Thursday, November 8, 2012

The New American Crisis

I've been reading a lot of history lately, and among those writers that I've taken into my literary collection is Founding Father Thomas Paine, the writer of such things as Common Sense, and the document that I've paraphrased, The American Crisis. In a letter to George Washington on the eve of battle, written on the skin of a drum due to lack of parchment to work with, Paine wrote to George Washington a long letter in which existed a sentence that was also the title of my last post: These are the times that try men's souls. Now we, those who produce, those who believe in personal freedom and taking responsibility, have been thoroughly trounced by those who care more about free stuff than freedom of will. I've been listening to Glenn Beck on livestream the last forty five minutes in the hopes of hearing his infectious sense of conviction and allowing it to soak into my own consciousness. So far nothing yet, but he did bring up something I think is worth repeating here.

First, though, Thomas Paine and some words of wisdom: We are in for hard times here, people. We are going to have to endure four plus years of political exile within our own borders. Sure, we retained a majority in the House of Representatives, and a great deal of state level elections went in our favor, but we've still hit a wall. Now the question is, what do we do? This, dear readers, is our new American Crisis. We face a shifting electoral demographic that cares more about fun than hard work. We face an illegal immigrant invasion from Mexico that is turning Texas into a deep blue state, slowly but surely. To use the Revolution analogy once more, we are now facing our version of the British Regulars, with us in the role of the Continental Army. The difference, however, is we have no George Washington as yet to lead us out of the crisis. Yet. We don't know how long it will be, but eventually it will happen because this too shall pass.

Now to the letter I mentioned. Beck and his crew on the radio read from a letter to the Israelites, who were at this point in history forced into exile by the ruler of the Middle East at that time, Nebuchadnezzar. The Jewish people, in their distress, prayed for guidance as to what they were supposed to do in light of this new development. An individual came to them and told them it would only be two years before they were allowed to come back to Jerusalem and live as they had lived in the past. This person turned out to be a false prophet, and was dead within those two years, with the Jews still in exile. Still later into that exile, the Jews received a letter from Jerusalem giving them specific instructions on how to behave while they were in exile. According to the story, the letter, which was believed to be a sign from God as to His plan, bore the instructions as follows. I can't use the exact words, but I'll paraphrase: Build communities. Build gardens. Strengthen where you are. Why were these the instructions, you ask? Because the letter also contained a message from God that the writer had received. The letter essentially said that after 70 years of Nebuchadnezzar, the Jews would be allowed to return to Jerusalem. 70 years. Think about what that means. Not only were the Jews forced  into exile, but they were going to be there for 70 years because of God's plan. Get that? EXILE WAS THE PLAN!

We are now in a time when we must realize that this wasn't a setback. This is the plan. We are being reminded, as Thomas Paine reminded Washington and as God reminded the Jews, what our life is worth. We are being reminded not to stop being who we are. We are being reminded that bad things happen, and in spite of that we must endure. We must remember who we are. We must remember that darkness always precedes the dawn. I thought that the 2008 election was our darkest hour. I was wrong. It was merely the twilight hour between evening and nightfall. This also is not our darkest hour, despite it being darker than 2008. We have not yet approached midnight, but we will approach it, and after that midnight hour, the dawn will only come nearer. When that dawn comes I do not know, but I know it will come. I believe it will come. And so must you, for as Thomas Paine said: These are the times that try men's souls.