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Something is Missing …

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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23 Comments
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missing piece of a puzzle

Something is missing in how we define the world today, and our place in it.  Hard to put your finger on, but palpable, a terrapin’s slowness, pulling in our collective head, failing to teach, too often surrendering to dread. We need to reverse that.  

Time is passing, and valuable. As Franklin reminded his peers about fears. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

No time is without challenge, ours no different. But we need to take stock of rights Franklin and others passed on to us, and not stop teaching about them.

You can sense it, can you not? A collective sigh, almost resignation, a deliberate stepping back, maybe from exhaustion, distrust, being harried to exasperation, disgust. It would be so much easier, would it not, to just give up? We must not.   

What you see is less willingness to speak, even to defend speech, let alone to question government directions, mandates, overreach, misfires, and mischief.

What you see is less trust, candor, and open talk, more fear of being misunderstood for doing good. That cannot stand in this country. It violates the basic notion of who we are, the principles of self-governance, shared mission, and mutual caring.

We cannot go from king to knight to pawn, suddenly all afraid – or the republic will not go on. Independence is premised on defending independence. A government elected to enact the people’s will collapses without common talk.

Who we are at heart – who we have always been – is a free people confident in our judgment, unafraid to hear critics, debate differences, and invite correction.

To shut each other down, to declare – at the executive level or with some neighbor – we are unwilling to hear, just sick of conversation, is to admit our defeat.

The point is not to stay at anchor, halyards clanking, but to hoist the sails, tame the wind. We are by nature an untethered, restless, reckless lot, but that is how we got here, and changed the world. We offend out of eagerness, frustration, less intent.

We are at our best daring and doing, unbounded and generous, unashamed to speak about our faith, family, and personal roots – magnanimous, secure in our boots.

Looking back, we are a hard-to-hurt bunch, thick skinned, obstinate at times in pursuit of truth – but determined that America is good, and we strive for that.

We need to get back there. Our history is tenacity and pluck, pioneers, workers and dreamers, builders, fighters and savers; we color outside the lines then redraw the world, recreate the possible with our imagination. We have always done that.

So, where are we now? Just caught in irons, down in the mouth, out of flower – apparently prone to retreat or to cower. We must not do that in this perilous hour.

We cannot trade courage for comfort, rest at some mooring, run from the storm, make that the norm. There is no destination in that choice; that is a non-starter.

If we do not resolve to defend core principles, we lose. Needed is the attitude of our Founding Fathers, who had lots of reasons to give up – and did not.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong one. “

Historically, we cherish peace but never over principle; we do not surrender to fear, refuse to step up, or give in to despondency or distrust.

The point: What is missing is the courage to stay engaged when it matters. When the wind rises, talk gets risky, seems another thankless reach – that is when we hoist the sails, take to the airwaves, and teach. We can all do it.

Put differently, when the choice is forced, when the flag is rent, we mend her or surrender; we explain and suffer critics, to regain our ballast, or we all go over.

Some lessons are timeless. We must all teach as we were taught. That takes patience, it is not fast – but that is what produces the kind of freedom that will last.

Nautically, we are better tacking into the wind than running from it. We are most alive when navigating a rocky channel, defying silence, not becoming islands.

Indifference to cultural, political, economic and security conflict is downright dangerous. There is a better way, embracing the storm, outpacing fear, teaching.

A hundred years after Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt taught us about freedom, wrote 47 books, one called “Fear God and Do Your Part.” Time for us, now.

We should be unbowed. We are not head-ducking terrapins, but Americans. We should take heart from history’s span, lean in, step up, do what we can. What is missing at this hour, is just belief in our power. We have it, must use it.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
9 months ago

That “something is missing” feeling is the fact that the country is rapidly transitioning to a socialist nation and the American people are largely sitting by as it happens before their eyes. Rule of law is quickly being replaced by targeted political prosecutions based on crushing any dissent to the regime in power by any means necessary. All reminiscent of the so-called justice systems that exists in Russia, China and other authoritarian nations. What is missing is in the past the American people would have pushed back against such actions to safeguard our rights and freedoms. Today, there is almost no resistance to the non-stop advancement of Marxist ideology and policies being actively utilized in our country. You end your article with the following quote “What is missing at this hour, is just belief in our power. We have it, must use it.” Belief must be accompanied by a corresponding action to support it. Otherwise, there is nothing tangible to push back against those that seek to transform this nation into the very thing we used to actively fight against.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
9 months ago

Very important article Robert , that quote from Ben Franklin at the beginning — puts the time element in the right perspective. I do believe that an over reliance on the internet and the related technology could contribute to the missing pieces. A comparison with navigation, it is great to have knowledge of the fundamentals , the mathematics, and if any instruments or equipment stop working then Emergency Navigation procedures can be used — a matter of resourcefulness that could save the day. Thinking like Nathaniel Bowditch , who literally wrote the book on navigation in 1790’s , early 1800’s . Before him Thomas Godfrey ,a Philadelphian who developed the sextant in the 1730’s ; Gerardus Mercator , his work on the Mercator chart projection and Edward Wright , English mathematician and navigator who completed what Mercator started in late 1500’s. The sense of purpose, as individuals, and the spirit of the Nation — the National sense of purpose, very important to think about , and believe in, to value. I wrote an Ethic for Toolmakers a few years ago, as I have been designing and making tools , off and on , in one way or another since 1975 — thought it may contribute something to the spirit of this fine article. ” A Work Ethic for Toolmakers. Making tools that are necessary to accomplish mechanical tasks ; to advance and increase knowledge by building things that are needed and thereby improving the economy; in the support of public safety and the defense of freedom through the encouragement of craftsmanship and good citizenship ; contributing to the betterment of life through development of mental and physical skills by designing, making , and using tools for good purposes.” You did great writing this article Robert, Well Done ! It should provide inspiration to many who value Faith, Family and Freedom , who truly care about the United States of America being on the right course.

.

Rik
Rik
9 months ago

It’s a sign that too many of our Republican politicians are COWARDS and just go along to get along! . . . And because so, I fear we are losing our Freedoms to the Progressively Communist Democrats.

Melinda
Melinda
9 months ago

When something goes wrong in my life, e.g. the faucet leaks, the power goes out, and I complain, I often think of the pioneers and what they faced. The fact that most of them survived is a testament to courage in the face of adversity, to perseverance, even obstinance. And I stop my complaints and think about a solution.

MikeG
MikeG
9 months ago

Thank you for such an excellent piece, accurate and to the point. Our Founders recognized the need for an ‘Appeal to Heaven’ in all their efforts to be free from kings, tyrants and dictators. They knew with certainty the necessity of reliance on the one true God and were not afraid to publicly appeal to Him. Close examination of the Judeo-Christian values and ideals that are embedded in our founding documents attest to this. The thus-far successful attempts to remove God from public and private consideration exposes the agenda of evil that exists in local, state and federal governance. It is this godless agenda that is devouring all that our Founders created.

Mary
Mary
9 months ago

The best thing to do is vote out those who do nor represent your values. Get rid of the RINOS. Don’t pay attention to what the say. Talk is cheap. Go back and see what they’ve actually done for YOU!

docfigalius
docfigalius
9 months ago

The Founding Fathers were children of The Enlightenment, emerging from the chaos of the Dark Ages: mad mobs, weird superstitions, despotic governments just like we have now…it takes a fierce fire and hammering to forge the sharpest swords. God goes straight through crooked paths. Consider the poem ‘Beautiful Soup’ by Lewis Carroll, sung by the turtles that are about to be cooked: “BEAUTIFUL Soup, so rich and green, Waiting in a hot tureen! Who for such dainties would not stoop? Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!” Exactly what the ‘establishment’ terrapins are singing, instead of getting on with the fight for survival.)

Sue
Sue
9 months ago

Simple, the missing piece is GOD!

anna hubert
anna hubert
9 months ago

What is missing is the Guiding light that we willingly threw away

Alicia
Alicia
9 months ago

Great article! Reminding ourselves about who we are and not the illusion. The freedoms belong to all. WE look around for others to give it. The people must find who they are again by going within unlocking their potential not defined by others. Fear is the culprit with lies, intimidation, and threats. We as a people have not fully come together using our power, strength, faith, knowledge, and gifts to defend and fight for one another in truth. The few against the many! that is the American people fighting for what we believe, in faith, by our power, believing in something greater than ourselves through God.

Sally
Sally
9 months ago

/What are we going to do about it? I have passed out fliers w/info about Border, talked to people, but we need concerted, clear, concise massive effort and will to counter this danger and educate people about what is happening and how it will affect their lives — Border, Energy, Biden’s corruption, lies, millions received from foreign govts. for influence. 50% of population doesn’t even know what’s happening because media does not report or cover. How can We accomplish this?

Suzan Ball
Suzan Ball
9 months ago

Excellent article ????
Thank You ????

Michael Sanderson
Michael Sanderson
9 months ago

The thing that is missing is a personal surrender to God. Repent.

DDS
DDS
9 months ago

Bravo!!!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
9 months ago

That “something missing” is the amount of money in my bank accounts. “It’s working” if poverty is the goal.

LauraC
LauraC
9 months ago

Thanks, Robert, I needed that this week. No more terrapin for me.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
9 months ago

FIGHTING FOR THE FIRST
In 1974 FREE PRESS became the EXCLUSIVE RIGHT of those persons our government grants a
PRESS EXEMPTION!
The PRESS EXEMPTION is not available for LIVING PERSONS.
The PRESS EXEMPTION is only available to LEGAL PERSONS, those businesses selected by the government.
Conclusion:
The PRESS EXEMPTION is legal fiction.
Human beings, the object of every INALIENABLE RIGHT, no longer enjoy FREE PRESS RIGHTS!
Businesses that do not have a brain, a voice box or a body are incapable of exercising FREE PRESS RIGHTS!
To see how it got this way and how to restore 1st Amendment rights to people, see last page on my sway: It is time to restore 1st Amendment rights to real people.
sway.office.com/8EyjfBHJ9ca4s3gS?ref=Link&loc=play

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