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“America is declining in both morality and virtue,” laments Project 21 member Emery McClendon in a new commentary.

Emery McClendon

Emery McClendon

“Our society,” he continues, “has become overwhelmed by people who have no values, low expectations or wish to take no personal responsibility.”

Emery’s prescription for fighting this illness of the body politic is to embrace the things foundational to America’s development – civics and virtue.

Virtue, he writes, “keeps a people and a nation strong” while holding tyranny at bay. Civics teaches both the importance of virtue and personal responsibility – things that are sorely lacking these days.

Emery advises:

These traits should dominate a society, and they should be the norm. Lawlessness and bad behavior should never be allowed to rule.

And while citizens have a duty to remain engaged in the workings of government, he is sad to note that many are not:

Recently we have seen a decline in citizen participation by those who hold the notion of good values. We have observed a corresponding rise in violent behavior and in values that do not reflect our founding principles. Unfortunately, that brings us to a point of moral decline and lowering of good community standards. This results in a loss of respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Instead of seeking the American Dream, too many people have drifted toward government dependency and socialism. As a result, freedom and liberty are traded for perceived security.

Warning that “freedom should never be sacrificed for false security,” Emery also notes:

We must get back to the basics in America. We must remember that freedom isn’t free. Freedom requires a constant safeguarding, lest we will lose what we cherish most – our ability to live as the free human beings God intended for us to be.

Because we are flawed, we tend to increase our own power at the expense of others. Our Founders understood the importance of preserving the principle of limited government, through shared powers and checks and balances.

Reigniting America’s recognition of virtue and civics should not have to be a formidable task – yet it is so very important to retaining the republic. Emery notes a key component for the nation’s revitalization is family. If our founding principles are exercised and instilled in our homes, they will easily spread to communities, regions and the national conscience.

“It’s time to get back to basics, America, because our future depends on it,” he declares.

After reading Emery’s commentary, A. Renee Whelehan emailed the National Center with this response:

I just read Emery McClendon’s essay about reclaiming America’s virtue and I couldn’t agree more… We, as a nation, need you to keep speaking up for America. Without strong families, good values and law and order, we will fail.

I want people of color to achieve the American Dream. Your voices can save our nation.

To read Emery’s commentary – “Reclaiming America’s Virtue” – click here. Versions of Emery’s commentary appeared in places such as the Politichicks website and the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette.

Author: David Almasi