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Ralph Benko: The Real Story of the Candy Bomber Reminds U.S. Goodness at Stake in Election

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Ralph Benko: The Real Story of the Candy Bomber Reminds U.S. Goodness at Stake in Election
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Thomas Klingenstein, President of the Claremont Institute, recently initiated a national debate on an important issue: America the Nice vs. Cancel America. Klingenstein boldly proclaims that Donald Trump, despite his real shortcomings, is the man of the hour, because he stands unflinchingly for the proposition that America is fine.

Klingenstein acknowledges that Joe Biden still believes that America is fine. That said, he claims that Biden is being weakened by the fact that he is the leader of the Democratic Party, contaminated, perhaps dominated by the “Cancel America” group.

The Democratic Party’s left-wing activist claims that America is deeply flawed and morally corrupt. This feeling is going back. It is now hitting the crescendo of the “Cancel America” crusade. It has to be countered.

Ironically, the 1958 bestseller “The Ugly American” used the same epithet. It was intended to convey that the protagonist, Homer Atkins, was physical, not morally, unattractive — motivated by love, not by insensitivity.

Yet Innuendo trumps irony. “The Ugly American” has become an anti-U.S. It’s an epithet. It was used by America’s own cultural elite to flag our country. It has been the progenitor of our new jihadis, “Cancel America.”

Hostility to patriotism is producing a remarkable headwind in the wind tunnel of the American media. Despite this, the Washington “Democracy Dies in Darkness” Article has recently departed from the spread of the darkness of racial Marxism and “ugly American” slurs.

The Post published an article honoring the 100th anniversary of Hal Hal Halvorsen, a living, if obscure, humanitarian American airman, known as the Candy Bomber.

The supply lines of postwar Berlin had been blocked by the Soviet Union. America was carrying out an airlift of essential needs for the German citizens. Halvorsen was an American pilot who came across a group of emaciated German children who inspired Halvorsen to take his relief mission one step further.

He told the children that he would air them with chocolate bars, waving his wings so that they would know which plane to watch for. He rounded up a group of fellow GI’s, tied the handkerchiefs to hundreds of Hershey bars, and rained them from the sky the next day and on several other occasions.

Do you think the American goodness is at stake in the 2020 election?

The picture of an American soldier giving candy to liberated children used to be a common occurrence. Then, Gen. William Westmoreland destroyed all of this by maniacally enforcing the doctrine of overwhelming force on the citizens of Vietnam.

Before the battle of My Lai, Capt Ernest Medina, operating under the bankrupt doctrine of Westmoreland, was asked by one of his men, “Are we to kill women and children? “The answer, huh? “Destroy anything that’s going.”

The consequence was a devastating loss to America’s reputation for goodness, to American morality, and to America’s political will. Westmoreland has also replaced the image of the benevolent GI giving out candy bars to local children with the image of American airmen using innocent children.

The American cultural narrative has gone from John Wayne’s triumphant “Sands of Iwo Jima” to Marlon Brando’s “Apocalypse Now.”

To this day, the damage to America’s image as nice lingers. But this is an atavism.

Westmoreland has become an exception. David Petraeus replaced Westmoreland’s theory of “overwhelming power” with a novel about the loss of French Indochina, “The Centurians” by Jean Lartéguy, by the fictional Pierre Raspéguy: “You must have the people on your side … if you want to win.”

Petraeus has restored both quality and pure goodness to the U.S. Army. Army. We’re waiting for someone to restore a well-deserved sense of goodness to American political culture. Maybe the time is coming.

I have made an empirical and rhetorical case elsewhere for America’s real red-white-and-blue goodness. That said, the experience is more important than mere reasoning. One of the lessons learned from spending much of my adult life in Washington is that Congress is more about anecdotes than research.

Common sense triumphs over logic. It should be as well.

So, thank you, Washington Post, for retelling the story of the American Candy Bomber. Let’s savor the recollection of his sweetening of the lives of the Red Army. More to the point, this is just one of the thousands of anecdotes to be brought to the fore in restoring America’s appreciation of its own goodness.

Crypto-fascist “Antifa” and their “allies” indict the crimes of the leaders, symbols, and heroes of America. This is scorched-earth politics. Rejecting the poisonous tactics, let us sweeten the American political well from which all drink, rather than poison.

Liberal — freedom-loving — Americans on the right, as well as patriotic, labor, and racial left, have countless stories to tell about American generosity, kindness, and goodness.

Let’s recover and tell those good stories to re-establish the democratic narrative on which our future happiness depends: America is good. Not just a wonderful story. It has the added advantage of being real.

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