One of the main reasons this VassarBushmill.com site is even here is to connect America and its political framework to natural law and the covenant God struck with Abraham about 2000 years before Christ. As the first nation in history built by men and women from the bottom up, we need to see where he stand vis a vis all the other history that has gone before us. You see, America has blazed a trail previously unseen in human history.
In the 1990s I actually captured a college classroom in Cincinnati by simply pointing out just one of our unique characteristics, and which, I’d wager the vast majority of college graduates…and their professors…has never stopped to give much notice to since.
The reason it is so easily missed (or by-passed) by American academicians is simple; it did not occur as a “Eureka!” or “Shazam!” inspiration coming out of the mind of a great mind of an Enlightenment or Post-Modern thinker, or an inventor or conqueror. Instead it was a result of the collective act of millions of people, most of whom didn’t even know one another, yet all of them were of the same mind about a few simple things.
I did this by asking my classroom of about 25, each seeking a degree, and each needing to pass this course in order to receive an Associate Degree (A.D.) in order to find a job, since that welfare check was going to soon be stopped. Almost all were young women, early 20s, black, and across the hallway was a nursery where their kids, still toddlers, played while mom studied toward a new life in the working world. (Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, and his Republican Congress had essentially forced Bill Clinton to sign into law the Republican’s legislation ending AFDC welfare payments to mothers and forcing them to find work.)
The vast majority were very excited.
I taught this American Government class four times and it was a required credit. The students never knew that I was not allowed to fail them. Only in their Career-curricula, such as computers, could they be failed. This course was simply state-acredidation required for that A.D. So, with three-hours a day, three days a week, I decided to drop the textbook and with blackboard lectures make American Government and the Constitution relevant to their new welfare-free lives out in the private sector.
I began each class with this same introductory lecture, just to get their attention, and maybe even win them over.
And that was by simply drawing on the board a line from the world’s oldest civilization, Egypt, c3500 BC, up to the modern day, 1998, asking for any student to guess when was the first time any peoples had actually volunteered to go rescue other people they had never seen or had any relation with. Not a hand went up. So, I turned to the board, and way up near the end of that line, where I inserted a slash and wrote “1860- American Civil War.”
“No way!” the room said. And why wouldn’t they?
I led with that as an opening lecture three more times before I moved to Virginia in 2000, and it undid virtually everything those young moms had been taught.
You see, when the South seceded because an abolitionist Abraham Lincoln had been elected President, 13 Southern states seceded and then opened fire right away, even before Abe was sworn in, thinking an out-of-town rube from backwoods Illinois, with no political base (the Republican Party was only four years old), would have a hard time raising an army. Pretty smart, actually, since Lincoln only had 16,000 active duty troops and no real proven generals to speak of.
Worse, being a backwoods lawyer from Illinois, from a brand new party, and very few friends in Washington, or any other power center in the United States, he had no one who “knew the ropes”. If you want to make a comparison, look no further than Donald Trump, who was flim-flammed more times than I can count, all by self-serving, and a few even cynical and criminal job-seekers, (which appears to be a thing we need to get used to, this will be the path every honest presidential contestant will have to plan for…a rough first four years just to find a good team who “love America first”…until integrity once again becomes a byword for “service”).
In 2020 Donald Trump didn’t lose the loyalty of those old Tea Party folk (who actually found him and not the other way around) and who’d been wandering thru the political wilderness since 2010 trying to find leaders (House and Senate) who really understood the intended relationship between the People and the Government. They gave the Republicans the House in 2011, then the House responded to the will of their financial backers and not the People. So they gave the Republicans the Senate in 2015. Only none of the Republican leaders (Mitch McConnell) saw in Barack Obama and his “thinkers” a threat to the way governance had been carried on all thru the 20th Century, so they turned their backs on the “survival” voters of 2010, and 2014.
So in 2016 the People elected Donald Trump, in an election that was supposed to serves as Barack Obama’s third term, under the “steady hand” of Hillary Clinton. And their election fix was in, and Trump was supposed to lose. Only the Democrats had not accounted for literally millions of voters showing up (many of them Democrats), and at midnight, they shut the counting down to try and find the necessary votes. They couldn’t.
But fooled once in 2016, in 2018, 2020, and 2022, they recovered, the Democrats keeping their promise never to let one of their steals fail again. So today, the election process is broken, and without the intervention of the Supreme Court, or Congress, will stay that way. And with the Democrat’s repeat of 2020, and in the same way, only with the assistance of some key Republican states and their elected officials, it’s pretty clear and arrangement…senior party and junior party, has been established…
…short of concise action by SCOTUS, power will never be handed over to a People-based party of any kind. The 30% “uniparty” will stay in charge.
So, among the things that can happen next to fix this is “civil war” of some sort or another. How it will manifest itself is anyone’s guess, but this is why I brought in that lecture at the small college in Cincinnati 1997-2000, for you see what I put upon the board was how “the people” decided the outcome of the Southern secession without benefit of a broken government…
…For “What happened next”…was that six million young men enlisted, mostly from farms in the northeast and Midwest, from Maine to Michigan and Ohio. And they did that largely because of what their preachers had told them for generations about the evils of slavery.
And in the end 600,000 of them died.
And true, those boys and their captains had never seen a black person, except maybe in a drawing in a magazine.
Bottom line, it took Abraham Lincoln three years to find his generals, and you know from high school history courses how that war played out once he found them. It’s in all the history books, even the ones this classroom of young moms needing to get off of AFDC had been taught just a few years earlier, in high school.
In the Hills of Shiloh
What you may not know is that no other country in the world even today has ever attempted to copy what Americans did in 1860-1865. Today you’ll find American crosses found all over the world; from Cuba (1898), to France, Italy and the Pacific (1942-45), Korea (1950-53). By Vietnam (1964-1973) we brought our boys home for burial, and since it was a Democrat Party-run war, the corrupt government of South Vietnam ended up surrendering to North Vietnam after we pulled our troops out in 1973, with over 40,000 dead for nothing. (I have this on very good in-house authority.)
That same chemistry seems to be in effect in Ukraine today, where bad guys are fighting corrupt guys, with a likely outcome much like Vietnam.
So it seems, blazing this liberty trail for about 400 years, America has suddenly veered away from some major lessons of natural law that created America in the first place…
…for we are a nation built from the bottom up.
From the Bible I called that phenomenon “the Thin Red Line” for it marched God’s covenant with Abraham to work its way through Moses, then Israel, Jesus Christ, and finally wound its way across the Atlantic and onto the North American coast. My friend, DavidMPoff, was kind enough to allow me to include this trek in his 2021 book, UnwashedPhilosophy: A User’s Guide for Our Imperfect Union (available exclusively at Amazon.com, in paperback or Kindle.)
This song, from around 1964, (I saw The New Christy Minstrels live on my campus) adds some pathos to that image of those six million marching off to war, for people were still singing about it in my timeline.
I couldn’t let that imagry slip away. It was a popular folk song by Shel Silberstein in 1963, and also became part of the repertoire of Bobby Bare, Judy Collins, and these New Christy Minstrels. (I’d been a local banjo picker in east Kentucky during my high school days…when JFK was still alive, and desegregation was still a “new thing”.)
Today the lyrics of “Hills of Shiloh” could have meaning Shel never intended them to have. You decide.
But a major lesson here today is that entire ensemble of “minstrels”, if still alive, would be in their 80s now.
Moreover, through their music they passed on an entire era of American history that has largely been lost, for the love of heroes found among the common people is no longer taught, nor remembered.