AMERICA: A PLACE, A PEOPLE, A HISTORY
A few months ago, I gave a speech in Israel that was recently criticized by Curt Mills in the Spectator. In an article titled “Charlie Kirk abandons America First,” Mills quotes segments from that speech as follows:
“I have loyalty to ideas,” said Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a network of young conservatives that has seen liftoff in the Trump era. “Of course I love the Grand Canyon. I love the Rocky Mountains. And I love Boston. And I love Chicago. But if all that disappeared, if all I had was ideas, and we were on an island, that’s America. That’s Israel. And that’s what people have to realize,” Kirk continued. “America’s just a placeholder for timeless ideas. And if you fall too in love with, oh, the specific place, and all this…that’s not what it is.”
Mills concludes from this that I am not America First. This is wrong. Curt is correct in that what I said was incomplete. While I expressed my love for the “idea” of America, I neglected an important addendum.
America is not just a set of principles, and it’s more than an idea. It is a place, a people, and a history. And without this precious and shared heritage, the American idea would not have been possible — both in the past and into the future. This grand experiment has been the most successful ever staged in human history, forged by centuries of struggle, war, virtue, and toil. It is irreplaceable. It is the result of the combination of a unique set of ideas, a unique land rich in beauty and resource, and a unique people marked by a shared and miraculous story. It is the honor of my life to defend and promote both the idea of America – and the nation itself – and I will continue to do so with redoubled vigor, patriotism, and faith.
To me, this is what is means to be America First. Guilty as charged!