For nearly 60 years, ABC Radio’s Paul Harvey would drive each weekday from his suburban Chicago home to his Windy City studio overlooking the famed “Magnificent Mile.” His twice-daily show was a delightful mixture of news and comment, a blend of what people needed to know with what they wanted to know.

Paul Harvey’s been dead for over 11 years, but as murders and looting continue to escalate in his old hometown of Chicago, and violence and widespread mayhem festers in other major U.S. cities, I’ve thought about the iconic newsman and the sage, commonsense perspective he brought to the world’s headlines.

Harvey loved his Midwestern perch and deliberately chose it for his headquarters, believing its geography allowed him to avoid the myopia of coastal media groupthink.

As his biographer and someone who has studied him for decades, I know he would be deeply saddened – but not completely surprised – by this summer of lawlessness, especially in his beloved Chicago.

In fact, he predicted this cultural unraveling would happen if Americans abandoned the country’s foundational principles – life, liberty, sacrifice, self-discipline and the moral and virtuous pursuit of happiness, to name just a few.

Was Harvey some soothsayer who possessed secret powers to see into the future?

Nov. 16, 1988: Radio commentator Paul Harvey and his wife, Lynne, hold a street sign bearing his name in Chicago. A one-block stretch of East Wacker Dr. is changed to Paul Harvey Dr. in honor of the well-known broadcaster. Paul Harvey has died at the age of 90 at his winter home in Phoenix, surrounded by family. (AP)

No, but he was a student of history, and as he liked to say, “In times like these, it’s important to remember – there have always been times like these.”

By definition, prophetic voices aren’t always recognized in their time. In some cases, elites mock the town crier as a crank who cries wolf. It’s only after the fact their wisdom is often revealed and revered.

Such is the case with Harvey, who regularly took to the airwaves with warnings – about the slippery slope of government overreach, socialism’s creep, selfishness, the recklessness of undisciplined behavior and the proven formulas by which countries have historically fallen and failed.

Paul Harvey suggested the circumstances that led to the fall of ancient Greece and China – and the collapse of the Roman empire – could easily happen right here in the United States.

“Rome fell apart because within it had decayed and degenerated morally, socially and economically to where, like an angry scorpion, it turned on itself and died of its own sting,” he once said.

In the early 1950s, just as he was getting started on his national radio show, Harvey warned about the loss of a country’s faith, quoting Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, a 19th-century British historian who suggested, “Man plus fear, minus God equals man over man.”

In other words, without religion to anchor or provide meaning to a culture, anything and everything is possible and permissible.

Paul Harvey was a modern minute man of America, a throwback to the civilian colonists who were ready at a moment’s notice to defend their country.

That’s precisely what’s happening in Chicago, Portland, Seattle and other liberal bastions governed by officials sympathetic to radicals who want to “cancel” our country’s past and usher in socialist and Marxist policies.

When race riots began breaking out in the late 1960s, Paul rightly recognized the violent factions had little, if anything, to do with racial injustice – a sin he strongly denounced.

“For 30 years our government has been a Robin Hoodlum, taking by force from the rich to give to the poor,” Paul said in 1967. “Is it any wonder the progeny of that philosophy feels licensed to steal?”

I thought of that last week when looters brazenly emptied a Chicago mall and blithely defended the act.

“Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance,” explained Ariel Atkins, a Black Lives Matter organizer.

A year later, Harvey called on the silent majority to stand up and speak out when rioters struck in the spring of 1968. After protesters demanded financial compensation and guaranteed income (sound familiar?), Harvey responded with a charge.

Paul Harvey began his coast-to-coast news and commentary show on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Radio Network in 1951. He was elected to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Radio Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame in Oklahoma. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

“Your congressman is impressed by the national hysteria – he’s frightened by the threat of more rioting and he is hearing from terrified constituents who’ve heard the ultimatum, ‘Pay up – or burn!’”

He continued:

“It’s axiomatic. ‘The right people don’t write.’ Your congressman hasn’t the courage unless he knows his hand is strengthened by yours.”

If Paul were still alive today, I’m certain he would use his bully pulpit to call for Americans to resist the rebels who recklessly roam the streets. And he’d say it’s time to stand up to the phony politicians who protect them with their silence, especially candidates who refuse to take questions from the press.

“I wish I could promise you no work and all ease,” Harvey lamented. “All honey and no bees.”

Despite every liberal attempt, it’s never been – and never will be.

“The middle-class American is getting a little sick of being the middleman caught in the big squeeze between the intellectuals and the revolutionaries,” he once preached.

“So, stop practicing your brainwashing on us. The collectives have all died young. The American idea, despite your stranglehold – still lives.”

Paul Harvey was a modern minute man of America, a throwback to the civilian colonists who were ready at a moment’s notice to defend their country.

Through all the unrest and upheaval this summer, America is still worth championing and defending.

“It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors,” President Trump declared earlier this summer at Mount Rushmore.  “It is time to plant our flag and protect the greatest of this nation, for citizens of every race, in every city, and every part of this glorious land.  For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes.”

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