On Independence Day, we celebrate not only the beginning of our country’s history, but the story behind our shared membership in the American nation — one that the Democrats would prefer that we forget.
It is not a time simply to remember the founding, Thomas Jefferson’s immortal words, or the mechanics of how our great republican experiment began. It is the day on which we most remember that we — Americans — are America.
This country is not simply a place, nor is it a mere set of ideas. It is a people, a set of shared experiences, institutions, and a story that binds us to this land in a way others are not.
There are warts and scars in that story, like there are in the history of any nation. It includes the bloodbath of the Civil War that proved necessary to overcome slavery, that fatal flaw of the founding that Jefferson called out in his first, July 2, 1776 draft of the Declaration of Independence. It includes our government’s atrocious treatment of American Indians as we moved west across the great frontier, and against Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor. And it includes centuries of regrettable societal hostility towards gay people.
That does not mean it is acceptable for us to discard our founding values, disparage our history, or forget that we’re Americans first before we’re a race, tribe, or sexual orientation. It doesn’t mean we can forget the Founders, tear down their statues, and replace them with the secular saints of 20th-century progressivism. It doesn’t mean Christopher Columbus’s heroic voyage should be recast as a genocidal exercise to be remembered on “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” And it doesn’t mean that the “Spirit of Stonewall” should take an equivalent place beside the Spirit of ‘76.
Far too much of the rhetoric we see from the left today is designed to weaken our conception of ourselves as a nation and blur the distinction between citizen and foreigner into non-existence.
Gavin Newsom, California’s ambitious Democrat governor, accused his state’s Republicans of “fear of the other,” as though that invalidated their concerns over their national integrity. New York City mayor and presidential no-hopeful Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, told Americans that if you “feel you’re falling behind” or “feel the American dream is not working for you: the immigrants didn’t do that to you.”
Putting aside the fact that Newsom and de Blasio are dead wrong on the economics — illegal immigration absolutely hurts wages and job prospects for the most vulnerable Americans — the sentiment they’re expressing completely misses the point.
American patriotism is not about being cruel or hateful towards immigrants, foreigners, or even criminals who break our immigration laws. It’s about understanding ourselves as a distinct people who expect — no, demand — that the politicians and elites who guide our great shared institutions, both public and private, do so for our benefit first.
America is the most benevolent nation on the face of the Earth. We have saved entire continents and routed out tyrants from far away lands to support the God-given liberties of non-citizens.
If our politicians can’t distinguish between people who are born into the generations-long story of America, or are welcomed into it in accordance with our laws and culture, and those who break our laws and demand entry while waving the flags of other countries, then they don’t deserve the support of the American people.
That’s why liberals seek to blur the distinction between citizens and foreigners. It’s the only way they can even hope to get away with advocating for providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegal aliens before every one of their fellow Americans has the best care possible.
So this Independence Day, let’s look back on our proud history and remember that some people are Americans and others are not. That’s what “declaring independence” is all about.
Falwell is the president of Liberty University.
Jerry Falwell, Jr.
President, Liberty University
January 31, 2019
Governor Ralph Northam’s comments regarding infanticide on Wednesday are reprehensible. He has shown once again that he is not a Governor for all Virginians—not the pro-life and not the unborn. Such extremism has no place in Virginia or America, where each individual has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator.
I have two granddaughters: one 11 months old and the other is due to be born any day now. The thought of legalizing the murder of either one of them is repulsive and barbaric.
My interview on Todd Starnes’ radio program, regarding Rachel Maddow’s comments about Liberty University and Kerri Kupec
On December 18, 2018, I went on Todd Starnes’ radio program to respond to the comments made by MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow against Liberty University and our Law School.
Maddow’s smear came in the context of one of our excellent Law School graduates, Kerri Kupec, after the Justice Department named her the Director of its Office of Public Affairs.
You can listen to the archived broadcast HERE.
TODD STARNES: Another big story we’ve been focusing on, these outrageous and outlandish comments from Rachel Maddow attacking Liberty University.
Rachel Maddow: We’ve got a new Justice Department spokesperson [who’s from Liberty University, and Liberty University is founded by a televangelist so that your Christian child wouldn’t be corrupted by actual higher education, you know, and now that’s the spokesperson for the Justice Department. Like, these things add up. They have real results in the world. Is there going to be a backlash to that? Is there going to be a resurgent intellectualism and hard-line conservatism that isn’t the kind of white supremacist stuff that we’re seeing which is the pseudo-intellectual stuff, right? I don’t know.
STARNES: I’ve never heard, I have never heard horse crap spewing from the mouth of a human being like I’ve just heard from Rachel Maddow. It’s really unconscionable what she just did there, but she smeared the thousands and thousands and thousands of young people that have attended Liberty University, that have graduated from Liberty University, one of the finest institutions of higher learning in America. On the Newsmaker line right now to respond to this, the President of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell, Jr. President Falwell, welcome to the show.
FALWELL: Well, thanks for having me on such a busy news day, Todd.
STARNES: Well, this ranks right up there because it’s important for us to respond to these really just frivolous charges that Rachel Maddow levied earlier today.
FALWELL: Well, I’ve always thought Rachel Maddow was a joke. Every time I watch her, she’s got this silly smirk on her face, and when she makes stupid comments like Liberty is not a real university because it was founded by a televangelist, she needs to study her history. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, most of the Ivy League schools were founded by preachers and evangelists, and that’s a long tradition in this country, and she just shows her ignorance by making comments like that.
Liberty offers 520 programs of study. It’s been fully accredited since 1980. It was only founded in 1971, and it has a medical school, law school, school of engineering. We have 2500 professors from every major university, who got their degrees at every major university in the country. We have graduates going out into all the major graduate schools, into the workforce, and they’re coveted by employers, and it’s the right work ethic and they don’t expect … they don’t have an entitlement attitude. They go out with the idea of serving people and earning their way, and so I think she just shows her religious bigotry when she makes comments like that, and she would like to be an elitist, but I think it would be a compliment to call her that.
STARNES: Well said. You know, I looked at what happened at Berkeley when they invite conservative speakers onto their campus. All hell breaks loose, and they try to silence voices of dissent, and then I look at Liberty University. I mean, you guys certainly are a conservative school, but you’ve invited people like Bernie Sanders and Jimmy Carter to campus, and there were no protests. There were not people trying to shout them down or burn buildings.
FALWELL: No, no. I mean, that’s the other side of the coin. Those universities that were founded by good Christian people centuries ago are now places of indoctrination, liberal indoctrination. They are intolerant. You know, when I was in college in the ’80s, I’d go with my father when he spoke at Ivy League schools, and back then, they would boo and hiss a little bit, but they welcomed him. They treated him with respect, and liberals would say things like we may not agree with you, but we’ll die for your right to say it. Well, they don’t say that anymore. They’ve become fascists. They want to shut you up. They don’t want any other viewpoint but theirs to be expressed in the classroom. They ridicule conservative students who dare to speak up, and it’s not higher education anymore, and even Mayor Bloomberg said so in a commencement speech at Harvard a few years ago. When 96% of the faculty and staff of the Ivy League donates to the Obama campaign, you can’t have real education, and that’s just the bare facts.
STARNES: Well, no, you’re absolutely right about that. When you look at the quality of graduates coming out of Liberty, I know Kerri Kupec. I think she’s just a terrific person and a great choice to be a spokesperson at the DOJ. Shannon Bream, who is one of the great anchors here at Fox News. There are some terrific people coming out of that school.
FALWELL: Yes, and you can’t find 96% of our faculty who support any political party. They’re across the board. They all ascribe to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, but beyond that, their politics is their business. We do attract a lot of conservative faculty and students just because of who we are, but it’s not required, and it’s a shame that … and the reason Liberty is prospering because we don’t try to be like all those other schools that are their way or the highway, and that’s what higher education is supposed to be about, learn about what other people think so you can defend what you believe.
STARNES: And ultimately, those ideas are rooted in that Judeo-Christian philosophy that founded the country.
FALWELL: That’s all it is. It’s that simple, and that’s why America has been the most prosperous country in the history of mankind, and why Americans have been able, they’ve had the means to obey the commands oF Jesus to help the poor. You can’t help a poor person if you’re poor. You have to have free enterprise, you have to have freedom, and you have to have an absence of corruption in government and business. America has had all those things because of that Judeo-Christian ethic, and it’s the only reason that Americans have been able to obey the teachings of Jesus and help those in need is because of the form of government and the Judeo-Christian ethic of the American people.
STARNES: Well, President Falwell, I have a column up at Toddstarns.com, and I just flat out say that I would much rather have a private Christian university that affirms the teachings of Jesus Christ than a government-run university that affirms the teachings of Karl Marx.
FALWELL: Yeah, exactly, or even worse than that, you know, a lot of them are atheists and anarchists, and it’s just … I don’t know how they think that’s ever going to help make America a better place. It makes no sense.
STARNES: Agreed, agreed. Well, President Falwell, we know you’re a busy man, and we appreciate you coming on. I knew you wanted to respond to this nonsense coming out of MSNBC, but we proudly stand with Liberty University.
FALWELL: And I was nicer to Rachel than I should have been.
Todd: Well, if you want to have a last word, you’re more than welcome to do that.
FALWELL: Well, her ratings are all I need to say, and nobody takes her as a serious journalist, and she’s just a commentator and most people don’t agree with her, and all you’ve got to do is look at her ratings, so I’ll leave it at that.
STARNES: All right. Jerry Falwell, Jr., ladies and gentlemen, President of the great Liberty University, and folks, we stand alongside Liberty and Liberty’s graduates and current students on this radio program. Shame on you, Rachel Maddow. Shame on you.
Also, see here for a Liberty University press release on this topic.
One hundred years ago today, Donald Trump’s grandfather Frederick died suddenly at the age of 49 — an early victim of what would later be known as the Spanish Flu. The morning before his death he woke up ready to continue his building of the American dream of happiness, family, and financial success. As Gwenda Blair, biographer of the Trumps, records the events, Frederick took 12-year-old Fred — his oldest son and the boy who would become the father of our current president — with him on a walk around Queens, checking in on properties he owned and partnerships he had formed.
Fred, young as he was, knew that he wanted to do the same kind of real estate and from-scratch business development that his dad had been doing since coming to America. Frederick and Elizabeth had settled permanently in New York in 1905, arriving from Germany just prior to Fred’s birth. They had big dreams for their future lives in the land of the free, where prosperity was neither guaranteed as a birthright nor restricted by government regulation.
And then, in less than a day, Frederick fell ill and died, leaving behind a young widow (she was 38) and three children. He bequeathed to them stocks, savings, and real estate, but would it be enough for them to survive or thrive?
What happened next is that young Fred Trump stood tall and lived out the Protestant work ethic of his German-Lutheran heritage. Though not legally old enough to even sign contracts and mortgages, he joined together with his strong and steely mother and formed E. Trump & Son — the original seed of what later became The Trump Organization.
Fred continued his education and graduated from high school, but he also took night classes to learn the technical skills related to building and construction. He labored hard, often like a work animal — literally — as stories are told of how he hauled lumber up muddy roads when the workhorses were unable to make the climb. And he taught himself how to build—first just simple garages, and later, the construction of houses and apartment buildings.
By the time he married Mary Anne MacLeod and started a family in the 1930s, Fred was already a successful real estate developer. He financed his younger brother John’s education all the way through a Ph.D. from MIT. John would go on to become one of the greatest inventors and physicists of the twentieth century and was given honors by King George VI, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan.
When Donald Trump was born in 1946, Fred was considered one of the greatest residential property developers in New York. When he died in 1999, his New York Times obituary called him the “Postwar Master Builder of Housing for Middle Class” for having built and managed over 20,000 residences throughout the city.
But here’s the remarkable thing. Fred would have been an ambitious, hardworking man even without the personal tragedy of losing his father. But would he have started so early? Would he have been as driven and efficient in learning new skills if his dad had still been alive to provide for the family? And two decades later, would he have found himself in the same social circles that led him to meet and wed Mary Anne?
I don’t think so. I believe it was the tragic death of Frederick that occurred one hundred years ago today that thrust Fred Trump down a different path than he otherwise would have known. And it was the economic freedom available in our great nation that offered him the chance to make something of himself. Eventually, when the current polarized politics cools down, historians will “discover” and write about these two great Americans.
I have a very similar family story, although the colorful background details differ. My family has lived in Virginia since the 1600s, and in 1834 they purchased a large farm on the northeastern slopes of what is now Liberty University.
Most of my famous father’s childhood experiences were full of joy and adventure. But 70 years ago this fall, my grandfather Carey died at the relatively young age of 55 when my dad was just 15 years old. And though my dad was not left impoverished (my grandfather had been a successful entrepreneur: bus lines, gas stations, hotels, and an upscale nightclub), when you lose a parent in adolescence, your carefree life comes to a crashing halt.
But 17 years before his own death, my grandfather experienced tragic sorrow twice in the same year. First, his 10-year-old daughter died when her appendix burst. It probably didn’t have to end that way, but the doctor had misdiagnosed her illness until it was too late.
Then, six months later, my grandfather Carey shot and killed in self-defense his younger brother who came at him in a drunken rage over a misunderstanding. Grandfather never got over the events of that night, and as a result, he turned heavily to the alcohol that led to his early death.
As he was dying, 70 years ago this summer, a friend of my grandfather visited him and told him once again the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After a lifetime of unbelief and running from religion, he found a loving God in the end and called on Christ in faith and repentance.
But here’s the remarkable thing from my family’s story. In response to the sorrow of losing their daughter, my grandfather Carey and my grandmother Virginia decided to bring another child into the world — though they were now almost 40. She miscarried, bringing more sorrow. But then she conceived twins and brought my dad and uncle into the world.
So in a very real and literal sense, my father would not have been born had his parents not experienced deep pain. And, of course, that means that I would not have been born, nor would the institution that I now lead have come into existence.
As I reminded our twenty thousand graduates at Liberty University’s recent Commencement service, the Bible tells us: “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Donald Trump and I share this in common: Our fathers and grandfathers were amazing entrepreneurs who created buildings, businesses, and institutions (and their wives were women of noble character and strength). And both of our fathers learned firsthand two important lessons about life. First, it’s in the personal trials and tragedies of one’s life where character, virtue, and fortitude are most formed. Second, a nation with political and economic freedom offers the greatest opportunity for prosperity.
Because these principles are true in every generation, it is up to each one of us to apply them in our own life and community. As Jesus said, “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.”
Note: This article originally appeared here at Newsmax.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]