America’s “Gone with the Wind” Government
by Carl Parnell
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Slavery was one of the dominant institutions that existed in the Old South prior to the Civil War. However, many Northern abolitionists, those who abhorred slavery, and even some Southerners spoke out against the awful treatment of slaves by their Southern masters and the negative effects that slavery had on the Southern economy. In fact, two books were published in the nineteenth century that discussed the negative side of slavery in the Old South. The first book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was published by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852. According to Wikipedia, “the sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. Also, it is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s.” In 1855, when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe at a gathering at the start of the Civil War, he declared, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.” Therefore, President Lincoln recognized the effect of the words in Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a catalyst in stirring up hatred for the institution of slavery in the Old South and possibly a background cause for the Civil War.
The second book was The Impending Crisis of the South, which was published by Hilton Rowan Helper in 1857. According to Wikipedia, “it was a strong attack on slavery as inefficient and a barrier to the economic advancement of whites. The book was widely distributed by Horace Greeley and other antislavery leaders, and infuriated Southern leaders.” Also, according to Mr. Helper, “slavery hurt the Southern economy by preventing economic development and industrialization, and that it was the main reason why the South had progressed so much less than the North.” Also, he spoke out aggressively against slavery when he said, “Freesoilers and abolitionists are the only true friends of the South; slaveholders and slave-breeders are downright enemies of their own section. Anti-slavery men are working for the Union and for the good of the whole world; proslavery men are working for the disunion of the States, and for the good of nothing except themselves.” Therefore, the fiery words of Hinton Rowan Helper in The Impending Crisis of the South also were a catalyst in stirring up hatred for the institution of slavery in the Old South and possibly a background cause for the Civil War.
Surprisingly, though, approximately seventy years after the Civil War, a twentieth century Southern Belle published a novel that depicted the glory days of the Old South before the Civil War and the rebuilding of the Old South after the Civil War. This Southern Belle was Margaret Mitchell and her famous book was Gone with the Wind, which was first published in 1936. Gone with the Wind, according to Wikipedia, “is a metaphor for the departure of a way of life that existed in the South prior to the Civil War.” Of course, it was this departure that created a New South that was not based on the ways of living that the Old South had strived on for many decades. As a result, the winds of change that blew through the South after the Civil War created a totally new way of life that was extremely strange to those whose life was centered on the plantation system and the institution of slavery. Also, the winds of change in the New South after the Civil War were extremely difficult for those who had lived in the Old South to accept and to promote. Therefore, the way of living in the South that promoted the institution of slavery and that was denounced in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Impending Crisis of the South was now over after the last battles of the Civil War. A negative and costly part of the Southern society was finally “Gone with the Wind.”
Now, seventy-seven years later, new winds of change have blown not only through the South but also through the North. Unfortunately, as a result of these new winds of change, the United States government has “Gone with the Wind,” too. But, how has the United States government “Gone with the Wind” and possibly changed America’s society forever? First, the current government does not have the personal interest of the citizens that it represents at heart, as did the government sixty years ago. As a result, more and more of the freedoms of law-abiding American citizens have been eliminated, with the rationale that giving up certain freedoms will insure the safety of the masses. However, in reality, this is possibly the greatest myth put forth by the United States’ government and its elected politicians. Therefore, Americans do not feel as safe today as they did sixty years ago during the two-term presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, since his view of how the government should operate has “Gone with the Wind” now.
But, why would Americans have felt much safer during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower than they do now during the current Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama? The reason that America and its people are not as safe today with the government of President Obama would be his attitude toward people and his position as President of the United States. Simply speaking, President Obama is more concerned about his position and control of the nation rather than the people. However, President Eisenhower was concerned about the people who elected him to office. This can be seen in many of the quotes made by President Eisenhower during his tenure in office. Therefore, let’s look at the following four quotes made by President Eisenhower:
1. Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage. (Brainy Quote)
2. Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. (Brainy Quote)
3. You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership. (Brainy Quote)
4. I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it. (Brainy Quote)
Ultimately, these quotes by former President Eisenhower are uncanny and somewhat scary. These quotes appear to be prophetic sayings from the 1950s that apply to America’s current governmental leadership. Needless to say, it appears that God permitted President Eisenhower to warn all Americans to be aware of any government in the future that would do the exact opposite of what he said in his quotes. Sadly, though, the current administration is doing exactly what President Eisenhower said should never happen at the hands of leadership in America. Therefore, let’s rewrite these quotes made by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower as the current administration might write them and apply them to America today. A modern day version of President Eisenhower’s quotes might just be as follows:
1. Politics ought to be a full-time profession of those citizens who are more concerned about keeping their elective office rather than protecting the rights and privileges of free people and not be concerned with the preservation of what is good and fruitful in America’s national heritage.
2. Even though Americans are descendants of those brave men and women who won their independence from Great Britain by dissent and death, we will not permit any dissent against the agenda that the current administration purports. Any dissent of any kind will be viewed as disloyal subversion and those guilty of such dissent should expect to be punished.
3. In postmodern America, the only fruitful manner in which to lead is to permit elected leaders to impose their will on the masses. Of course, it is our governmental responsibility to do whatever is necessary to achieve our objectives, even if innocent Americans have to be arrested and or assassinated.
4. We realize that the American people can do more to promote peace than the government. However, even though people want peace and freedoms, we governmental leaders do not worry about the masses attempting to usurp our authority and control over them as long as we keep the “Bread and Circus” benefits (free government handouts) coming their way. (As stated by Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (1835), “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” Of course, unfortunately, that day has arrived.)
Ultimately, any person who would read President Eisenhower’s quotes of the 1950s and then read the possible revision of his quotes in 2013, it would stand to reason that the type of government promoted in the American Creed, which was written by William Tyler Page in 1917and adopted by the House of Representatives on April 3, 1918, has “Gone with the Wind.” The actual creed reads,
I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.
Therefore, in discussing how the winds of change have affected the American government in a negative manner, several questions should be asked by everyone concerning what Americans say they believe about their government and what they actually believe. The questions are as follows:
*Is the American government, as it exists today, truly a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people?”
*Are all the powers of the American government, as it exists today, derived from the consent of the governed?
*Do all Americans and their elected leaders promote the sovereignty of the United States or are they attempting to eliminate America’s sovereignty for the purpose of globalism and a one world government?
*Is America a perfect union, one and inseparable?
*Are the principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity still part of the American society?
*Do all Americans really love their country or do they just want the benefits of it?
*Do all America’s elected leaders really support the Constitution written by the Founding Fathers or do they continually attempt to circumvent its authority as the Supreme Law of the Land?
*Do all Americans obey the laws of the land?
*Do all Americans respect and pledge allegiance to the United States flag?
*Are all Americans willing and ready to defend it against its enemies, provided the government does not achieve its goal to take all weapons out of the hands of American citizens?
Finally, since many Americans would answer “NO” too many of these questions, it is obvious that the America of 2013 is definitely not synonymous with the America of 1950. Instead, the government of the 1950s, which was truly a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” has been replaced with the government of 2013, which is a government “of the government, by the government, and for the government.” Therefore, if the government under President Obama continues its current agenda, the Constitutional Republic established by the Founding Fathers will die, will be cremated, will blow away in the wind of change, and will be gone forever.
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