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An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
Topic - William L. Shirer
A 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis has given us a snapshot into the brave, new world of big government and why we should fear it.
It is disappointing that Calvin Coolidge is consistently relegated to the hinterlands of America's presidential landscape. There are several reasons for this. First, he is a victim of what Lincoln called the "silent artillery of time" -- the way the memory of any earthly thing fades with the years.
The French people sloughed off years of national shame in one glorious summer month in 1944 when, with only minimal assistance from Allied armies, they evicted German troops from Paris. Albert Camus, writing in the clandestine newspaper Combat, spoke of Paris returning to its historic role of purging tyranny with the "blood of free men."
As we see Americans who took part in one way or another in World War II begin to fade from the scene in large numbers, we start to understand the bittersweet feelings that overtook previous generations about other conflicts in our history. But there are many reasons why the term "greatest generation," now almost routinely applied to them, is not so hyperbolic.
Although the United States had adopted the Neutrality Act in the late 1930s in response to aggressive dictators on the march, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was even more than usually acute in saying that he couldn't ask Americans to be neutral in their hearts and minds.
"It would be misleading to give the impression that the persecution of Protestants and Catholics by the Nazi State tore the German people asunder or even greatly aroused the vast majority of them," Shirer writes. "It did not. A people who had so lightly given up their political and cultural and economic freedoms were not, except for a relatively few, going to die or even risk imprisonment to preserve freedom of worship."
"In between, lay the majority of Protestants," writes Shirer, "who seemed too timid to join either of the two warring groups, who sat on the fence and eventually, for the most part, landed in the arms of Hitler, accepting his authority to intervene in church affairs."