Why Study the Founding Fathers & Their Writings? Are They Relevant? Interesting? Comforting? YES!
A funny thing happened the other day. And last week. And the week before that.
The conservative news aggregator sites that (sometimes) re-post my articles stopped.
While I don't expect them to help me out on site hits, the sudden (nearly) across-the-board silence surprised me.
The reason? Duh! Articles about the Founding Fathers aren't sexy. They're not relevant. They lack the shock factor that drives site hits. They're a snooze show...or so people assume.
Well, Baby, that's where they're wrong!
The 1770s couldn't be more relevant and as for shock factor...the more I learn about the 1770s, the more I'm shocked at what actually went down in the 1770s and how similar it is to 2021.
You want shock factor and relevance!?! Study the 1770s!
What the Hell Are We Talking About!?!
It seems to me that if Conservatives are fighting to return to the America envisioned, written, codified and founded by our Founding Fathers, then we'd jolly well know what the Hell we're talking about.
No offense...maybe you do. But I sure as heck don't!
Until this week, I'd never read Common Sense by Thomas Paine of which John Adams wrote, "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain."
I've still not read The American Crisis (also by Thomas Paine) which begins with the famous lines, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country..."
I've never read The Federalist Papers even though they've been sitting on my bookshelf for months.
I can't tell you which Constitutional Amendment is which....except the 2nd.
Maybe you can and kudos to you, but I can't.
We are the people whom C. S. Lewis' beloved tutor, Professor William Kirkpatrick, would beg to produce the evidence behind their opinions...and when they couldn't...would inform them, "Do you not see, then, that you had no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject?".
I blush to say I had no right to have any opinion whatever about America and her Founding Fathers.
Until I began writing about them, which forced me to study them, I had only the vaguest impression of the Founding Fathers and our Founding Documents based on 3rd hand, overheard information. Oh my blushes!
All the other conservative sites are railing at Biden...ignoring the fact that it's not even the original Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
All the other conservative sites are using the title "President" before the "B" name...which is a slap in President Trump's face.
All the other conservative sites are screaming about the "vaccines"...when it's not and never has been a vax at all, per the Patent documents.
I want to do something different. I'm sick of rehashing a rant of a tantrum about Liberal subjects too stupid to even write about! I believe we should stop lending credence and validity to Liberal bullshit by addressing it once and then ignoring it, not letting them yank my chain. Let's talk about America instead. And since our Present pretty much stinks, let's talk about America's Past.
In AMERICA: The Blog, I strive to "clarify our terms" as Professor Kirkpatrick insisted upon. Together, we're figuring out who America really is, in the vision of her founders. We're defining who they were and why they established America as they did.
Then maybe we've got a fighting chance at winning this war because we'll actually know what the Hell we're talking about!
But Isn't History Boring!?
Honey, if a teacher manages to make History boring, then they're working pretty damn hard at it. Shame on them!
History is stories and what child doesn't listen transfixed to stories if they're told with the flair of a raconteur!?! Oh! Actual goosebumps!
My history teacher at Fourth Baptist Christian School, Mr. Zakariasen, didn't exactly make history boring but he didn't make it riveting either. He is and was sweet, bless his heart, but rather scatterbrained. Lessons were disjointed and confusing. But I've heard through the grapevine he does one hilarious impression of Hitler. Oh wait...that's not PC anymore.
When we lost the ability to mock, humiliate and laugh at Evil, we also lost our ability to defeat it.
But I digress.
Most of my American history education came from Saturday night story hour when my Dad (a huge history buff) waxed eloquent over a huge bowl of popcorn. Sometimes he told stories about his High School track-and-field glory days but often he told stories of the great moments of American history. My favorite was the General in the Battle of the Bulge responding "Nuts" to a Nazi surrender demand.
Apparently, the Nazis didn't know what that meant and it was translated as "Go to Hell." No, it means nuts! LOL
My formal history education came from studying United States History for Christian Schools alone, in my bedroom, during homeschool (11th and 12th grade.) I studied hard and tried to retain it but, after rebuying the same book on eBay, I'm horrified to discover I only retained about 1% of what I read as a miserable, hormone-pickled seventeen-year-old trying futilely to grow up in a trauma riddled home. (PTSD makes learning almost impossible, hence why so many abused kids are called "dumb." They're not stupid; they're traumatized! But I digressed, again.)
Trying to re-learn it all as an adult is even harder! And if you don't think that's true, I dare you to play the Memory board game with a twelve-year-old.
I used to clean my Mom's clock when we played it together when I was a kid. So I was pretty cocky when I played Memory with Rhoda Fern, a local Amish girl, a few years ago. This was my jam!
She cleaned my clock! And then looked at me like, "What is wrong with your brain, girl?"
Nevertheless, I'm determined to harness my oh-look-a-squirrel middle-aged brain and re-learn American History even if it kills me and this blog fades into It's-Not-Relevant obscurity!
In Great History is Great Comfort
Ever hear of the Good Ol' Days?
Sorry to disillusion you, but they never existed.
We perceive the past as being better because Time has smudged and ironed out all the problems, all the worries, all the challenges that we struggle with in the minutae of our current lives.
The past, when it was the Present, had all the same crap. There was divorce. There was crime. There were drugs. There was voter fraud. Same shit. Different day. The little stuff falls through the cracks and never makes it into the history books.
While I'm tempted to live like it's still 1958, thinking all my problems will disappear because "the past was better," it doesn't work that way. Sorry to burst your bubble, Honey.
For me, History is a great comfort because we discover that the 1770s had the same struggles, frustrations, disagreements and most of all, the process of establishing America was agonizingly slow...just as saving America is agonizingly slow now.
But if they could do it in 1776 against overwhelming odds...we can damn sure do it in 2021 too. It's just taking more time than we expected.
What? You think America was established overnight!?! Dream on, Honey.
The first Colonial Congress, of sorts, was in 1690. It didn't go well.
We were still trying to suck up to Great Britain and reassure King George III of our loyalty while shots were exchanged between them and us.
Then, when the Revolutionary War proper actually started, it took almost a decade to win it under what Thomas Painecalled out in an 1796 open whistleblower letter as bad strategic military leadership by General George Washington.
It took time to establish America and it's going to take the Patriots and President Trump time to save her also. See how comforting History can be?
...and in conclusion
If I could reach through the computer screen to give you each a big hug, I would! We are so grateful to all the Patriots who've stuck with us through AMERICA: The Blog's first year...and what a year it's been. You've been there for us through thick and thin, up hill and down dale, through disappointment, death and discouragement...and who've made it possible for me to pay the grocery bill by rattattatting on this keyboard. Thank you!!!
This Summer has been quite an experience with Michael's health challenges, all the time I've had to devote to stacking our Winter fuel when I really wanted to be writing, recovering from anemia myself, etc., etc. but I plan and hope to write for you much more frequently as soon as I can. Things should calm down in Autumn.
Even if articles about the Founding Fathers aren't sexy, they're important and I'll keep writing them even if my site hits dwindle to nothing.
Like Jimmy Stewart rasped in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, "Somebody'll listen to me..."
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