Peggy Noonan said in the WSJ, “Trust America.” Apparently that is her response to people upset with an election that will put Donald Trump in the White House. While I want to share Ms. Noonan’s faith in the USA, it is less clear after 8 years of Obama that we can or should do so. Certainly we should not without strong “rules of engagement.”

There is much wiggle room under the First Amendment (1A), in fact, we allow for the expression of all sorts of nonsense. Where the line should be drawn, however, is when evil people among us utilize the American instinct for fair play and tolerance against us – then my pragmatic side says, “Wake up, America.”

ISIS, for example, has used the Internet for all sorts of nefarious purposes, including sending messages, recruiting and demonstrating just how evil human beings can be. Jihad is not a passing fancy: it has been around for 1400 years. We ignore radical Islamic terrorism, as Obama has tried to do, only at our peril.

It occurs to me that my thirst to find a way to protect our heroic American nature from being taken advantage of is satisfied by the same deep well that others drink from. Specifically, liberals would argue their desire is to sell the notion the Constitution is a “living document.” Progressives lean heavily on the idea that we must be reasonable, that “common sense” must rule. Progressives, of course, have no clue about common sense. They argue we must be willing to cast aside the rule of law and make an exception; in language we hear frequently these days that means the politicians will “carve out an exemption.”

A scam artist will tell you, the first time is hard…after that it gets easier to pull off the heist. So the best time to confront progressives is the first time they try something. Let’s face it, Obama got a free ride, he was unchallenged, so he pulled off the scams over and over again.

To his credit, immigration would never have been an issue in the campaign of 2016 had not Trump made it so. He captured the media’s attention right out of the chute, and he never lost it. The “elite” element of the GOP sided with the press in saying he didn’t have the temperament required for POTUS.  In what can only be characterized as a classic demonstration of the arrogance of the people inside the swamp of Washington, DC, they literally laughed at Trump. When the establishment called it a dubious strategy to focus on illegal immigrants, Trump doubled down on his bet. How does that go, “he who laughs last, laughs loudest.”

Now that he will shortly become the 45th POTUS, Trump can smile and let those same people come to him when he beckons. For their penance the elites must engage in introspection at the spanking they got, and accept where they went wrong.
No doubt, these are anxious times. It’s not just the “Snowflakes,” we should all be concerned. If ISIS and the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism does not concern you, well, you simply aren’t paying attention. Add to that the wholly preventable malignancy known as Black Lives Matter (BLM), which got a boost when Obama invited them to the White House.

So Noonan’s frail entreaties to simply “trust America,” are not enough in the age of progressives and radical Islamic terrorism. We must ALL do our part and share the load: we cannot fail to do our duty as citizens. One can argue, as Noonan did, that the bottom line is, we came through; we saved ourselves from the wicked witch. Did we have to scare ourselves silly first. Seriously folks, we simply can’t let this great country get so close to the abyss again.
We came within a whisker of losing much that is sacred in this still largely Christian nation. There is no doubt that Hillary would have followed through on her promise to grant amnesty to the-at-least 30 million illegal aliens in this country and – along with that – the vote. Would America as we know it have survived? Color me skeptical.

The most important takeaway from 2016 is this: the citizens of America, must take back our sovereignty. Like the Founding Fathers, we must be prepared to pledge, “Our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” We can only do that if we remind ourselves, and those we elect, that a very wise Ronald Reagan once told us, “Trust but verify.”

David W. Thompson worked in government, education and the non-profit sector for more than forty years. A graduate of Westminster College and Harvard University, he resides in Easley, SC. You can follow him
on his blog,

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