One thing is for sure this 2016 presidential race, the “silent majority” is no longer silent, and everybody knows it. But who are these people? Before President Richard Nixon called them the “silent majority,” he called them the “forgotten Americans.”
The forgotten Americans love their families and want a better life for their kids. The forgotten Americans work hard—they weren’t born on 3rd base and thought they hit a triple. They worship their God and they go to church. They pay their taxes and obey the law.
The forgotten Americans believe in American exceptionalism. When America’s security is threatened, they are always the first to volunteer to defend her. They understand and appreciate the sacrifices their forefathers made to give them a land of opportunity and freedom. And they respect and appreciate those in the military and in law enforcement who put on the uniform everyday to protect those freedoms and keep us safe.
Yes, the forgotten Americans love their country, but today believe their government and its leaders have let them down. They see Judeo-Christian values under attack. They are concerned about the erosion of the freedoms they cherish. They worry about America’s economy and each has a family member or knows someone who has looked so long for a job that our government doesn’t even consider them unemployed anymore.
They see the rise of radical Islam and the real threat it poses to their way of life. Yet, the forgotten Americans don’t understand it when their President refuses to utter the phrase “radical Islamic Terrorism.”
They want to see America’s borders secured. However, the forgotten Americans don’t understand why our government, under both a Republican and a Democrat President, would not fund and enforce the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was the law of the land and would have helped keep illegal aliens and radical Islamists from crossing our borders.
Their kids are being taught, in the schools they fund, more about “political correctness” than American history. And as the events of Chicago sadly reminded us, the political correctness they’re being taught is one that says only your constitutional rights matter, not those of your fellow countrymen.
Something is wrong and the forgotten Americans know it. They see the America they love slipping away and they worry about their children’s future in an America with less freedom and less opportunity.
The forgotten Americans really aren’t “political” and often times aren’t involved in the process. In fact, in 2012 some 90 million eligible Americans didn’t vote. The forgotten Americans made the difference for Richard Nixon in 1968, propelled Ronald Reagan to victory in 1980, and gave George W. Bush his 3 million vote margin in 2004.
Yes, every so often, the forgotten Americans see their country and its values under siege and their way of life threatened and they always come home. Today, they are “coming home” and voting in record turnouts. They are voting in unheard of numbers in the Republican Presidential primaries even though they believe the GOP has failed them time and time again.
The forgotten Americans are giving the GOP one more chance to get it right. Republican leaders must hear their voices, embrace them and not fail them this time.
Many in the establishment don’t know what to make of the forgotten Americans. The truth is that the forgotten Americans are our most loyal and dedicated citizens when clouds appear on America’s horizon. They have always answered America’s call, whether at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Normandy or fighting radical Islamic terrorism. They are exactly the kind of people you want in your foxhole when the firefight begins. They must be welcomed by the GOP, including the establishment and elites. They will probably be, yet again, the ones who save this country and keep America safe, secure, prosperous and a land of opportunity for all Americans.
Van D. Hipp, Jr. is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army. He is the author of the newly released book, "The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It." All of the author's proceeds go to the National Guard Educational Foundation to fund scholarships for children of fallen Guardsmen. www.thenewterrorism.com Follow him on Twitter @VanHipp.