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Underestimated: America’s Greatness Then And Now… And Not Just By Our Foes

Our enemies usually underestimate us and overestimate themselves. Sometimes we underestimate ourselves.

Early on, the Brits came at us believing no rag tag bunch of farmers in the colonies could possibly stand against the greatest military on earth. Pride drove them to defeat, and arrogance led them to repeat their mistake in 1812.

Faith in the right delivered us.

General Santa Anna’s arrogance caused him to think a few Texicans, Texans and Tejanos could never survive an invasion by his massive army. He wound up wearing a dress, trying to run away.

The Spanish, the Germans, the Japanese, the Soviets, the Chinese, the Korean communists, and every Jihadist in the world learned it does not pay to threaten or provoke free men defending their homes.

The one exception: Vietnam. There was a defeat brought about by various elements: the Vietnamese did not underestimate us while they fought for their homes; and we miscalculated in various ways. We allowed civilians in government to run the war instead of putting military people in charge. We ignored the advice to cut off the NVA via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We let communist infiltrators brainwash our youth domestically. We allowed the media to help with that brainwashing. And eventually, we lost sight of why we were there in the first place, allowing Congress to cut support for South Vietnam.

Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon all sought to stem the tide of Chinese and Russian expansionism in southeast Asia. As with Korea, the main impetus was spreading liberty and national security, not control of the rice bowl, the titanium markets or the sea lanes. American power was brought to bear primarily for the sake of liberty, and justice, for all, and the moment we failed that inspired vision, everything else failed.

We learned hard lessons seeing Vietnam fall into communist hands. One million Vietnamese were exterminated by the Communists once the South fell after American evacuation. The reason we fought was made apparent the moment we left.

Some say the 58,220 American military personnel killed in Vietnam died in vain. That is not true. Though drafted, they did their duty for the most part, no matter what John Kerry says. They fought for freedom, at home, and abroad, and they were betrayed by their own government, and by many civilians back home, none of them patriots.

Even though the Communists took over in Vietnam, tens of thousands escaped, and today, there are more than 2,000,000 Vietnamese in America earning an average family income of about $64,000 per year. The average worker in Vietnam today makes $1,800 per year.

We underestimated ourselves in the 60s and 70s and lost our way in Vietnam, the only time this great nation has failed to achieve its goals. We listened to subversives on the Left during those years, and we lost. And every time we listen to subversives on the Left and abide their policy prescriptions, we lose. We just ended eight years of Obama, the most accomplished of the Leftist subversives. Again, we saw eight years of losses, not the least of which, loss of confidence. However, once again, against all odds, the American military remained strong and faithful, setting the example.

Now we have a group of traditionalists leading this country out of the morass, away from the Vietnam mentality, away from Leftist subversion. We are being inspired and empowered to once again rise to the occasion, to make American goodness great again, to make her strong and courageous and productive again.

We pray fellow patriots will not fall victim again to the lie of Vietnam, the lie that claims we cannot win, we should not win, we do not deserve to win. Americans can do whatever they put their minds to, for good or ill. We only need to believe in the good, and act upon it, according to our highest principles. This President understands all this, and he is acting, in earnest.

photo credit: manhhai Vietnam War 1967 – Photo by Toshio Sakai – Pulitzer Prize Winning Photography via photopin (license)

Allan Erickson

Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.