The June 19, 2021, edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed their lives for a country where millions of their fellow citizens treat them as inferior. “Juneteenth” is the name given to the day when slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom. Yet what happened on June 19, 1865, remains unknown to countless Americans. This fact alone speaks volumes about our system of education. What speaks even louder is the fact that so many white Americans work tirelessly to degrade and disenfranchise black Americans despite their contributions to American culture and our nation’s security. Ignorant of history, deaf to the teachings of Christ and clueless to the world around them, these self-absorbed Americans cling to the idea that American dominance will continue unabated provided others are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for their continued prosperity. How pathetic. How un-American.
By Any Means Possible
American history is one of rebellion and civil disobedience. Violence and change are the two constants that run through American history. From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the long overdue Black Lives Matter movement, Americans of all faiths, colors and creeds have come together in times of peril and injustice to silence the voices of those whose hatred and bigotry infringed upon the rights of others. It is time Americans do so again.
Women and minorities have steadfastly resisted the relentless efforts of their oppressor’s desire to return America to a time when women were treated as inferior to men and African Americans deprived of their rightful place at America’s table. Despite these repeated attempts to return America to the “good old” days of widespread disenfranchisement and government sanctioned discrimination, Americans have united to defend the oppressed and in so doing maintained America’s progress to greatness. America might be the last, best hope of mankind, but she is far from great. Evidence proving this assertion can be found in these pages stretching back 21 years. If the reader requires further proof of just how flawed America remains, this Veteran offers Marjorie Taylor Greene, an elected member of the U.S. Congress, as exhibit 1. The former fake President of the United States is exhibit 2.
This article, like many before it, is about a sickness that exists in our society and our body politic. Rather than call it racism or bigotry let us instead give this sickness a face. Let us call this illness the Taylor-Greene influenza. The symptoms are diarrhea of the mouth, deformity of the anterior insular cortex and an acute absence of any historical perspective. If left untreated, the patient deteriorates to a state of imbecility where she or he can no longer control their ignorant utterances.
We see this sickness every day in the actions of those who embrace Nazi ideology and express Confederate sympathies. In fact, this sickness exists in the very armed services who fought to end the tyranny of Nazi Germany and eliminate the scourge of slavery. The Hurtgen Forest in Germany and the rolling hills of southern PA are filled with men who gave their lives so the dream of what America might be would one day be realized. A dream that coincidently required Americans to kill Nazis and lay waste to a society that embraced slavery as a way of life. Yes, the good old days when evil was meet face to face and defeated.
It is indeed tragic to watch as the party of fiscal restraint, limited federal authority and the freedom of men to pursue their dreams without government interference abandons these principles to adopt bigotry, disinformation and obstruction as the GOP’s core beliefs. The question conservatives must ask themselves is how did the party of Eisenhower and Reagan become the party of Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene? The answer is obvious. Conservatism is in retreat because we have allowed the “deplorables” to become legitimate voices in America. Do you have a better adjective to describe the former fake President of the United States, his Neo-Christian Vice President, Rudy Giuliani or the career politicians Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham?
Let there be no mistake, the battle being waged within the GOP is not just one for the soul of America’s conservative movement, but of those principles that can and must return America to the path of greatness. It is indeed depressing to know that the answers to so many of America’s most pressing problems rest within the principles of conservatism and not liberalism’s belief that social experimentation and the necessary expansion of government to conduct these experiments is necessary to achieve their version of a utopian society. Critical Race theory presents many issues for debate, but it no more explains the failures of the Great Society than voter fraud explains the former fake President of the Unites States’ loss in November 2020.
Against All Enemies
It does not take an astute observer of the American political landscape to know this Republic is in grave danger – a danger brought about in large part by the inability of the Legislative branch of our central government to function as it was intended. In fact, it has been the fault of federal legislators, a.k.a. members of Congress, that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. It has been the intent of the career politician to divide Americans into warring camps in order to secure their re-elections. We see proof of this assertion all around us but never more so than on 6 January 2021 – a day that should live in infamy.
It is true that the career politician might not have envisioned the complete breakdown of bipartisanship within the Legislative branch but that does relieve them of liability for the state of our Republic. Despite clear and convincing evidence as to the guilt of the career politician for setting Americans against one another and bankrupting our central government, the national media and many of America’s scholars continue to report that the political divisiveness created by career politicians is not a threat to our Republic. To them, the lack of bipartisanship in Washington D.C. and the division of the American people are just two issues that the major political parties must resolve. In other words, they see this catastrophe as if it were a disagreement over the funding of the next highway bill. What makes it a catastrophe is that the career politician does not care that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. The career politician only cares that the electorate remains divided thus guaranteeing their re-elections.
What has contributed to the making of this catastrophe has been the role American scholars have played or not played in the age of technology. American scholars continue to hide their heads in the sand fearing some social media warrior will expose them for uttering an opinion that offends one of these delicate flowers. Scholars on both the left and the right are to blame for abandoning their posts. Hiding in their tenured closets, these men of words are not sounding the alert that the political divisions promoted by these degenerates, liars and crooks pose a direct threat to the U.S. Constitution. Yet this exactly what the career politicians’ words and practices have done.
For decades, the national media have focused on the Executive branch as the branch whose powers must be checked when in fact it was the Legislative branch whose powers should have been checked. Unfortunately, it is too late to check those powers. The Legislative branch has already done the damage necessary to make it the greatest threat to the U.S. Constitution. The power of the purse, as Congress’ power is often called, has been so abused by Congress that the debt it has created has now brought our Republic to its knees and the last place Americans want to be is on their knees before China, North Korea, Russia or Saudi Arabia.
In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution with the intent of limiting the President’s ability to commit U.S. troops without Congressional authorization. Congress, whose members are experts at avoiding responsibility for their crimes, did in fact “authorize” the invasions of Iraq in 1991 and 2003 despite Iraq posing no threat to the United States. Without declaring war, as it was Congress’ duty to do if Iraq had posed a threat to our nation’s security, Congress made both invasions possible by issuing resolutions “authorizing” the Bush administrations to invade Iraq while leaving the next generation to pay for them. In so doing, Congress was able to avoid public responsibility for these disastrous foreign policy decisions while passing off the cost of the wars to the next generation.
It is imperative the American people understand that the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution were not created by accident. They were created to prevent one of the three branches of government from dominating the other two branches and yet one of those branches has today come to dominate the others to such a degree that it has become an existential threat to the very document so many swore an oath to defend. It is also imperative that every Veteran understands that the U.S. Constitution is not only under attack, but it is on the cusp of irrelevancy. We saw how close the U.S Constitution came to being irrelevant on 6 January 2021. We also saw just how unprepared the defenders of the U.S. Constitution were to defend it.
Going to Ground II
In June 2018, this Newsletter posted the first edition of Going to Ground as a tribute to the efforts of the Status Quo to warn Americans of what lies in store for them if they did not change the status quo. Since this Veteran no longer feels that his efforts will change the status quo, he too is abandoning the role he accepted 21 years ago. On July 4, 2000, this Veteran began a campaign to change the status quo in America unlike any in American history. In so doing, a heavy price was paid for the sacrifices made. Although always confidant that the sacrifices were worth it since the goal was to make America safe for His little ones, this Veteran has finally realized that Americans could not care less about what happens to America’s children. Love of money has taken hold in America like a fast-spreading virus. The only problem with this virus is that there is no vaccine.
Sure, there is a small percentage of Americans who do care for America’s children just as there is a small percentage of Americans who are willing to serve their country, but they are examples of the few whose work is undone by the many. The many being the majority of Americans who are indifferent to the suffering of others and simply do not care to help those in need. The fact is we live in a nation of self-absorbed individuals who care only about their personal well-being and this is a recipe for disaster – the disaster being the collapse of our Republic from within. To be sure, it will not be a foreign power that destroys our Republic. It will be Americans who destroy what so many have sacrificed their lives to protect.
The article below is by one of this Veteran’s favorite conservative voices. Mr. Brooks has long been a favorite of this Newsletter and his examination of the American people below is spot on as the British would say. Too bad it is also what will spell the end of America as the last, best hope of mankind. Therefore, let the words of David Brooks be the last that appear in the Newsletter because they capture what this Veteran has learned over the past 21 years. America’s fall from grace is not only accelerating but it is well deserved.
Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure
By David Brooks May 6, 2021 The New York Times
Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible.
That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to Covid-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.
In 2020 Americans failed to socially distance and test for the coronavirus and suffered among the highest infection and death rates in the developed world. Millions decided that wearing a mask infringed their individual liberty.
This week my Times colleague Apoorva Mandavilli reported that experts now believe that America will not achieve herd immunity anytime soon. Instead of largely beating this disease it could linger, as a more manageable threat, for generations. A major reason is that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is reluctant to get vaccinated.
We’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima; we’re asking you to walk into a damn CVS.
Americans have always been an individualistic people who don’t like being told what to do. But in times of crisis, they have historically still had the capacity to form what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “social body,” a coherent community capable of collective action. During World War I, for example, millions served at home and abroad to win a faraway war, responding to recruiting posters that read “I Want You” and “Americans All.”
That basic sense of peoplehood, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today. Researchers and reporters who talk to the vaccine-hesitant find that the levels of distrust, suspicion and alienation that have marred politics are now thwarting the vaccination process. They find people who doubt the competence of the medical establishment or any establishment, who assume as a matter of course that their fellow countrymen are out to con, deceive and harm them.
This “the only person you can trust is yourself” mentality has a tendency to cause people to conceive of themselves as individuals and not as citizens. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic recently contacted more than a dozen people who were refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine. They often used an argument you’ve probably heard, too: I’m not especially vulnerable. I may have already gotten the virus. If I get it in the future it won’t be that bad. Why should I take a risk on an experimental vaccine?
They are reasoning mostly on a personal basis. They are thinking about what’s right for them as individuals more than what’s right for the nation and the most vulnerable people in it. It’s not that they are rebuking their responsibilities as citizens; it apparently never occurs to them that they might have any. When Thompson asked them to think in broader terms, they seemed surprised and off balance.
The causes of this isolation and distrust are as plentiful as there are stars in the heavens. But there are a few things we can say. Most of the time distrust is earned distrust. Trust levels in any society tend to be reasonably accurate representations of how trustworthy that society has been. Trust is the ratio of the times someone has shown up for you versus the times somebody has betrayed you. Marginalized groups tend to be the most distrustful, for good reasons — they’ve been betrayed.
The other thing to say is that once it is established, distrust tends to accelerate. If you distrust the people around you because you think they have bad values or are out to hurt you, then you are going to be slow to reach out to solve common problems. Your problems will have a tendency to get worse, which seems to justify and then magnify your distrust. You have entered a distrust doom loop.
A lot of Americans have seceded from the cultural, political and social institutions of national life. As a result, the nation finds it hard to perform collective action. Our pathetic Covid response may not be the last or worst consequence of this condition.
How do you rebuild trust? At the local level you recruit diverse people to complete tangible tasks together, like building a park. At the national level you demonstrate to people in concrete ways that they are not forgotten, that someone is coming through for them.
Which brings us to Joe Biden. The Biden agenda would pour trillions of dollars into precisely those populations who have been left out and are most distrustful — the people who used to work in manufacturing and who might now get infrastructure jobs, or the ones who care for the elderly. This money would not only ease their financial stress, but it would also be a material display that someone sees them, that we are in this together. These measures, if passed, would be extraordinary tangible steps to reduce the sense of menace and threat that undergirds this whole psychology.
The New Deal was an act of social solidarity that created the national cohesion we needed to win World War II. I am not in the habit of supporting massive federal spending proposals. But in this specific context — in the midst of a distrust doom loop — this is our best shot of reversing the decline.