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Notable & Quotable: A Serious Country

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Wilfred McClay



Photo:

Heritage Foundation

From remarks delivered by 2022 Bradley Prize winner

Wilfred M. McClay

in Washington on May 17:

Would a critical nation so utterly lose perspective by itself previous that it could entertain the concept that the nation was based on slavery, fairly than on the beliefs which have made it a beacon to the remainder of the world? And would a critical nation suppose it applicable to show its kids that the nation’s previous is finest understood as a parade of horrors, to which probably the most applicable response will not be delight however lacerating disgrace? . . .

Nobody desires an account of the American previous that’s sanitized. We are all too conscious of our many faults, and most of us perceive the significance of proudly owning as much as them.

But what we have now wished and wanted as a substitute is an account that locations these faults in correct perspective—that understands them in a lot the identical means that we perceive each flawed however admirable individual we have now ever recognized and beloved. . . .

We must change into a critical nation once more. And to do this, we have to consider in ourselves once more, consider within the cause we have now been positioned right here, as a land of hope for a world that wants hope greater than ever. We want to know {that a} world with out America will likely be immeasurably diminished, each in materials and religious phrases, and that we have now no alternative however to dwell as much as the duties that include our many blessings. Our historical past will be an unlimited useful resource in that endeavor.

The work is not going to be simple. . . . But it will likely be a lot tougher to dwell with ourselves, and with the rebuke of the long run, ought to we shrink from the problem. And as soon as we perceive what’s at stake, we could really feel a sure exhilaration that comes of realizing what’s being demanded of us.

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Appeared within the June 3, 2022, print version.

Source: www.wsj.com

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