Vive la France
Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue
On this ten-year anniversary of when I first began to write THE DAWN, I’d like to offer some insights into why I even composed this momentous tome. Please pull up a chair and enjoy these thoughts.
One reason, among many, that I began to write THE DAWN was my sense, post 9/11, that Europe was collapsing, but not in the ways that the dooms-dayers have been saying for over a century. Not even in the ways that the drummers have pounded over and over again on their marching drums during this past decade. And certainly not in the ways that the Johnny-One-Notes of America have droned on and on for decades.
I have never accepted the premise, the reality, the inevitability, the viability or the morality of an EU. Perhaps THE DAWN began in my mind during those heady pronouncements by deluded friends that with Germany now united, the continent was safe under the umbrella of the EU.
It was all Euro-trash to me. I was not alone in my skepticism, but I was alone in my sense that the implosion of the EU would not be bloodless. Europe is quite bloody now. The impotent bureaucrats who are trying to red-tape-bandage the place back together are most certainly finding their places in history, a secular pantheon of yesteryear. They are pawns, fools, ghouls, and traitors to their countries: the nations of Europe who currently must rebuild their borders, their boroughs, their businesses, their very being.
Many books have been written since about 1919, just after the end of the Great War, about the death of Western Civilization. The Death of Europe, the Death of England, the Death of France, the Death of the West: the list goes on and it will not end anytime soon. The authors of these doom-and-gloom treatises have varying motives for their Chicken-Little tracts.
The very honest few are the passionate believers in the beauty and the richness of the gifts from Western Civilization. They write out of a profound love of Western Civilization, and a fervent love of the rights of man that Western Civilization promulgated. Those rights are eloquently enriching as well as elegantly but powerfully uplifting, but those bounties to humanity were won through war and bloodshed, the likes of which people nowadays have not experienced.
I wrote THE DAWN from a similarly intense love, but unlike their love, mine is not a doomed one.
The majority of the poisoned penners regarding the destiny of the West are fractured individuals. They cynically foist their neuroses upon the world in written form. Cranks and crabapples, they ruin the potency of the call to arms for those unique people of ardent conscience who write for the rights of others, everywhere.
With residual irritation, I recall a piece of correspondence that I received not long after 9/11. The snail-mail came from a crabby “true believer” in the decline of the West. This missive, which was supposed to have been amicable correspondence, began:
“Like any failed civilization, America . . .”
I did not finish this Trojan Horse of a personal letter. I esteem the concept of friendship too much, and I love America too much, to allow myself and my nation to be treated like a piñata that gets whacked whenever the lout encounters a mid-life crisis or a bad reaction to his latest drug.
To keep the honor on myself, I tore up that letter.
I felt a sense of fury toward this swinish person, just as I feel a sense of fury toward any person without conscience, who so callously disparages valiant people who have yet to even take their first steps toward fighting against bullies and cowards and sneak-thiefs.
Judge not that ye be not judged.
With the intensity of that thought and with the passion of my faith in not only America, but in the war-scarred nations of Europe, I took the first steps toward the writing of THE DAWN.
Can not the peoples of Europe awaken to undertake the same steps toward the salvation of their dignity?
When did England start its long descent into the Atlantic Ocean? Was it when the 2%-3% of the Brits in the colonies across the pond got sufficiently fed up with the abuses of King George III and finally fired up a revolution?
When did France begin to lose her grandeur? Was it when Napoléon sacrificed enough bloody soldiers for his own glory and vainglory?
When did the United States start to crumble in the myriad ways the Roman Empire is mistakenly believed to have done? With the election of President X or President Y? Or with the failure to elect President J or President K?
When did the West start to fall apart, or was it coalescing — with the establishment of the Spice Trade and the paving of the Silk Road? The Byzantine Empire fell; the Age of Discovery arose.
Facts and figures can be construed and contorted for the purposes of any writer, placed in a context to fit and define his warped view of the world. And then the negatone books are off to the wreckage races, peddling fear and doubt in a world of uncertainty as that world moves toward change, into the unknown of . . . the future.
One of the pleasures of writing is the need to become informed, with honest accuracy, about so many aspects of the world. History is one of them. Writing THE DAWN was, for me, an adventure into the past, a journey where I tearfully and joyously learned how very much the nations of England and France are not dying; and how very much the younger nation called the United States defines liberty through strength in order to help those nations of the Old Country to move, with strength and liberty, into the future.
If struggle against death is viewed as decline, then the perception of struggle is loony and the definition of decline is absurd, and crazily so. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
If the never-ending fight for sovereignty is a sign of a nation dying, then the battle for independence from tyranny and trauma has to be a cake-walk for any nation to escape the fate of Marie Antoinette and her cake.
A nation is not guillotined by her mistakes unless she never wakes up to correct them. A country does not careen into a diminished capacity simply because its leaders are double-crossers who will end up in the dustbin of history.
Life is the infinite opening up of possibility after the darkness of night has robbed the human mind of paths toward daylight. It is with the glory of the soul that those roads into first light are perceived. Life itself is a chance that too many count out when the chips are down.
Every now and then, a phoenix must be reborn. The doctors of democracy await that glorious birth, or rebirth, throughout the civilized world.