I doubt the creators of "American Restoration," the History Channel reality show featuring Rick Dale and friends transforming rusty junk to its former glory, intended a deeper message about restoring America. But that's exactly what they’ve done.
Dale is part mechanical genius and part artisan. He specializes in restoring everything, including old vending machines, slot machines, cars, motorcycles and even gas pumps. Watching the show there is one inescapable fact. Dale’s work would not be possible were it not for the superior craftsmanship of the American worker.
American engineering was built to last - generation after generation. Names like Edison, Ford, Browning, Tucker, Barrett, and countless others helped make American products the envy of the world. Their inventions changed industries.
Sadly, inferior products are now common in American retail. We live in a “throw away” society where products are seldom passed from one generation to another. It’s hard to imagine a refrigerator made in China or Indonesia today will be salvageable a century from now.
There are a number of factors contributing to this throw away mentality. Higher labor costs, ever-increasing government regulations, higher corporate taxes, and a hyper-litigious society are just some of the culprits that crush today’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses forcing them to make cost saving measures where they can.
As a result, factories have closed, and skilled labor forces have moved overseas or “retired” and America is the big loser. Should this throw away mentality infect our perception of American exceptionalism we may see the loss of liberties that define this great nation.
If you are a regular visitor to the Breitbart sites you believe in American exceptionalism. It is a belief that our nation is not only unique and special in human history; America is the last best hope for humanity. The Founding Fathers designed an ingenious system of checks and balances to preserve human liberty through a constitutionally limited republic. This philosophy is comprised of a lot of moving parts; acting at times in concert but maintaining their own integrity.
The founders believed in a government of, by, and for the people. In their view, government was subservient to the people. It is a position of humility that many politicians and bureaucrats today have forgotten.
Over the years our society has lost some of its luster. Our melting pot resembles a stew, and governments are becoming obsessed with controlling the minutiae in our lives. It is a path leading us further from liberty, not closer.
So in some ways the message of "American Restoration" resembles a pathway to restore this great nation. Our country may be dented and dinged up but it is still the greatest nation ever conceived, and our founding documents provide the best blueprint for moving forward.
This path won’t be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is.
When Dale gets old rusty gummed up “junk” on the show his approach is simple and straightforward. Tear it down to each component; scrub away the rust, grime, dirt, and anything preventing the mechanics from operating smoothly. If a part is missing he replaces it. He doesn’t throw it all out and put another mechanism in its place. He puts things back the way they were originally intended to function.
Then he reassembles the parts, paints and polishes those original components until they look like they did the day they were created. I submit that is a recipe to restoring America.
Our founding fathers faced much tougher conditions than these. They faced challenges we could never imagine and the cost of failure was death. In forging this new nation they pledged before God their very lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. The good news is that the American foundation is solid. With the right vision, patience, and convictions, we can restore the luster to this shining city on the hill.
Dale brings his considerable skill to restore once beautiful items to their former glory. In doing so he has reminded me that the same vision and execution of skill can restore this great nation.
Is that great television or what?
"American Restoration" airs at 10 p.m. EST Wednesdays on The History Channel.