Carl Sandburg was one of the greatest historians, ever. His series on the life of Abraham Lincoln are classic. He was also very fond of the theater. One day a well-known producer sent him two tickets for his play. Sandburg did not attend nor did he send a reason.
The producer was curious as to why, and called him. Sandburg’s answer is memorable. “Silence is an opinion.”
But not always. It could be for a myriad of reasons, including indifference or conflicts. I’ve avoided writing this article because of time and several conflicts. Silence can no longer be a reason. I’m compelled because of the urgency of current events.
The events of today have their origin in what happened at least a hundred years ago. The first World War, the Flapper Days, the Great Depression, World War II with the rise of Hitler and Hirohito, Pearl Harbor, the Marshall Plan, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, chaotic politics, Clinton, Reagan, Bushes, Carter, Obama and Trump.
Our world is changing. Basically, it has gotten smaller. Not physically, but figuratively.
Change is an inevitable response to living. The first response of childhood awareness is one of awareness of change. From then on, we become conscious of constant change.
Early Greek philosophers had a contest to decide as to what was the most basic element in life. Such items as: wind, light, darkness, love, water, etc. The final answer and winner was, CHANGE.
There is significant evidence that our lives are constantly being affected with some aspect of change. Our response to any change is that our earth is getting smaller, figuratively. I suggest the following thoughts as possible responses. ISOLATIONISM. From our founding, our nation has been interested in all people of all countries.
Expansion and concern for other nations is obsolete. There is a spreading indifference for concern and behaviors for others. History records that one of Adolf Hitler’s basic motto was, “Make Germany Great Again.” While he conquered countries, he stressed Aryans and Bonn.
There are two basic ways to make isolation a reality. Nationalism or individual sovereignty. I’ll never forget when I was twelve years old, selling newspapers on the street corner; the headline was, “Hitler Invades Poland.” The date? September 1, 1939.
Another method is to control and RESTRICT IMMIGRATION from specific countries. Standards can be as diverse as selective religions or excluded ones; favoritism for special occupations, economic strength or even specialized age groups and excluding certain handicaps.
Perhaps a more obvious evidence of change or philosophy involves ECONOMICS. There have been many dynasties in recorded history that have declined and became a mere shadow of themselves. From the Sumerian and Egyptian cultures, the Greeks with Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, the Saxon/Swedish dominance, the Napoleon and Spanish dynasties, the Aztecs/Mayan/Inca; the Kaiser Wilhelm Germany the Hitler Nazis, Japanese, Stalin, etc.
The United States’ Great Depression that would have sunk our country was saved by World War II.
All the above were victims of economic failures. Contributing to their failures were one or more of the following: Excessive TAXATION, excessive INDEBTEDNESS by borrowing, and unreasonable TARIFFS. Historians in general declare that the Roman Empire collapsed because of excessive taxation. We currently have an indebtedness of 31 trillion dollars. China and Saudi Arabia will soon own us.
The Great Depression was caused by Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover neglecting Free Trade and engaging in Tariffs. They contribute to instability.
The next element of tragic change is from DEMOCRACY to DICTATORSHIP. I can shift the word Democracy to Republic, because our nation is really a Republic. In a Democracy, 51 percent of the people can put 49 percent to death. In a Republic there is a concern and care of the minorities. Many civilizations have started out as Republics. But, we can become a dictatorship. Our country is in danger. The Constitution is slowly being eroded. Consider small items by the President, Congress and the Supreme Court. We, the people, should be on the alert.
Consider the admiration that our President and many of his followers have for the dictator of China, the dictator of Russia, the dictator of North Korea and the dictator of Turkey.
Free Trade, Free Enterprise are the answers. It brought child labor laws, Social Security, Employment, Security Laws, Pensions and Retirement, Health Benefits and many other benefits to make the U.S. a great Republic. Again, from ancient times to the modern era, the U.S.A. has led the world to economic stability and dominance by endorsing Free Trade.
The Statue of Liberty in New York City harbor is a constant reminder of our heritage to welcome people from all countries. Most of us have ancestors that were welcome to America. We should continue that spirit and action. Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Latins, Orientals, Scandinavians and all Europeans have all added to make America as great as it is.
Amen. Selah. So be it.