The Bad and the Good About America

Written by Robert Knight

Independence Day is a good time to take America’s measure. The United States is the first nation created with secured rights derived from nature and nature’s God — not man. We grew rapidly and providentially into a world power with unrivaled liberty and wealth.

Along the way, we endured a bloody civil war and got rid of slavery. We defeated Nazism, Japanese imperialism and the Soviet Union.

We’ve seen unprecedented material progress and such varied marvels as an end to polio and the introduction of digital timers to speed up the game of baseball.

America’s accomplishments are amazing. But as a doctor might ask, how are we feeling today?

Well, there’s good news and bad news, Doc. First, the bad.

There’s a shocking amount of crime in our cities. Little children, most of them Black, are being gunned down by mostly Black gangs.

There’s too much weirdness. Who would have thought we would ever witness drag queens marching in New York City proclaiming, “We’re coming for your children”?

Or see 100,000 overdose deaths annually from opiates like Chinese-sourced fentanyl?

Or watch millions of people crossing the border illegally and being shipped at taxpayer expense around the country?

We also have corrupt, senile President Biden at the helm and a ruling elite openly at war with the half of the country that still believes in God, American exceptionalism, and the First and Second amendments. The bitter clingers, as former President Barack Obama might say.

Speaking of Mr. Obama, I have a few questions. He is half White, with slaveholders on his mother’s side. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was Kenyan, presumably without at least American slaves in his background.

If Democratic-concocted racial reparations are imposed, should Mr. Obama get a half share? What does he owe for being half White? What about the millions of multiracial people? Would there be means-testing? Would multimillionaire Magic Johnson get checks extracted from White truck drivers and Hispanic landscapers?

We can only hope the reparations racket fades away like the bumpy head “science” of phrenology.

We also have a battered Constitution. It’s a beloved old truck that still runs despite gremlins in the engine.

Leftist legal warriors are working relentlessly to turn the most effective check on government power in history into a blank check for more government.

Unfortunately, given the behemoth in Washington, they’ve had considerable success. As the late Joseph Sobran sardonically quipped, “the Constitution poses no threat to our current form of government.”

Through court rulings and aggressive secularism, ruling elites have fashioned a de facto pagan culture that is metastasizing. They seem bent on building a modern-day Babylon where power and sensations are everything.

Meanwhile, some people who are supposed to be fighting for traditional values ignore the adage credited apocryphally to Thomas Jefferson: “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Yesterday’s opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage now embrace Caitlyn Jenner as a “conservative” and redraw the ever-moving line.

In a podcast, Donald Trump Jr. declared: “If you’re an adult and you wanna be trans and you do it — great! … I actually don’t give a s—-t. I’m fairly liberal on the issue.”

There is a big problem “with declaring yesterday’s revolution against the natural order to be today’s conservatism,” Chronicles of Culture Politics Editor Pedro Gonzalez wrote recently.

Where we’re falling most short is in the spiritual realm, which we ignore at our own peril. Tossing the owner’s manual out the window and ignoring service checks leads to breakdowns. Yet somehow we think we can do without the Bible, the fountainhead of inspiration for America’s founding and a timeless guide to living well.

Now for some good news.

Despite our problems, America is still America in many ways. We have “good bones” that include an ocean on each side of our continent, a moderate climate (most of the time), rich farmland and boundless natural resources.

We have an entrepreneurial spirit and explosively innovative technology.

We have hundreds of thousands of patriotic military families trying to ignore a “woke” brass in Washington.

We have lots of immigrants who love America even more than some native-born people.

We have indoor plumbing, electricity, modern medicine and dentistry, an unrivaled food supply, millions of cars and trucks, and the heritage of a self-governing republic. Compared with the rest of the world, our standard of living is off the charts.

We also have a sizable remnant of believers of all races and ethnicities who seem to be awakening like the proverbial sleeping giant. For some, the scales finally fell from their eyes when the Los Angeles Dodgers did their boneheaded embrace of the Catholic-mocking Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The choice is fairly straightforward. We’re either going to be one nation under God or go the way of ancient Babylon, the ultimate Pride-based empire that exported its perversities.

Before its destruction in 539 B.C., “Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand that made all the earth drunk,” the prophet Jeremiah warned. “The nations drank her wine. Therefore, the nations are deranged.”

Here’s a question we might ponder while watching fireworks and parades: Will God keep blessing America?

He just might if we clean up our act with His help.

Robert Knight is a former Los Angeles Times news editor and writer and was a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This column was originally published by The Washington Times.

He has been published by the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Christian Post,,,, and many others.  He has co-authored three books and written 10, including “Liberty on the Brink: How the Left Plans to Steal Your Vote” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) and “The Coming Communist Wave: What Happens If the Left Captures All Three Branches of Government” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) . 

You can follow him on Twitter at @RobertKnight17, and his website is