When I was very little, my mom sang a song to put me to sleep. You’ll see from one particular word what must be the vintage of that song: “Soldier out on the trenches, if you see the flag bearer fall with it in his hands; lift that flag, soldier, in a bit of green/red rag, you have the country* in your hands.”
There is smoke in the air, this fourth of July. Yesterday the air was clear, but when we opened our balcony door last night, the smoke was choking, as though our neighborhood were grilling right on the porch. Since I’ve not heard sirens, I assume it’s one of the weather weird things and we’re getting smoke from somewhere far away, maybe even Arizona. But in a way it’s fitting that the flag is flying against a background of smoke and ashes.
Yesterday a friend and I tried to remember any other country that was ever governed by an elite which hated everything the country stood for/everything that made it stand as a nation and wished to dismantle it from within. We couldn’t think of any. Certainly not any that hadn’t been governed by an occupying elite. Maybe there’s a reason the movement our elites approved of was called “Occupy” (and largely financed by the elites.) [Or maybe the elites should tell Occupy as the Church of Satan told the pro-abortion protesters “Whoa, dude, you’re giving us a bad name.] Even then, the political elites would be less worrisome if they weren’t supported by a crazy train of academics, artists, press, all of them indoctrinated in the same hatred of the land that allows them to exist. (And brainwashing has got really good. These are people who presumably can read and write, but they seem incapable of studying up and really seeing how bad the rest of the world is.)
Our money printing presses are running overtime, and our elites, like Morsi in Egypt, seem to have only one idea of how to run the economy “keep borrowing” – in our case from the future. Da Tech guy says it sounds familiar, and he’s absolutely right.
Our internal agencies, which are supposed to protect us are being used as a bludgeon against one political side (apparently the thing about “progressive” also being on an IRS BOLO was a thin and unconvincing narrative. I.e. if it was the IRS is more inefficient than we thought, since no progressive group was delayed in non-profit status.) And the lady running Truethevote, a group that tries to remove dead and duplicate registrations from the books was harassed by the IRS, the NSA, the ATF and Homeland Security. No word on whether the EPA got in on the act, but I suspect they’re even now designating her kiddie pool a wetland. And I’m sure the Department of State that left four of our own to die alone in Benghazi is very interested in stopping TrueTheVote. After all, it’s very important to maintain the APPEARANCE of consent of the governed.
And while the crazy train leads the parade, foreign powers are looking for a moment to strike the wounded eagle.
Countries have fallen from less than this. They’ve gone down in smoke and ashes and risen no more.
So, there is smoke in the air, and things look bleak. Fortunately this is not the first time things have looked bleak for us. And fortunately other countries are not the USA.
I got from Audible and am listening to – at CACS’s instigation – a series of lectures called Brotherhood of the Revolution. I already knew our founding was done by the skin of our teeth and through a series of lucky incidents.
I bet things looked bleaker than now that winter at Valley Forge. But they succeeded. They succeeded in no small measure because individuals took up the cause. How many actually fought? I have the figure at 3% from various places. My husband’s 14 year old direct ancestor – after whom he’s named – joined the Connecticut contingent as a drummer boy.
But in small towns and in far away places ordinary people held the flag aloft. The thing about American women fighting as well as their men was likely true. America proved too expensive, too much trouble to hold.
We’re a miracle nation, born not of blood brotherhood, not of territorial disputes, but of a belief in securing Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness to the largest possible number of individuals.
Have we stumbled in this? Often enough, we have. The founders themselves allowed slavery to survive to be resolved by another generation, and the resolving of that crisis gave a central government far too much power compared to the individual and the states.
But the thing is we’re trying.
During the Iraq war, a trucker, one of the “human shields” volunteering to go help Saddam, I mean “preserve peace” said on television he didn’t believe Saddam had any evil intentions. Why would a nation that couldn’t even secure clean water for its citizens even consider making war on anyone?
The trucker was I THINK British, but his opinion (besides betraying a jaw-dropping lack of knowledge of history) was very American.
It is in America that we assume that the government exists by consent of the governed; that their first duty is to secure the comfort and safety of the people, and other than that leave people alone to pursue Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Other countries have now included similar language in their constitutions, but the belief and mind set is not in their DNA. It doesn’t course through their veins and form their thoughts.
And then they always try to go one better and guarantee other things, things that in the end deny those three rights, positive rights, like a right to wealth, a right to sustenance, a right to – this is the most vicious – equality. Equality not just before the law, but of results. And then the horrors of collectivism tumble forth because it’s impossible for a government to give anyone anything that was NOT stolen. Governments produce nothing. At their best, they protect those who do produce things. At their worst…
So – there is smoke in the air the flag flies in, this fourth of July. But the flag hasn’t fallen. Someone I respect greatly told me it’s inevitable it will fall; that we’re headed for a hard crash.
Maybe that’s right. Maybe it will fall. I hope not. We’re fandom. A lot of us know people who can barely hold it together – health, mind, economics – in the world as is. If we crash we’re each going to lose friends and neighbors and people who make life worth living.
But even if we crash, it’s not the end. It will never be the end while one of us stands; one of us who believes in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, one of us who believes the consent of the governed means more than being able to count the votes, one of us who believes that in the proper order of things the government exists to serve the people, the government belongs to the people and not the other way around.
If that flag falls in the muck and mire towards which it’s sagging, it is the solemn duty, the very great privilege of each and every one of us still standing to lift it up high and continue the fight.
They pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor. I pledge mine. And no, I don’t think those are just words, or that it’s all a game. All of us who believe in the principles of our founding pledge our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor, implicitly or explicitly.
May we never be required to pay even as we stand ready to.
May we escape the crash we so richly deserve and may my grandchildren celebrate the fourth of July on clear days when their government works to secure their liberties, not take them away.
*(Country is given as Patria which literally would be fatherland, but obviously can’t be translated that way because of what has happened to that word. Motherland which would be permissible since Patria in Portuguese is feminine, still holds same echoes and homeland makes you want to say “security.”)