Reader Advisory: This is an Opinion Piece that expresses the view of its author. If you are likely to be upset by a view of recent events that may differ from your own, please stop reading now, and we’ll see you tomorrow. If, however, you are not offended by a diversity of opinion then please feel free to continue, and for best results, please begin with the Prologue to this piece, if you haven’t already read it.
Over the past month or so, we Americans have borne witness to some rather bizarre cultural twists and turns that followed the horrific murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman as a few of his fellows stood by watching: I hope they throw the book at those guys.
I was, as you know by now, on a road trip when all of this began, and the first I heard in the wake of this was the controversy about whether or not the name of Fort Lee should be changed. I still haven’t figured out what the connection between the two might be, but nevertheless, that was the first thing I heard while on the road. As recently as this morning I heard reports about the need to take the name Lee out of the name of Washington and Lee University, where Robert E. Lee is buried and where he was the University’s President at the time of his death.
There are many places in the Southeastern United States named after Confederate heroes, it isn’t just General Lee, but let’s just take him as an example…
Robert E. Lee was an honorable man by all accounts who possessed many admirable qualities personally, and who is said by many to have been a great military tactician, and most of the history of the American Civil War would tend to bear that out, although he was not infallible. Prior to the war however, he was an officer in the US Army, a graduate of West Point, and was actually offered overall command of US forces at the outset of that war, but he chose to renounce his oath of allegiance to the United States and chose instead to take up arms against the US, and if that doesn’t make him and so many others like him, traitors then I simply don’t know what to say! I too have taken that oath 3 times, and if I took up arms against my country the only thing they might name after me is the prison cell I rotted in. Yes, I know that he felt his first allegiance was to his state, but his oath was to the United States.
Fine, change the names if you want; Who cares about a name?
Then the mob began terrorizing cities, tearing down statues, setting fires, throwing bricks… while local officials did nothing to stop them, and while the police, whose job it is to enforce the law and maintain public safety stood around and watched. In Seattle, the mob was allowed to occupy a significant part of that city, and calls for help from citizens often went ignored as the mayor declared it a new summer of love.
Well, it was a summer of love until the mob came for her that is, then she morphed into a law and order mayor.
I’m sure I don’t need to mention any more instances; you’ve all heard the reports. The point I’m trying to illustrate is that when those who are in positions of public trust refuse to stand up to the mob, then the mob rules the day, and in way too many places this summer, our public servants have let the mob rule the cities they are responsible for making safe for their citizens.
What really amazes me is that in more than one of these cities, these elected officials are up for re-election, and in November, they will win their elections in spite of their negligent disregard of their duty. Have I mentioned that they are all members of the same political party? Do you see other members of that party denouncing what has been going on?
Not so much, for the mob is helping their cause in this election year, and in the process, it is wiping away their party’s shameful history as the Party of Slavery, Segregation, Jim Crow and the KKK.
Yep, it makes me a little crazy to watch this.
Four years ago, I began posting a weekly series on the history of Progressivism, and if you were around back then I suggested my theory that we have been locked in an ideological struggle between Progressivism and Classical Liberalism for more than a century. I suggested then that we are gridlocked politically because there are no more compromises to made, and that the USA cannot really move forward again until somebody wins, and somebody loses. I stopped posting on the subject rather suddenly because I could see that I didn’t need to post about it, for it was playing out right in our living rooms on the evening news for all to see.
Just think about what’s been gong politically over the last four years: The Russia hoax, which although discredited is still being played. The ever-growing thought police making everything racist, sexist, homophobic, and diversity of opinion into assault. The idiotic Ukraine story that led to a shamelessly fraudulent Impeachment, and my personal favorite, the politicizing of the COVID pandemic… and now the attempt to sanitize the history of the Party.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Yes, I could be entirely wrong: I’ll admit that, but I doubt it. If nothing else, this is going to be a very interesting year to watch. Happily, whether I turn out to be right or wrong, my hope is entirely placed in Christ, and not in the crazy world we are living in these days: In the end, justice will be done, evil will be but a distant memory, and tears and pain will cease forever.