A closer look at our nation’s beginnings reminds us we needed not one, but two revolutions to give us our Constitution, and another revolution eight decades later to decide if all Americans were free. Today, we are in the midst of another great battle, this one ostensibly about social justice and the common good, but more accurately, a Progressive assault on all that made our country the world’s wonder for over 240 years.
Near Colonial Williamsburg is the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (opened March 2017), and once thrown back in time to those important events surrounding 1776, it is startling to remember most colonists never intended for us to be one nation. In fact, critics mocked us as the “United States,” an oxymoron if ever there was one, since in the parlance of nations, then and now, a state is by definition independent of all others. Few colonials could imagine 13 such states tied together in perpetuity. The men at Philadelphia and those who fought redcoats fully intended to wage war, then go home unconcerned about events more than 30 miles distant. Hence, the deliberately weak Articles of Confederation.
In The Quartet, Joseph Ellis underscores all that divided us as a diverse people struggling to untangle the bonds between us and the mother country: big colonies v. the small ones, industrial v. agricultural economies, free v. slave populations, along with very strong, exclusive views on religion—just to name a few. According to Ellis, once the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the new American States began to go adrift, and had it not been for the machinations of George Washington, John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, the war would have been but a one act play on history’s stage.
The Second Revolution, then, was what it took those four men to foster a firm Constitution with a central government managing the states’ collective defense, currency, and postage. Even then, the Constitution was ratified only with the promise of a Bill of Rights to come.
The compromises were both legend and cruel, inasmuch as northern states were willing to accept slavery in the south as the price of union. Of course, that compromise was like the pot left simmering on the stove, cooking dry and igniting. The unfinished business of the Civil War—our Third Revolution in my view—has lingered to the present day, reminding many that rights under the Constitution have not been fully enjoyed by all.
What’s happening now is a full-scale Progressive attack on all the principles underlying the freedoms so many have enjoyed, instead of righting wrongs that prove the rule. Today, we live in an upside-down world of strangled speech for many, a disrespect for natural life, flight from the Almighty, an abrupt departure from millennia-long gender norms, and an imposition of alien social mores. Worse, the demands of relatively small minority interests trample the rights of wide majorities, frustrating millions whose forebears built this nation and made it work with broadly accepted rules of moral and ethical conduct.
A respected commentator’s assessment that attacks such as what rocked New York on October 31st can never bring down western civilization is entirely correct, but a continuing Alt-State conspiracy against decency and fairness, along with repeated examples of official misconduct, such as James Comey’s misuse of the FBI for his own political purpose, are acid to our foundation. Worse, that the Clintons could abuse the government they served to permit Russian access to our uranium supply, for profit and with impunity, makes Benedict Arnold seem like a mere streetside pickpocket by comparison. Trespasses by Progressives go unaccounted and unpunished while (many) silly stupidities of those right of center are magnified beyond all reason. The rule of law, or its reasonable facsimile, has been a major ingredient in the social glue binding us together, which makes it’s watering down by Progressives the sum of all fears.
The same issues troubling those new American statesmen in 1787 as they crafted our national bylaws have evolved into divisions being used by Progressives to drive us into the geopolitical abyss. The First and Third revolutions were bloody and horrific. The Second was peaceable and reasoned, but so far, the Fourth, having begun around the time of Roe v Wade, has become anything but helpful in forming a more perfect union.
Progressives must make a decision: Whether to hammer-blow the wedge further into the oak sinews of American principle, splintering this nation in ways the Confederacy could not imagine; OR, to build upon ties that bind and nourish us, to call upon the better angels of our nature, so that this Fourth revolution proceeds with conversation and compromise rather than what would be for all of us, the unthinkable alternative.