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house divided

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

It’s written in the Bible (Mark 3:24-25), and it is the foundation of one of President Abraham Lincoln’s most important speeches.

On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. At 5:00 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. At 8:00 p.m. Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Representatives. The title reflects part of the speech’s introduction, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” a concept familiar to Lincoln’s audience as a statement by Jesus recorded in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). House Divided Speech, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858. Read more HERE.

Decades later, running on a platform that publicly declared his intention to “fundamentally change America,” against the wishes of millions of Americans, President Obama has succeeded in is goal to piece by piece dismantle and disrespect the very foundation of our nation: our Constitution and the rule of law.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

A Historical background via Obama the Great Divider, by J. Robert Smith

 Throughout our nation’s history, division has been the rule; unity, the exception.  That goes back to the Revolution.  When it was clear to the Founders and outraged colonists that the British had no interest in redressing their grievances, they elected to divide, to fight for independence.

Lucky for us and the world that they chose to do so. 

If-a-kingdom-is-dividedToday, many Americans aren’t acquainted with the fact that colonists weren’t unanimous for independence.  A sizeable minority — Tories — backed the Crown.  They supported British troops and some fought alongside them. 

The nation’s early, formative political era was marked by sharp divisions.  Federalists versus Jeffersonians.  Pro-Jackson versus Anti-Jackson factions.  Disputes over slavery were ongoing.  There was a whiskey rebellion and another war with the British.

By the mid 1800s, the nation divided into sections and fought a civil war.  That, assuredly, was a tragic division.  620,000 military casualties, north and south, say so.  A ravaged South and a depleted North say so, too. 

But as Lincoln stated, the war came, despite efforts at reconciliation.  The good that resulted from the war was the abolition of slavery.  And though it would take another hundred years, and yet more divisions and trials, abolition set African-Americans on the path to gaining their full God-given rights.  

In the 20th Century, Americans divided about other wars as well.  World Wars I and II, Vietnam and the Iraq War.  Toward the end, they divided about the Cold War.  

And they’ve divided about the New Deal, the Fair Deal, The Great Society and the Reagan Revolution.  They’ve divided culturally, starting in the 1960s, over drugs, sex and rock and roll.  They’ve divided over abortion.

house_divided-300x210As we look back over the long arc of the nation’s history, we see that from divisions came resolutions.  Freedom, more often than not, was advanced.  Our rights better secured.  Our nation, strengthened.   

We live in a time of momentous divisions.  Many of us will not live to see the resolutions completely.  Since the early part of the 20th Century, a great conflict has not only been playing out abroad, but at home, between statism and freedom. 

At home, the statists – call them progressives, liberals or leftists – have worked diligently to advance government, to centralize authority in a political elite and bureaucracy and to, thereby, abridge the rights of the individual.  They dismiss the original intent that undergirds the Constitution, claiming a right to make interpretations that are frequently aimed at pressing their causes and increasing their power.  Many disdain our values, faith and traditions.

Where shall we find common ground with the statists?  Compromise?  Compromise must invariably lead to less, not more, freedom.  And wasn’t that tried by our parents’ and grandparents’ generations?  Aren’t we, in part, struggling against a looming tyranny – albeit a soft tyranny – because of the good will and accommodations of our predecessors? 

tip-o-neil-reagan-photo

Though ideological opponents, these two responsible leaders were also friends.

Note, too, that overseas, in the 20th Century and now, tyrants, established or aspiring, all sought or seek unity.  Unity under their rule in the service of the state.  Inevitably, they use force to achieve that end.  Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot and an assortment of lesser dictators all bullied, imprisoned, maimed or killed millions who failed to unite with their will

Today, the Castro brothers are still at it.  Hugo Chavez is attempting it in Venezuela.  The mullahs are at it in Iran.  Kim Jong-Il has been at it in North Korea.  So are the Chinese.  Putin isn’t far from reasserting unity in service to the Russian state. 

In our nation, we are fortunate that the Founders had great insight into human nature and the wisdom to arrange our government in ways that divided and authority.   They instituted checks and balances to thwart the tyranny of any faction, or combination of factions, to impose unity on us. 

In the last ninety years, the barriers erected by the Founders to protect us from the tyranny of unity have been breached.  But they still stand.  It falls to us to repair and strengthen those barriers.  To reclaim the full measure of freedom which is our birthright and was intended us by the Founders.  And pass on that freedom to our children and theirs.” Read more HERE

If you listen to both Hillary and Bernie, they are so angry, so victimized, so … dead set on the next chapter in the self-destruction of America, that cannot or will not change course. Even the “driveby” media has nothing good to say, nothing hopeful, nothing uplifting to point to in anything going on. MORE coming soon.

 

 

 

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