Over the last six weeks, America has been rocked to its cultural foundations by a wave of attacks on monuments and memorials to persons and events traditionally held to be historically significant. What began as an assault on statuary dedicated to the memory of former Confederate generals has evolved into an all-out war on the national narrative.
No one or thing is safe. Statues of George Washington. Abraham Lincoln and slave-born abolitionist Frederick Douglass have all been recently vandalized as have those dedicated to the memory of musicians Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix.
Little of this makes sense. The protests that began in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death have evolved into riots, looting, and general mayhem stoked by anarchists and progressives who not only want to destroy Donald Trump but everything they believe he and his presidency represent.
They have a distorted view of history – as their defacing and destruction of statues of Washington, Lincoln, and others who led crusades on behalf of freedom and equality prove. Whatever they learned in school, it had little to do with the hard decisions and moral choices we may all at some point be called upon to make in life.
Would it have been better if the founders, because they could not agree to end slavery had abandoned America’s bid for independence? Or if only those that would abolish slavery had proceeded, leaving them to fight both the British crown and the colonies that remained tied to the King? Or, as most all of us have long believed, the struggle for the independence and equality of all men and women began with this effort of some to secure liberty for themselves and those like them? And for that, we owe them our gratitude and a certain degree of reverence?
Things have progressed well beyond the sensible out to the absurd. Reason no longer applies. The U.S. and Canadian press Tuesday reported that a memorial to victims of Communism under construction in Ottawa had been vandalized. According to The Post Millennial, the fence surrounding the site in the Canadian capital city was defaced by the phrase “Communism will win” in spray-painted in yellow alongside three depictions of the Communist hammer & sickle.
The American memorial to the Victims of Communism, which was completed more than a decade ago and sits at the base of Capitol Hill was similarly defaced with graffiti related directly to the Black Lives Matter movement in early June.
If this is meant to be some sort of cry for social justice, it is wrongly directed. Adolf Hitler, typically held up as the ultimate state-sponsor of evil in the 20th-century evil if not all time, led a Holocaust in which somewhere between 11 and 13 million people were killed according to most estimates. The leaders of the countries and rebel bands that formed the international Communist bloc – Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che, and others all the way up to Kim Jong Un, who is still with us today – are responsible for the deaths of at least 10 times as many people.
Communism is neither just not equitable. American schools don’t do a good job teaching that if they teach it at all– which may be while those responsible in recent weeks for so much destruction in Seattle have left the Lenin statue there unmolested. They and those who’ve joined with them in cities like Richmond, Atlanta, Rochester, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., aren’t interested in rewriting American history. They want to erase it so they can replace it with a narrative of their own that leads to a justification of the demands they have today. History, before it can be rewritten, must be destroyed. The Confederate statues were just the beginning, low-hanging fruit, easy to get before the progressives could start reaching for objectives much higher on the tree.
Two hundred and twenty-six years ago today, the Constitutional Convention came to an end. The delegates completed the first step in a process that would, in time, lead to the world’s longest-lasting and most successful charter of government. We honor their work as we celebrate Constitution Day. But just how many in America’s ruling class are celebrating the Founders’ Constitution with us?
Of course, disputes over the Constitution’s value arose from the start. After New York Governor George Clinton read it, he called it “a monster with open mouth and monstrous teeth ready to devour all before it.” Other (not always less strident) Anti-Federalists included Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee—great patriots all who had sacrificed much for American freedom and independence.
The Federalists and Anti-Federalists argued over whether the Constitution was a good means to their common end: to secure the long-term survival of a free republic on American soil. And so they supported or opposed the Constitution based upon their best judgment concerning whether it would help or hinder that effort. Continue reading
“Where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He’s just put in a billion in the pot. We don’t need to hurt him. It’s that kind of thinking — it’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here, building our infrastructure and creating jobs — we’re smart enough to figure out how to do that.”
by Dr. Ben Carson
[Excerpts from Dr. Carson’s recent speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, February 7, 2013. When most in the audience clapped, President Obama sat motionless without clapping, often looking down.]
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION
One of the founding principles [of this country] was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. [Political correctness] muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them. And at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed. And we cannot fall for that trick. And what we need to do is start talking about things, talking about things that are important. Things that were important in the development of our nation. Continue reading
“The Reagan vision and values are already here, ready to be tapped and again prevail.”
by Paul Kengor
With Barack Obama’s second inauguration, liberals are touting an altogether new epoch: the end of the Reagan era.
Unfortunately, I believe they are largely correct. We are witnessing a period of left-wing ascendance, marked by gay marriage, forced taxpayer funding of abortion, an exploding government class, and big government. As to the latter, Ronald Reagan had declared in his first inaugural: “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” Continue reading
Milton Friedman on Kennedy’s antimetabole
by Scott L. Vanatter
One of the most well-known lines from presidential addresses was written for John F. Kennedy by Ted Sorenson. Kennedy was not the first president to use a speech writer. Presidents have been using speech writers since the beginning. Alexander Hamilton wrote the first draft of George Washington’s Farewell Address. Washington worked with Hamilton till it said just want he wanted. This is the standard and accepted procedure. Not all Presidents have written as elegantly or effectively as Lincoln. Continue reading
“What the world has not come to grips with is that the Great American Experiment is still going on. It’s the quintessential revolution of the world. . . .”
by Peter and Helen Evans
Helen: . . . What we’d really like to talk about are the foundations of America. Once someone is aware of those they can make more informed decisions about current events. Also, once someone gets to know America, they will probably learn to love her. When we love something, we cherish and protect it from harm.
It seems that everyone is aware of the terrorist threat, but not many want to think about the internal erosion of the values which America stands for. . . . Sure, we may have to fight . . . to protect the country we love, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
Senator Wallop: For starters, I think you have to get rid of the hyphenated-American. Abraham Lincoln said it best. “When you become an American you become flesh of the flesh and blood of the blood of the Founding Fathers.” Continue reading
A Vision of the Spirit and Promise of Our Founding Fathers
by Scott L. Vanatter
The things of politics and public policy are of deep import. It takes time, experience, and careful and ponderous and even solemn thoughts to inform whether and how we act. Politicians, by their words or policies, either expand or contract the frontiers of our freedoms. We, The People, need to encourage and benefit from its progress, or mourn and suffer its decline.
The more we as citizens stand informed and aware, then the better able we will be to advocate for those principles which will tend to the greater public good. Then we can act with confidence in this great undertaking. As Lincoln called it, the last best hope of mankind.
As George Washington laid out in his first inaugural address,
“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” (George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789) Continue reading