Below is an email I sent in early July 2016 to my friend Rob, who had suggested I might enjoy this talk by American historian Eric Metaxas:

Hello Rob,

This morning I finally watched the “If You Can Keep It” video.  What a treat!  Thank you for sharing that.  I like Eric Metaxas a lot.  He’s a bright bulb and he talks just enough smack.  I ordered the book.

I love these analogies:  In the past few decades America has been running on fumes.  And:  Our republic is like a cut flower.  It looks nice, but it won’t last, it’ll be dead in two weeks, “because it’s divorced from its roots”.  Brilliant.

And:  While it’s important for a nation to be self-critical, “not having a proper healthy self-regard” can go wrong.  Yes.  Lots of that going around.

We live in an extraordinary experiment.  Extraordinary and delicate.  Like you, I am concerned about the existence of our country.  I want it to survive.  But there are many forces, not the least of which is homegrown, lining up to tear it down.  I’m convinced that we are at an existential pivot point.

We Americans are the luckiest people in history.  We are immensely blessed to be here.  A great and potentially lethal irony is that many many Americans think this place stinks, and they’d just as soon see it deconstructed.  They see it as corrupt and evil and want it destroyed, composted, plowed under.

A great many of the de-constructors are children, rebelling against authority.  To an extent this is normal, natural.  Rebellion is part of youth.  However, if no one grows up, and no one gets a productive job, if no one ever creates anything, and instead they depend on government and/or academia and/or institutional employers to sustain them, they may never understand the engine that drives it all, and the sacred principles on which our nation sits.  So they may not know to defend what needs defending.

Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older and more conservative, but it seems to me that this erroneous thinking has reached a dangerous level.

Success got us here.  We’ve been so successful, able to feed so many mouths, and now many of our pampered, spoiled children are rising up against us.  It’s almost tragicomic, that a bunch of bloated larvae could very well be the agent of our downfall.

To wean people off the institutional teat.  To get people out of their lofty towers and down in the trenches.  This is the struggle of our time.  It may be too late.  Or perhaps we need a period of hardship so we stop taking things for granted.

Some of us have some fight in us.  It is a battle worth engaging.  I’m all in.  I’m gonna do everything in my power to resist this decline, to reaffirm our nation’s greatness.

I have today unexpectedly off.  Got any time for a convergence, if not today then over the weekend?