(March 14)  Criticism justly is raining on the large numbers of Democrats and young people who say they would flee the U.S. rather than “stay and fight” if our nation were attacked, but the bigger focus should be on why they are wrong.

The simple answer is that this nation, by the standards of human history, is historically blessed, historically prosperous, historically free, and historically humane.

The subject arises because of a question in a Quinnipiac poll released March 7. Overall, 55% of Americans said they would “stay and fight” if they “were in the same position as Ukrainians are now,” while 38% said they would “leave the country.” Those aren’t awful numbers. But among those polled who are ages 18-34, a 48%-45% plurality say they would exit, and among Democrats, a 52-40 majority would run.

It is easy, and not unjustified, to scoff at the Democrats’ seeming lack of patriotism (or courage). As for young people, it surely takes a while for many of them to overcome the mendacious rot our school systems have taught them about how allegedly benighted – racist, repressive, etcetera – their country is. But at some point they should have the logic, context, and character to see and appreciate the objectively grander reality around them.

Regardless of that, a free people with any sense of self and of pride should feel a duty and an inspiration to defend their homeland from assault. Moreover, the U.S. isn’t just any homeland. It’s not just a run-of-the-mill, somewhat free, somewhat admirable nation. The U.S. truly is exceptional, in ways that readily should inspire devotion to it and fortitude on its behalf.

Start with what in some ways is the least important measure, namely the material standards of living. U.S. standards regularly and significantly outpace European ones, not to mention those of less-developed parts of the world. Indeed, in the whole history of mankind, we are blessed to live in what is by far the most prosperous time and place ever known. And despite leftists myths, even “income inequality” – a largely unimportant issue, anyway – is not actually bad here. And the whole narrative about two decades of “wage stagnation” is based on a massive mismeasurement: Until Bidenflation hit, Americans were consistently raising our effective incomes….

[A slightly different version of this piece ran as the official Washington Examiner editorial on March 14; the link is right here.]


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