying the planet.

They were, in short, the people who built America and who made it what President Lincoln called the world’s “last, best hope.” They were the people that America cried out to when it was wounded and suffering and frightened and afraid. And these despised, ridiculed individuals were the ones who heard, the ones who responded and the ones who willingly gave their lives that America might live.

And so to the school board officials in Madison, Wis., who have refused to let the elementary school children in their care wave the American flag in the midst of a war to preserve our way of life, I say this: The despised and ridiculed American patriot will once again spill his blood on foreign soil so that this nation may live. But understand this: The war is not over when the Taliban is destroyed, bin Laden and his henchmen executed, their tortured souls rotting in Hell, and his hydra-headed terror beast of al-Qaida and its bastard brothers and sisters of Islamic terror dismembered.

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