The Corner

America the Beautiful

My Fourth of July New York Post column concerns the physical landscape of our magnificent country and how its limitlessness spiritually influenced the Founding Fathers:

West of the truck stop at Fort Stockton, Texas, and all the way to El Paso, there is almost nothing but mashed-potato hills, scrub brush and the open road. The speed limit is pretty much whatever you want it to be, and Texas Rangers are few and far between. For a few hours, you can imagine what the first settlers felt upon encountering the vast, majestic emptiness that is west Texas and all from the safety of your steering wheel.

You feel free.

It’s not emptiness, of course — not then and certainly not now, when the American horizon seems so much narrower than it once was. The pioneers, ranchers, cattlemen, schoolmarms, saloon keepers, cowboys, preachers, peddlers and prostitutes didn’t see it as empty at all, but as limitless — Nature’s illustration of the wondrous possibilities of the American experiment whose birthday we celebrate today.

The airplane has diminished our sense of wonder at where we are, but, especially on this day, it’s worth remembering — and experiencing.

You haven’t seen the country until you’ve driven across it. And you won’t really grasp the fallacy of the Left’s bogus argument that we’re running out of space and resources until you do.

Our country may have been born in revolution along the Atlantic seaboard but she was here long before the Founders brought her into being. It’s often said that America is an idea, not a place — a country devoted to a principle, not to a single people. And there’s some truth in that.

But in another sense, that’s exactly backward. For America is also a place that gave birth to a grand experiment in shared ideals and self-governance, a land of such great bounty and variety that it could not help but inspire — not just the Founders but all of us. Long may she continue to do so, from sea to shining sea.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More