Editorial by John Ziegler

Final Thoughts on the End of the Century

1/9/2000

So this is it...The Great American Century, as our own media so brazenly calls it, has finally reached its final moments. It seems only in this rather rare case amidst the millennial madness has the media, even if only by accident, not succumbed to hyperbole in its gaudy, perhaps even egocentric description of the last 100 years.

This century, a century in which exponentially more of note and circumstance happened than in the entire history of man combined, truly was the AMERICAN century. It was the American century not JUST because America rose to military, political and economic dominance during the last 100 years, though it could have been. It was not the AMERICAN century SIMPLY because this country showed the power and courage to, not just once, but twice save the Western world from possible destruction, though it certainly could have been. This was not the AMERICAN century just because of the sheer force of our semi-capitalistic economy which showed the rest of the world the awesome power of semi-unleashed individualism and, at times, carried much of the rest of the world on its back, though that too might have been enough to warrant the honor. It was not the AMERICAN century just because our country had the know-how and the will to change the world forever by going to the Moon, inventing modern medicine and dropping the atomic bomb, though that might have done it as well. It was not the AMERICAN century because we were strong enough as a people to not just recognize, but actually, after much delay, ENFORCE the concept that all men and women are created equal, but it could have been.

No, it could have been any of the characteristics that I just outlined that made this the AMERICAN Century and I'm sure that there are several others that you could add to that list. But the truth is that the ENTIRE package is what made this truly the AMERICAN Century and if there is a theme that runs through each of the elements that made this our country's era it is that we have largely abided by, defended, fought for, and reaped the benefits of the freedom and liberty of the individual citizen. Above all else, I believe that this amazing, unprecedented century has been a true testament to what is possible when individuals are provided the resources and incentive to pursue their OWN desires, their OWN goals and their OWN dreams largely free of the burden of restrictions and the fear of being enslaved for someone else's objectives.

This reality was the engine that drove this American Century and which provided the almost unfathomable prosperity which most of us enjoy today. The events of this century have, with out a doubt, made the United States of America the most successful social experiment in human history. And while the success of this experiment cannot be overstated, one should not fail to realize WHY we are currently so successful or underestimate the still EXPERIMENTAL nature of this endeavor called the USA.

It is a siren's song for us to believe that, because all of the external indicators have never been better, that we must, therefore, be on the right track. Our attention spans have become so short and our focus so narrow, perhaps even selfish, that we fail to realize that, to a large extent, we are today reaping the benefits of achievements made by our predecessors in the FIRST half of this American Century. It seems to me that we have mistakenly assumed that the lightning fast speed of technological evolution is somehow equaled by the speed of political, cultural and human evolution, which it is most certainly not. It is a fact of life that success is sometimes more difficult to deal with than adversity, and I believe that with the astounding success of the century also comes a potentially grave danger. Like a champion boxer who lets the spoils of victory go to his head, it seems to me that we have become soft as a people and as a nation, almost incapable of making difficult choices and far too accepting of injustice. Principles that used to be worth dying for are now no longer viewed as worth being inconvenienced for. Yes, those who DID die for those principles did so, at least in part, so that we would not have to, but do you really think that any of them would have been satisfied by our decision to squander their sacrifice by frivolously giving Bill Clinton a pass because we were irrationally afraid that the stock market might go down a few points?

To me the impeachment debacle was outrageous not because Bill Clinton remained our President, but rather because it revealed this country to be a shadow of its former self. A nation as externally as strong as ours can not be threatened overnight, but instead is only vulnerable to a slow eroding of its foundation. It seems that the events of recent years have shown that foundation to be weakening at an alarming rate. And the most frightening part is very few of us seem to notice or even care. I believe that the greatest strength this country has is that it has NEVER failed to overcome a challenge to which it was fully committed. That is why I personally have never been particularly worried about the Y2K bug.

I knew we had the incentive and resources to fix the problem and that we would. It is the threat that sneaks under our radar screen that is truly dangerous. To me the great irony of the end of this American century is that the very prosperity (and ensuing complacency) that was fostered by the galvanizing of our liberty and freedom may end up creating the environment for that liberty and freedom to be slowly stripped away from us. In many ways the challenge facing the United States of America as it heads into the next century is whether we will be willing and able to protect our liberties with nearly the conviction with which our forefathers exhibited in gaining them in the first place.

Knowing what I think I know about human nature, I am not optimistic about the outcome. Afterall, many of the people reading this right now probably think that I am nuts for even being concerned, and that is even taking into consideration the fact that the average talk radio listener cares more, knows more, and is far more aware of what I'm talking about than the average citizen. Part of why I am pessimistic is that, in order to survive in a fractured universe, almost all mainstream media outlets are forced to spew out nothing but "happy talk" in order to maintain their share of the audience.

The average citizen, already brainwashed by a pathetic, liberal public school education will never even have their feeble little minds exposed to the concepts and concerns that I leave you with today. One of the main reasons that I want to remain a radio talk show host (other than that I possess no other marketable skills) is that I believe that it may be the last bastion of information where sometimes the unpopular truth can be circulated and I thought that I might have something important to contribute as we navigate the choppy cultural seas that surely lie ahead.

Sadly, my faith in this medium and myself have diminished to the point where I am not sure that I would have the opportunity, or the ability to do anything about even if somehow I am not grossly mistaken. And grossly mistaken I may be. It certainly would not be the first time THAT has happened. And whether I am right or wrong about what the future holds for this formerly great nation of ours, I do want to leave you on a positive note. Regardless of the what the future holds we truly are living in a glorious age and we in this country have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to celebrate and a lot to look forward to as we continue to reap the benefits of this American century and, hopefully brace for the challenges of the next century a century that few if any of us will survive, but which hopefully this nation, as we currently know will.

I thank you for indulging me and hearing what I had to say and I hope everyone has a great time tonight and a safe and happy new year. You will hear a lot of changes at this radio station of the next few weeks that I think you will enjoy. Though I hope to, I don't know when or if I'll be back, but I do know that Michael will return on Monday to talk about what a fraud this Y2K thing was. My name is John Ziegler and I wish you all a happy new year and a great new millennium!

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