In his opening paragraph, Tony Blankley sets forth the tenor of his new, admirably eloquent and tough-minded book “American Grit: What it Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century”: That we are living in dangerous times and regrettably our nation is being “led by a man, Barack Obama, and a Democratic Party that are seized of all the wrong values and policies for such a national struggle.”
Blankley proceeds to spell out his all too genuine distress in fair detail, describing the new President as a man who wants to adopt Socialistic tax-and-spend policies to “spread the wealth” — policies that will severely weaken our economy’s productive capacity. Furthermore, he envisions President Obama’s energy policy as hindering efficient energy production in quest of the “chimera of absolute environmental purity.”
Blankley does not hold back for a second either in his evaluation of President Obama’s quality as a statesman, describing him as someone who believes Mahmoud Ahmadinejab to be an Islamist of questionable sanity, a denier of the Holocaust, threatening to wipe Israel off the map while speeding to develop nuclear weapons and yet considers this man a leader we can talk to.
This is the man, Blankley notes, who campaigned promising “hope” and “change.” But, as he lays out most persuasively in this tightly reasoned book, as President Obama comes into office, those are not our most pressing issues but rather, quite simply and desperately, we face a question of “our national survival.”
Nationalism a Call to Action
Blankley views himself not as a neo-con or a patriot but rather first and foremost as a nationalist, believing and sharing, along with most Americans, the belief that America “was and remains the last best hope of mankind.” Indeed, he says that without America to give hope “to all man’s nobler instincts, what a cruel, nasty place the world would be.”
Patriotism, he says, is a love for one’s country that makes America strong, both spiritually and materially, while nationalism is a call to action. This call for action means committing to making difficult decisions that might make us less comfortable in a material way. The individual American must be prepared to make this sacrifice for the sake of not just himself or his country but of the entire world. Blankley sees America as the exceptional country on the planet and makes a dramatic cry for us as Americans to practice those virtues that make freedom possible.
Bring Back Draft
In contrast, he views President Obama as set to implement an agenda totally opposed to any values held by a nationalist. For Mr. Blankley, the new President’s agenda consists of elevating human emotions such as sensitivity, empathy, and self-satisfaction to the rank of national policy, while Blankley sees an entirely different set of values that he here examines at length: toughness, resoluteness and sacrifice.
In his call for a return to nationalist values, Blankley would like to see a national draft re-introduced, arguing strongly and eloquently for this. Needless to say, he is passionately opposed to Al Gore and his global warming fixation and equally passionate on the importance of controlling our supply of energy in the decades to come. In studying Russia’s growing energy dominance, he sees the emergence of a new version of the 19th Century great game in Central Asia, and fears Russia’s impact on Western Europe as well as our country.
Fossil Fuel Paramount
He calls for a new, nationalist energy policy harnessing both government power and private industry. Finding Obama and the Democrats as being neither tough enough nor practical enough to do what must be done, he sees our future lying with fossil fuel, oil and natural gas. He points out that oil shale may be much of the answer to our energy problems despite its downside of being relatively expensive to extract and refine. But consider the upside, he tells us: In just three Western states — Colorado, Wyoming and Utah — the United States has the estimated equivalent of 1.8 trillion barrels of oil — nearly seven times the proved oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Yet today there is no commercial oil shale production in the United States.
The timing of the publication of Blankley’s newest book could hardly be more fortuitous, hitting the bookstores the week of the inauguration of the man who the author slyly says “may be the most naïve President we’ve had since Jimmy Carter.” This book will prove most useful to have at one’s side in the months to come, filled as it is with pertinent and practical information on everything from details on the hidden wealth of oil shale to reminders of how college students are being indoctrinated with details about how terribly alleged victims of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy suffered while their teachers pass over in near total silence the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people under communism.
With a tone that is intelligent, reasonable, informed and engaging. American Grit is an ideal book to give to any friend or family member who really cares about what being an American means. And it makes splendidly cogent material for arguing the conservative case with any friend who may perchance be a liberal.