No surprise that young Americans are being radicalized [Letter]

September 03, 2014

Americans are acting surprised and shocked that younger Americans are being radicalized and choosing to fight on behalf of Muslim extremists. The following is one explanation as to why this should not be surprising and should be considered inevitable.

We live in a country where approximately 51 percent of voters think that the other 49 percent are racist, greedy and homophobic. This 51 percent can't seem to find anything redeeming about the United States and think that our nation owes the rest of the world apologies. They think every war we've ever been in is because of racial hatred, the need for colonial expansionism or oil. The prosperity that Americans have enjoyed has never been because of free-market principles and capitalism — it's been because we looted the poor domestically and in other countries. This 51 percent doesn't find a need to protect our borders or adopt a common language. They find no remarkable or redeeming qualities associated with American culture. They prefer multiculturalism over a single, uniting, principled culture that we can all share. American history is unremarkable and the stories of the people that built our country have been corrupted or forgotten. Distinctions between friend and enemy appear to be fluid and ill-defined for the majority. And nothing is worth fighting for (i.e., preserving).

The 51 percent will not identify who constitutes a threat. Terrorists seem to show up further down the list than tea partiers and Fox News. The 51 percent can't think of anything positive that the administrations elected by the 49 percent ever did. Yet, they seek to empower future administrations with more and more rights intended for the states or the people.

The nation's Constitution is meaningless to the 51 percent. The 51 percent is against requiring identification from people before they vote — like an insecure border, this is not the position of people who want to preserve our country. The 51 percent feels disenfranchised by the 49 percent and seeks to use federal government force to achieve their view of economic equality, or perhaps they are offended by something. Either way, they will be very vocal about their grievances and will never celebrate the blessings that this country has provided to them.

The point is, when generations are taught only bad things about our country, you should expect the 51 percent of the voting population to turn out just the way they did. In the context set forth by the 51 percent, the only principled position is to fight against the imaginary dragon that is our unjust country. At least the terrorists don't have problems identifying their objectives and their courses of action are logically directed.

Americans need to correct the skewed messages we have been sending our citizens. We need to consider the good about our nation and our culture against an accurate backdrop of our history. We need to reign in overbearing and dishonest government. We do this by rejecting some media sources in favor of other ones; becoming more involved with youth and education; and by taking care to elect politicians at every level who share the core principles that are essential for our nation's survival.

Christopher Hekimian, Germantown

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