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Monday, February 26, 2024

The Rights and Responsibilities in a Republic

By: Michael P. Tremoglie

Citizens of a republic must know not only their rights but also their responsibilities. Chief among these is learning their culture. Equally important is learning about those who seek to destroy their republic.

The republican precepts of faith, family, and freedom are currently under assault in America and in Slovenia. Indeed, they are under siege throughout the world. Everywhere republics exist there are enemies foreign and domestic who fight to enslave people. It has always been this way, is now and will be so in the future. Only eternal vigilance and arduous struggle can protect the republic from despotism.

Currently, we are engaged in a culture war – a war for the soul of America,  Slovenia, and for freedom-loving people everywhere. Tyrants know the value of controlling the culture. Plato said that ‘you can write the laws if I can write the songs.’ He knew the power of dominating a nation’s culture. The communist Antonio Gramsci did as well. He created a doctrine of cultural hegemony. Cultural control is an integral part of what is today called the “cancel culture” and was called “political correctness.”

The failure of conservatives to lose the culture would be a disaster. It is imperative to resist this cultural domination by the Left.

During a February 1999 speech at Harvard Law School, the famous American actor Charlton Heston warned his audience about the dangers of complacency and pusillanimity. He admonished the students, “You are the best and the brightest…. But I submit that you and your counterparts across the land are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that and abide by it, you are, by your grandfathers’ standards, cowards.”

Unfortunately, many conservatives, for far too long, have been afraid to resist the assaults from the Left or Progressives or Democrats, Liberals or Socialists, or whatever the enemies of individual liberty and a free society call themselves. Instead, conservatives acquiesce to the absurdity of the cancel culture. They remain in a fetal position until the criticism subsides.

Conservatives cower when called fascists by the Left. Yet consider the irony of being labeled a fascist by Leftwing fanatics. These are people incapable of defining what a woman is! How can they judge who is a fascist?

Indubitably, the very word fascist has become a shibboleth. It is a term used by communists, progressives et al – and their fellow travelers –  when hurling invective at their political and ideological opponents. It is a term used to defame those who believe in individual liberty, who believe that men are not angels and angels do not govern men. The word fascist is used to silence dissent and has been used very successfully.

Not all cower before the Left. Leaders like President Donald Trump, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, Brazil’s Jorge Bolsonaro, and Victor Orban of Hungary do not succumb to the negative Leftist media barrage directed at them. They are stalwart defenders of faith, family, and freedom – despite being labeled fascist, racist, sexist, homophobe and other insults.

But they cannot and should not be alone. They should not be the exception. They should be the rule. This is a battle for the survival of civilization; for the lives of billions of people. It is a struggle between two worlds.

The great American president, Theodore Roosevelt, described the duties of the citizen in a republic during a speech he gave at the Sorbonne in 1910. These duties are no less true 112 years later. Roosevelt said that a good citizen, “…  should be both a strong and a brave man; that is, he should be able to fight, he should be able to serve his country as a soldier, if the need arises.” 

He added, “Every honorable effort should always be made to avoid war, just as every honorable effort should always be made by the individual in private life to keep out of a brawl, to keep out of trouble; but no self-respecting individual, no self-respecting nation, can or ought to submit to wrong.”

I would suggest that we are at that point now. The crusade must begin. The enemies of freedom, faith, and family have left conservatives no choice but to do otherwise. Every citizen of a republic must defend the republic and the principles that are dear to it. The institutions and tenets of conservatism and republicanism are in danger of vanishing.

This is the first in a series about the culture war. The next installments will delve into the details of who, what, when, where, why, and how this culture is in danger of extinction and what must be done to protect it.


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