In his 1989 farewell address, President Ronald Reagan worried whether we were doing a good enough job teaching our own children what it means to be American. He longed for what he called an “informed patriotism.”
This sentiment was echoed over 30 years later by President Trump, who in his own farewell address warned that our “loss of confidence in ourselves” was not just a worry, but our greatest danger.
“No nation can long thrive,” President Trump said, “that loses faith in its own values, history and heroes – for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality.”
It’s bad enough to lose one’s faith, which at least holds forth the possibility of recovering it.