Neal A. Maxwell – True Patriotism Takes the Long View of This Nation’s Needs
“Reflecting on the special patriotic hymn, America the Beautiful, provides so much for us to ponder. Given America’s present circumstances, certain of that hymn’s lyric phrases are actually quite haunting; as we sing for instance of a “patriot dream that sees beyond the years”, it reminds us of the special perspective which patriotism possesses.
True patriotism takes the long view of this nation’s needs. For instance, what does this reminding lyric tell us about our constant and collective refusal, regardless of party, to face America’s mounting national debt, and our destabilizing budget deficit? By this persistent lack of national resolve in our time, we are robbing our children and grandchildren, however silently, of their economic freedom and future. We cannot seem to see beyond the political moment, let alone, beyond the years. Indeed, the patriot’s dream may be replaced by some nightmares.
James Wilson, one of our founding fathers, urged the delegates to the constitutional convention of 1787, to look beyond their own time and constituencies, to the needs of generations yet unborn. They did it! And all succeeding generations were blessed. Patriotism which sees beyond the years, leaves legacies to rising generations instead of debt. It leaves a clean turn, not the debris of a selfish society.
(J.R.R.) Tolkien wisely counselled, saying, “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set; uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”
– Neal A. Maxwell, “Our True Need for True Patriotism”, Provo Freedom Festival Fireside, July 4, 1993
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