Pessimism, or Unvarnished Truth?

By Randy Wills
America’s Right

This is my second contribution here at America’s Right and, though it may be unconventional, I felt as though I should follow up and expand upon my first. I’ve read the comments written in response to Barack Obama is Not the Problem, and I really appreciate that so many people took the time to express their views, some in support of the point that I was trying to make, and others in opposition. For those who were supportive, you have my heartfelt thanks. It’s good to know that I’m not alone. For those who took issue with my perspective, I might point out that a certain amount of respect for one’s elders–that would be me–is a “virtue”, much to be desired.

Just kidding. I’m tough — I can take it.

My concern, however, is that the last sentence of my article–And please, God, deliver us from any among us who would advocate change through violence.–really threw some readers off the central message: that the Founders believed the constitutional form of government that they were proposing was doomed to fail if certain values were not maintained by the citizens. Although I agree completely with their perspective, I am in no way making an attempt to convince anyone, other than by empirical evidence, that the Founders were right. No evangelizing or proselytizing here; just trying to “illuminate the record”, as old Mayor Curley of Boston was wont to say.

It is my firm conviction that the observable events, from the founding of our nation to this day, confirm their beliefs. Of course, lest I be accused of hypocrisy, the Founders themselves failed in one important instance of following their own convictions — they thought that it was necessary to sidestep the issue of slavery in order to keep the colonies together. It took another one hundred years and 600,000-plus lives to put an end to that evil. One can only wonder.

We talk about the foundational truths of the Constitution and how we must get back to a government which reflects the intent of the Founders in that document, but we don’t seem to want to acknowledge the central idea that only a God-honoring people would be able to preserve, in practice and longevity, a free democracy. I just happen to believe that we will never understand what has gone wrong unless we accept the possibility that they were given a supernatural wisdom that the nation has, to a large extent, abandoned. A historian will tell you this very same thing — that you can’t correctly interpret a historical record without first examining and understanding the perspective of the writer. So that is my contention, that we are trying to recreate something while omitting a fundamental ingredient in the process.

During those times in my work-life when I was responsible for either designing or managing complex manufacturing processes, I learned early on that to rectify an observed manufacturing defect in the finished product, I had to first set aside all of my assumptions about the process–even if I had designed it myself–and start at the very beginning of the process, constantly asking: “What has changed?” Assuming that the process had previously demonstrated the ability to turn out “good” product, I might find that one of the process modules had gone “out-of-control” and needed to be recalibrated, or it might be operator error due to inadequate training. More than once it turned out that the problem wasn’t the process itself but rather the material going into the process. But the solution to a failing production process was NEVER to try to meet the production schedule by simply culling out the defective product at the end of the process. This mentality, which I believe is reasonably analogous to our political problem, will inevitably bankrupt a company — or a country.

The point that I’m trying to make is that simply replacing the defective output of the process–in this case, the Obama administration and his minions in Congress–with different politicians and then expecting that everything will start to turn around is much too simplistic a response to the gut-wrenching direction in which the country is headed. I understand how others could perceive as pessimistic my language stating that I don’t think, in the long run, this approach is going to make much of any difference, but to me it’s just the unavoidable truth–let’s call it “reality”–that we have to face.

This assumes, however, that we are willing to stipulate that the Founders were given a special wisdom when they were writing the Constitution. If we are willing to accept that condition, then superimposing the above analogy on the political process, it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion that the fundamental problem is with the “material”–here, the voting public–going into the process. Furthermore, we can easily deduce from the Founders’ own words that the nature of the defect (again, “What has changed?”) in the “material” is the worldview which motivates an electorate to vote one way or another. In other words, the Founders anticipated that human nature, left to its own devices, has an innate tendency to gravitate towards lawlessness and only God-directed virtue would do as an antidote to that tendency. They believed, as I do, that without that Godly restraint, Congress would be unable to pass enough laws to sufficiently mitigate the effects of human nature. And isn’t that clearly what is eroding our freedoms? Because we don’t operate on the basis of personal responsibility for our own actions, Congress steps in and enacts more and more laws, or, as Benjamin Franklin said, more “masters.”

That being said, can you accept that I’m not trying to undermine the attempts to bring about positive change through the political system but, in focusing strictly on that, we are only treating the symptoms and not the sickness? Painkillers are helpful and, at my age, I thank God for them, but I’m not foolish enough to believe that, just because the pain is relieved for a time, anything of consequence has been cured. I believe it is indisputable that we can know from the historical record and observable events, just as the Founders did, what the disease is and how to cure it.

Now, I’m not a “philosopher” as someone suggested; I didn’t survive for all those years in one of the most competitive work environments by being a dreamy-eyed idealist. Where I come from, you had to deliver the goods or you were out and success always started with a willingness to face reality. Philosophers after all, don’t meet payrolls or customer expectations.

As for my rift on non-violence at the end of the article, I said nothing about self-defense. I did my time, when asked, in the military during a time of war, although I was assigned to Europe rather than Korea, and I am far from a pacifist. My point, however, is that preemptive violence was not the path that the colonists took to gain independence. They first formed an ad hoc governing body, convened the Continental Congress, declared their independence from England in writing, submitted it to the British Parliament, and only after their demand for independence was rebuffed and the British tried to confiscate their arms did they respond in warfare.

And there was another important factor regarding both with the Revolutionary War and the Civil War — there were observable physical boundaries defining the areas of claimed sovereignty which could be defended. If one were to advocate violence nowadays, where would they start? And, unless they are proposing guerilla-type violence, from where would they launch such an event? And who would be their targets? The next-door neighbor? Bravery has nothing to do with my position; there is a process that all legitimate uprisings must follow, and that process starts with peaceful means, employing lawful methods, to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the status quo. I learned long ago–and, as always, the hard way–that it is never what the other person does to me that caused irreparable damage; it was always the way that I responded to the affront that determined my well-being. So it is now with the political situation.

Our future depends more on changing the educational system which engulfs our children in an environment steeped in hostility towards all traditional Judeo/Christian values and traditions than it does on the election process. Yes, work to elect conservative representatives in government, but at the same time do whatever is necessary to protect our children from this hostile environment controlled by the unions and find ways to actually give them an education so that they have some idea of where we came from and where we went wrong. The present educational system defies all common sense by refusing to teach the very values that our Founders believed were the bedrock principles of our form of government and societal norms.

It is imperative that all who are concerned with the deterioration of values in our society to get our children out of the public school system. This system is in the full control of the teachers’ unions, which are unabashedly and irrevocably instruments of the very secular progressivism that, if allowed its way, will erase forever the perspective of our founders. Find an affordable private or church-run school that isn’t afraid to invoke the name of God, or home-school your children. If, by so doing, we could reduce the population of the public school system by 10 percent, it would not only redeem that same percentage of future voters but also would bring about massive change simply because of the shortfall in federal (read “taxpayer”) assistance based on attendance. After all, doesn’t it seem a little bizarre to bemoan the loss of freedom on one hand and, with the other, pay teachers to make sure that they are disabused of the notion that there are higher powers–parents and God–who have something to say about values and responsibility?

It has always been that, if those in power attempt to enslave the population by means of violence, then it will most certainly be met with violence. But that is not yet our situation, so let’s put our efforts where it will really make a difference. Save the children.

—————
Randy Wills lives in the Northwest with his wife of over 52 years and divides his time between his role as Operations Manager of a software development business founded with his son in 2002 and maintaining close contact with his extended family. Both he and his wife are avid readers and spend as much time as they can together reading and engaging in deep discussion of history, religion, and politics. For recreation, Randy and his wife like to “get away” in their RV.

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Comments

  1. DANGER WILL ROBINSON! says:

    We have a saying in the world of computer systems: "Garbage In, Garbage Out".It seems we keep putting garbage into our elected positions, thus garbage out (1,300 page bills). Another saying: "Keep It Simple, Stupid", see 1.300 page bill above. And my favorite saying: "READ THE FU**ING MANUAL", in this case, THE CONSTITUTION!!!!

  2. BOY YOU FOOLS HAVE MADE A MESS says:

    So seriously, if our founders were to rise today, just EXACTLY what would be their plan of attack? You know they would have no part of this governance as it stands today.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Last night, as my 7-year-old daughter lay in bed for the night's sleep, I heard her singing the National Anthem. I thought it was wonderful!

    This morning, as we rode into town as usual for a work day, we passed an American flag waving in the breeze. The image prompted me to burst into song: our National Anthem. Afterwards, I re-told the story of the night Francis Scott Key wrote those words and what occurred during the night. (If you are not familiar with the patriotism displayed that night, please google it and read about the determination of those supporting the flag during the attack.)

    Tears streamed down my cheeks as I told the story and encouraged my 7-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son to thank a soldier for his service so that we may remain free.

    I also began to describe the freedoms we enjoy that other countries do not. It was hard to speak through my choking up on the words.

    One of my children asked if I loved my country. Of course, I said, Yes!"

    Coming from me, these words meant something to these young Americans riding in the back seat. In school, it would have been just another history lesson.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The story.."How to boil a frog" fits here. No…we won't all rise up in violent anarchy to immediate suspended liberties. Our liberties are gradually being diminished, ever so slightly, (except to the Constitutionally alert & to those who place principles above parties)so that one day in the future, our children & grandchildren will not live in a free America…if America still exists.

  5. Anonymous says:

    (standing ovation!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks again Randy. You have again given us plenty to think about and act on. I agree with you that our founding fathers were "enlightened" so this nation could be formed and lead the way in this world. This has been apparent by the length of time and the blessings this nation has enjoyed while others have suffered miserably. This is not to say there have not been individuals who tried to lead people and this country astray. Somehow they were revealed and the country went continued on its course. However, around the sixties is when the change began and more and more we went from a nation of individuals united by our faith, morality and courage to a nation of individuals fighting for our particular right or benefit we wanted the government to endorse. Our morality began to slide with the passage of Roe vs. Wade and the taking of innocent life without the consideration of alternatives. We put ourselves first and others after… The schools changed too. It became a hot bed for dissension and many of the vary agitators who by the way did use violence are teaching in our university systems. People like Bill Ayers, Bernadette Dorn and many others. These people are now heroes. Today on the college campus you can have boys sleeping over in your rooms even if your room mate is there. Everything and anything goes. The state has taken over for the parents in training the children and many have abdicated their right out of frustration and because they are single parents trying to survive. Now, so many of the children cannot read or write when they get to college, they have to have special classes. We are a country who is entertainment oriented – computers, IPODs, Iphones, DVDs, in homes, cars, televisions. So as a nation unless it is entertaining most will not watch it or pay attention to it. This is another reason Obama and others like him are elected. I agree it is time to do something about the children because they are ill-equipped to cope with this world or the future and they are the future.

  7. Rix says:

    There is one thesis in this post that you take for granted – in fact, you use it as a foundation of your logic – which I strongly disagree with. In my opinion, slavery is *not* evil by itself – at least no more evil than a gun or a knife.

    A slaver who tortures, rapes and mutilates his slaves is evil, yes, no argument here – but so is a cold-blooded killer, a hardened racketeer or a street mugger. Should we abolish guns and knives today because they could be abused as we abolished slavery century and half ago?

    Slavery could be adapted to modern society's needs. Cruel treatment of slaves could have been outlawed, much like vandalism but with harder penalties. Racial divide between slaves and masters could eventually be blurred and then erased as it is being erased today among politicians, business leaders and cultural elites. The good-for-nothing lazybodies of today who enjoy the generosity of public coffers and vote for any politician to promise them most money would have their rightful place in the society. Eventually, a social mechanism would evolve (as it happened in the Ancient Rome) for the brightest and the most talented slaves to become a freeholder.

    There is one argument that slavery opponents never fail to use, and that's asking "would you like to be a slave yourself?" To them, I answer: no, I would not. But neither I want to become a "free" pauper leeching off public generosity. That's why I studied hard and worked even harder – it always works, slavery or no slavery.

  8. Gail B says:

    Mr. Wills, again you have set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and demonstrated your brilliance! You are remarkable!

    No doubt you understand what a "DIRT Foot" is–"Do It Right the First Time," a product of Quality Control in manufacturing. Departments work hard to earn them. We have such QC advocates in our U.S. Congress, and they are called "conservatives." There has even been a bill offered to require that every piece of legislation pass a Constitutional test of legality. Well, we have a Democratic-controlled congress. You know how well that went over! And the fix we are in certainly demonstrates that no DIRT Feet have been earned concerning the Obama regime.

    My first husband used to say that schools should teach a course in law, that high schools should even offer a degree in law, because everyone would need either a lawyer or a knowledge of the law after graduation.

    We cannot wait for Jeff to graduate from law school and make his move to the Great State of South Carolina, the "As I breathe, I hope" state. When something comes up in the news about the Constitution or law, he's all over it like morning dew! SC is going to get a real asset, and don't think for a minute that he will go with the flow of things as they are going now. He will run for public office, and he will quickly make a name for himself, as has Jim DeMint. (I can't wait!) I just hope that retired SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Bruce Littlejohn is still living then! (He has a political machine.)

    Our problem is that We the People do not have the legal training to know what to do. We have no voice for guidance or action. This is the reason we are absolutely addicted to America's Right: We have Jeff's good sense and leadership, his great (and I mean GREAT) contributors such as yourself and comments from folks like Rix, Old Bob, Lisa in TX, Claudia, ALL CAPS MAN (who's getting married soon and will not have his mind on ANYTHING political), and MANY others!

    Michael Steele should be raising hell with a number of Republicans in Congress, yet he's as quiet as a mouse. He could be doing a lot, but he seems to stay in the background. This is not a time for background coaching. He should be on the 50 yard line (or center court, if basketball is to be the analogy).

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. PLEASE do more writing, especially in Jeff's absence.

  9. Anonymous says:

    10:59 Anon

    As a single mother, yes I am surviving. But did you see my Anon post at 10:33. I am doing what I can, and it shows in my children. Evidenced, also, in my 17-year-old who says "Mom, what do you think about Palin resigning or what's happening in Honduras?"

    It could easily go otherwise, but I want to be the influencing factor in my children's lives, regardless of what they learn at school.

  10. Anonymous says:

    And, to further that point, our children learn at home. The question is: WHAT are they learning?

  11. Celia in TX says:

    re the National Anthem

    I am an elementary music teacher, and not only do I teach the song to our entire school every year, I also go through an illustrated picture book with them on the history behind the song. There, before all of my students, it chokes me up every time. Especially when I comment upon Key's desperation in needing to see the flag in the morning, needing to wait until the fog and smoke cleared.

  12. Gail B says:

    One elementary school in Texas is very fortunate to have a music teacher named Celia!

    North Carolina was fortunate to have an 8th grade teacher named Mary Bates Sherwood. (She's only 12 years older than I am.)

  13. COUNT EM KIDS, 10! says:

    Make sure they are learning the Bill of Rights. They aren't difficult.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Again, not all children or teachers or single parents are failing to teach their children values.
    The problem is many, many are not.
    We all get also off track because so much is being thrown at us. We have to work to support our families. We have sports activities for kids, ballet, music lessons, etc. We have our parents and friends who want to see and be with us. We have our homes or apartments to keep up. We have yard work, shopping, clubs, church, etc. We have our own self to get me time. We have the news, the politics, etc.

    Under these circumstances many do not take time to be with and teach their children or even set them good example. Many of the inner city children never have a chance to get out of their situations. Many other children may appear to be properly cared for, but lack any parental guidance or love. We need to help ALL the children… not just our own. Leaving it to the state creates robotons who follow along and believe the state is their savior and whoever the media supports as their choice is a "god" and can do no wrong. This is what George Orwell wrote about in 1984.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Celia – thank you!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Minimal correction to an otherwise thought-provoking piece: the mayor of Boston in question was James Michael Curley, not "Curly."

    graypanther

  17. Anonymous says:

    Holy smoke Batman – AMEN AMEN AMEN – you have put into more eloquent words exactly what I have believed to be true for some years now. We are at a point in our history where our citizens maintain widely disparinging worldviews and as our country is one more of ideals than ethnicity it is my contention that we are in deeper trouble than we can begin to imagine. I concur that an armed revolution will not acheive the proper end (at this point without working through proper legal/ethical channels as did our Founders). My fear is that it is too late to win the hearts of the population especially the young. I have 5 precious children and we home-school them for many reasons, but to keep them from being brainwashed/un-educated by government schooling was one of them. But unfortunately for far too many generations now too many have relegated their childrens lives to anti-American elementary, secondary and collegiate educations. It may be too late to turn that tide and for that I am incredibly saddened and grieve for my children and the America they will inherit.

    But boy oh boy you are correct in your analysis. Our Founders were incredibly blessed by God (to clarify who I refer to – He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who gave His only Son) to be able to formulate this great Republic. Without Him this would be have been a failure and without Him we will NEVER, NEVER re-make such a great nation again. Don't believe me believe history. Anyone remember the French Revolution – that was supposedly a revolution for "the people" and for "freedom" that was going to throw off the yoke of the monarchy. But it was not rooted in believing that God and God alone was the author of freedom and blesser of nations. And it was nothing more than a bloody, murderous anarchy that acheived zilch, nada, goose egg. Therefore, we can learn who it is that gives us our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and why a Godless revolution and a nation founded on man's thoughts will be a more miserable state than what misery we may endure under as our current government runs roughshod over our ideals and our Constitution.

    Not as eloquent but Thanks for letting me ramble on,
    Rob from Alabama

  18. SPEAK FOR YOURSELF says:

    Who said it would be godless?

  19. Anonymous says:

    anybody seen Old Bob?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am wondering where Old Bob is too? It's been a while…

  21. Ken says:

    Thank you, Randy. I guess I did not track fully with your previous post, though I did enjoy reading it. But here I can see where you are, and I fully agree with you. My 2 sons were educated at parochial schools at some expense, but that was the best investment I ever made, bar none. I served in Viet Nam when drafted, and I have never regretted that; I also enjoy target shooting with all kinds of firearms, but armed uprising in the U.S.A. would a dangerous and desperate attempt at a solution for the problems we now face in America. And let us not forget that the leaders of the first revolution were men of God, praying men, and upright, moral men you would trust in your home with your wife and daughters if you were not there.

    Thank you for your wisdom.

    Ken

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just saying that what I see in our culture & its worldview is vastly different from 1776. That is natural of course but I refer to how our society is rejecting the Judeo-Christian values spoken of in the article. I sincerely hope it could be a return to those values and principles, but I fear we have gone too far into the humanistic man-centered worldview to be able to recapture that "old" worldview – hence I worry that it would be a Godless revolution.

    Perhaps I am an idiot
    Rob from Alabama

  23. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Perhaps I am an idiot
    Rob from Alabama

    Depends on whether you're Tide, or Tiger.

    :)

  24. Gail B says:

    Old Bob, are you okay? You did not say "present" at the last roll call, and others are missing you, too.

    RUOK – Are You Okay?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for asking, Gail (and a couple of others who were wondering where I went).

    I just decided to take some time off. I had a little accident that has left me almost totally deaf and it's very distracting. All the professionals say that my hearing should return to some level of normallcy, but it's been three weeks and no improvement yet, so I'm just hoping and praying that their right.

    I do check in and read the articles and comments from time-to-time, though. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Old Bob

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hey Jeff,

    WAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR Eagle. Attended Auburn 1983 – 1986. Didn't graduate from there though – transferred to another great school, Texas A&M, from which I did graduate. It was the best education choice for my field but vrey heartbreaking to have to leave the Plains. I will ALWAYS bleed orange & blue.

    Rob from Alabama

  27. Gail B says:

    Did you get a lick on the ear?

    I got slapped on one ear as a teenager, and it was a l-o-n-g time before my hearing returned. When it did, it had a crackling sound, like fire on the radio, a couple of times. Then, I could hear fine.

    I hope your hearing returns, and I hope you didn't break anything.

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