Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Fifty six year ago, according to John F. Kennedy, the proudest boast was "Ich bin ein Berliner."
Today, in a world where the United States seems to constantly be on trial for what those on the Left consider to be its many moral failings, the proudest boast is "American sum superbus."
American sum superbus translated from Latin to English means proud to be an American.
This isn't a commentary about Donald Trump, or Ilhan OMar, you can turn on any news channel for an always running, never-ending commentary on both of them. This is a commentary on something more important, something much bigger...and that is the value of American idealism, exceptionalism, democracy, private property and free-enterprise.
When John F. Kennedy gave his famous speech in West Berlin in 1963, the entire world was watching to see if the American President would stand up for freedom and democracy feet away from the Berlin Wall, where the Soviet Union had trapped millions of people behind an iron curtain of economic suffering, hopelessness, and despair.
Kennedy didn't disappoint. In fact, President Kennedy gave what is today considered the greatest defense of freedom and democracy ever delivered by an American President. It was the down payment on President Reagan's speech delivered on June 12th, 1987...that speech was also delivered in the City of West Berlin. And like Kennedy's, Reagan also called attention to the atrocity of tyranny.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Goleta to watch a presentation on the economic benefits of the ExxonMobil's Santa Ynez Unit Restart. My friend Dr. Mark Schniepp gave the power-point presentation...the information he shared had been put together meticulously over the course of several months. And it was compelling.
The numbers were, as expected, very impressive...assuming you are capable of being impressed by how much economic benefit there is when private industry is allowed to do what private industry does.
In the case of the ExxonMobil Restart, private industry produces economic value...in the form of energy. That energy produces tax revenues, income, jobs, and ultimately opportunity for people who need it. And isn't that really the point to everything we do in and out of government?
The question of how does what we do benefit people? Is a question that should govern the people who run our government...as well as those who run companies, businesses, organizations, and corporations. And not just does it benefit certain people, and not just some people who live in a certain town, or city, or country, or who live in a certain climate...but how does it benefit all people, who live in all places and in all climates.
A tall order? Absolutely, but so what? Is there a moral alternative?
Unfortunately, in Santa Barbara County we often get the alternative.
The differences between some people who live in Montecito, or Hope Ranch, or Mission Canyon, and those who live in Guadalupe, or Lompoc, or even Santa Maria, is as stark as the difference between people living in East Berlin and West Berlin in 1963.
Some Germans enjoyed freedom and opportunity, while other Germans were condemned to living deprived lives filled with hopelessness and despair.