Thursday, July 17, 2008

On moving forward

That's what Victor Davis Hanson urges Americans to be about today:

"[There is] is a growing collective panic here at home, over whether such undeniable progress is sustainable when America is up to its neck in debt, dependent on foreign energy and plagued by self-doubt and inaction. Our 21st-century paralysis is surprising. The United States is not materially exhausted. We sit atop trillions of dollars worth of untapped oil, gas, coal, shale and tar sands. America could mine more uranium, and reprocess fuels to build hundreds of nuclear plants. American agriculture is blessed with the world's best soils, most developed irrigation systems, and most productive and astute farmers. There is as much sun and wind in the western United States as anywhere in the world. We have plenty of natural resources and the know-how to make all the wood, steel and cement products we need. A new, hungrier generation of Americans will have to want to reclaim our pre-eminence and change the national attitude. It must be ready to pay off generations of debt rather than borrow, build rather than sue, and drill rather than whine."

Well-said. And in this, Hanson reminds me a lot of the late, great National Review founding senior editor James Burnham. Some of you could greatly benefit from reading some of Burnham's old NR columns from the 1960s and early 1970s. He too urged America to move forward; the alternative is stasis and decline. As Hanson says in his conclusion:

"Americans, in short, should be tired of hearing that we are a post-industrial, postmodern, post-anything society. Instead, we want to be known again as a can-do producer nation that sweats as much as it thinks. And the confident presidential candidate who can best assure us of that will surely win this election."