Friday, September 30, 2016

Books: Bolling's "Wake Up" Call For America

Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues that Made Our Nation Great - and Why We Need Them More Than Ever
By Eric Bolling
St. Martin's Press

Eric Bolling, one of the hosts of the highly-rated show The Five on FOX News Channel, wants to see America be great again.

Bolling was brought up in a struggling blue-collar family in Chicago. His parents showed him that hard work and firm values can get you far in life.

The nine virtues his parents taught him and that which Bolling extols are: grit, profit, manliness, thrift, individuality, dominion, merit, pride, and providence.

Bolling sees these as the values that America was built on and which shaped the character of our country. He notes that, at one time, our nation was the embodiment of greatness and always strived for exceptionalism.

The tone of the book is set immediately by whom Bolling dedicates it to: 

"I dedicate this book top President Barack Obama. If it weren't for your announced goal of 'fundamentally transforming the United States of America,' I wouldn't have been so exceedingly motivated to write this book to stop you and your liberal pals from achieving that goal. America will survive your agenda."

Bolling writes of the threat he sees, "After President Ronald Reagan won the Cold War, the socialist threat is arguably more subversive. In their endeavor to radically reform American society, the socialist Left has used fear, shame, and class warfare to divide us. They recognize that doing so is essential to destroying the many qualities that have made America an exceptional nation since it's founding. Those nine core values - grit, profit, manliness, thrift, individuality, dominion, merit, pride, and providence - are qualities that defined my experience in America and many others. They were essential to my own personal success, and restoring their primacy is key to restoring the American dream. Now is the time to wake up America."

Each of the nine virtues Bolling mentions is given a chapter, and here is a description of each and some of what he writes on them:

Grit - the soul of the American spirit, a never-say-die attitude, the backbone in many ways of the American economy.

Bolling feels that those on the left feel they "know more than you do about choosing what information you get, what nonprofit groups should be allowed to function, what social services you need, and what kind of health care you deserve. Who needs grit to sustain themselves when you can just sit back and let the government take care of everything? The softer the citizenry, the more susceptible they are to liberal claptrap - and the more strings the Leftist puppet masters can pull.

"All along the way, a biased media, a morally bankrupt academy, and a clueless Hollywood have abetted this softening. Rugged manliness is denigrated - being 'macho' is assumed to be the same thing as being a male chauvinist. Being a thug or an outlaw is cool, while being a soldier or police officer is a tool of oppression. And besides, crime is a result of social conditions, not personal choices. Children are taught that the world is full of dangers - which is true - and that they aren't capable of handling them without government assistance - which is a lie."

Profit - despite those trying to give it a bad name, profit is success, is jobs, is security, is the foundation of a hopeful future. 

Bolling writes of how capitalism is under attack,"The pharmaceutical industry. ExxonMobil. Bain Capital. McDonald's. Walmart. Monsanto. Goldman Sachs.

"These are just a few of the giants in corporate America that have become synonymous with villainy among the political Left. Liberals from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton - and their allies in the mainstream media - constantly attack 'corporate greed' and 'excessive corporate profits,' while pretending they care about Middle America. To make their case, they often cite one or more of the above by name...

"In college, I thought I was going to end up playing baseball in the major leagues. That didn't happen, but years later I did find myself in the 'big leagues' of capitalism, cutting my teeth in one of the toughest training grounds in the world economy: New York's commodities trading floor. This was capitalism in its purest, rawest form. I've seen it up close. And I'm not going to pretend it's always pretty, nice, or 'fair.' (There's a reason why Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire who can espouse silly liberal ideas and the Winklevoss twins are just a couple of world-famous whiners, and it ain't necessarily because life is just.) Then again, as the great economist Milton Friedman once asked, what economic system is 'fair?' Is communism fair? Or socialism? Aren't there always poor people and rich people anywhere you look?

"The truth is that capitalism is one of the great equalizers in human society. Capitalism doesn't care, ultimately, who you are or where you come from. It's your ability to generate profit - which drives growth, jobs, and prosperity - that matters."

Manliness - more than masculinity or pure strength, it is a mindset and a way of behavior that exudes strength and confidence without having to say you're strong...and when you have to 'say' you're strong, you're usually NOT.

Bolling writes of what it means to be a man, "Ask any normal person whose mind has not been polluted by the poison peddled by the Leftist feminists and they will tell you that to be a man, one must be brave. Manliness is the sober knowledge that in fact there is no such thing as a 'safe space' in this world. The best we can do is to prepare for all reasonable eventualities and teach the same to our children...

"Dad was a manly man. He didn't like asking for help. He felt in control - and wanted to convey control - when it looked like he was lost or out of his element. It was confidence, some might say bravado, that he was independent and it gave confidence to the rest of us, with the possible exception of my mother, who had seen the routine a few too many times.

"But my dad understood that a man must possess a mature set of priorities. This does not include endless hours playing video games while someone spoon-feeds you sugared cereal. A quiet strength helps. A man can take care of himself. But that is only half of what it means to be a man. Being a man also means you are willing to spend your courage sticking up for others who are vulnerable or less fortunate than you. Being a man means not only that you can take care of yourself, but also that you try to take care of others as well. Being a man means that you suppress your own feelings and urges out of respect for other people's wishes or whatever is best for them. Never punishing your kid out of anger, for example, is a sign of manliness. That ties in with the general drive to put your family before anything else in the world - the greatest thing a man can do."

Thrift - not to be confused with cheap or stingy, because being thrifty displays the wit to understand the value of your - and others - money and way of avoiding crushing societal debt.

Individuality - our nation was founded on the individual work ethic and individual spirit of all Americans and today that individual maverick spirit is under attack by those stifling creativity as well as free thought and actions.

Dominion - in emphasizing human kind's "dominion" over other beings on earth comes the responsibility of well-placed strength and righteousness rather than destructive behavior and this ability to use our powers of dominion for enhancing our world is being stagnated.

Merit - the success of our nation is rooted in a simple formula where people succeed based on their own skills, talents, and efforts, not because of some arbitrary societal or governmental standard - in other words, the opposite of a 'participation trophy society.'

Pride - James Monroe said, "National honor is national property of the highest value." Bolling talks about the strength of personal and national pride displayed and acted upon the right way showing the right path to take as a nation - hard work, character, and national resourcefulness.

Providence - one of the book's most powerful chapters: that of remaining true to our religious beliefs and maintaining the strength of the American family while a plethora of the media wish to tear religion down, especially at a time of Christian bashing in the press.

Bolling writes of the attack on Christianity, "The radical Left has no problem defending radical Islam at every turn, and yet their open disdain for Christians and religious faith is apparent in every aspect of American life today. Hollywood, the mainstream media, Madison Avenue all display hostility toward Christians, especially those who adhere to their faith with genuine ardor. Politicians like President Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi occasionally flaunt their Christianity with the grace and tenor of clanged cymbals and banged gongs. Yet faith is almost always used as some kind of political shield. Pelosi usually brings up her Catholic faith when talking about her support for abortion. She fails to mention, however, that the Vatican has instructed priests to deny her communion until she reverses her decades-long advocacy for abortion. Obama, too, isn't much of a churchgoer but is quick to deploy religious arguments to further his political agenda on, say, Obamacare. And, famously, Obama was a member of the politically connected and powerful Trinity United Church in Chicago for twenty years while it served his community organizing purposes. However, once the church's longtime pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright became a political liability, Obama dropped the church like a stone. I do not mean to question Obama's or Pelosi's own personal faith, but it is striking how they seem to only deploy it when it serves their political purposes. It's almost like they belong to the United Church of Democratic Politics. Whatever the case, their stewardship as the most powerful leaders of the Democratic Party has done much to advance the hostile Leftist agenda to undermine the Christian faith."

There is no question that Bolling is a leading Conservative voice, but his book is for anyone who believes in traditional American values. 

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