[Originally published May 6, 2016 in Atlanta Times News]
When this Carolina Gamecock lawyer of twenty years launched a second career with an Atlanta Metro newspaper two weeks after 9/11/2001, we first used a famous quote from our fellow Palmetto State native, Andrew Jackson: “One man with courage makes a majority.” Little did I know then how relevant to the history of the first two decades of the 21st Century, would my signature line for thousands of op-ed columns become.
This past week the Obama Administration, in its latest exercise of executive overreach, announced that the hero of the Battle of New Orleans will be replaced on the front of the $20 bill by Harriett Tubman, leader of the slave-liberating “Underground Railroad.”
There have been many great and courageous men and women, famous and anonymous, who have played parts in the exceptional saga of the United States of America. Whispers from the ministry of the er ah office of the Lord er ah, Secretary of the Treasury, are that Jackson may appear on the back of the Twenty among a panoply of civil rights leaders. Of course, we can turn all of the currency into the affirmative action equivalents of tee-ball team portraits in which everyone gets a trophy for showing up. This appears to be the intent of those now in power who emphasize more their grievances against the United States than its greatness.
But if America has been the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and it has; then shouldn’t prominent displays on the currency, and in national monuments and holidays, be preserved for the figures pivotal to achieving that exceptionalism? I think so.
Harriett Tubman was a heroic figure who helped free hundreds of slaves. The actions of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant freed all the slaves, while the latter, as president, attempted a Southern Reconstruction to confer equal rights; hence, the $5 Lincoln, $50 Grant and national holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose courage produced a Civil Rights Act that enforced the equality guaranteed by the post-Civil War amendments the former figures fought for.
There would have been no exceptional American union for Tubman, Lincoln, Grant and King to preserve and sanctify but for the military and political courage of South Carolina-born Old Hickory, which nickname was conferred by soldiers red, yellow, black and white who served under him when he led them home safely for hundreds of miles after being betrayed by federal government. Yes, Jackson was born into a slave-owning culture similar to millions before him around the world and he denounced a Supreme Court which attempted to deny him the executive authority to relocate defeated enemies exercised by previous presidents.
But if we are going to trash all former slave owners and warriors, then shouldn’t we first tear down the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial? Re-name the District of Columbia, Obamaton and New Orleans, New London? And shouldn’t all those presidents who presided over removals of defeated Indian tribes before Jackson and Martin Van Buren, who afterward, actually presided over the Trail of Tears, also be trashed?
Yes, a Treaty of Ghent had been signed before General Jackson and an amateur army of free blacks, Creek Indians who sided with America against Creek domination of Georgia and Alabama, Tennesseans and Cajuns defeated the greatest military power on earth at New Orleans, even as Washington, D.C. still smoldered from its sacking by the British. But Britain still held Canada and would certainly have kept New Orleans and the Mississippi Rivier, upon which the treaty was silent. Most probably had they held Nawlins and Washington at the time the treaty was delivered, British admirals would have burnt it to light cigars. Andy Jackson spoiled that chance for British High Tea.
But for Jackson, there would have been no heroic Lincoln, Grant or Tubman.
The three popular and electoral (one stolen) election victories by Jackson broke the elitist stranglehold on the presidency. He paid off the national debt and destroyed the corrupt equivalent of The Fed in his day. More importantly, when his vice president in his first term led the nullification/secession movement during his second, President Jackson threatened to make himself general again to lead the union army against he his native state and John C. Calhoun’s nullifiers.
Jackson deemed the U.S. Constitution as having been ratified by “We the People”, not mere states, to form a more perfect “Union” and thus impossible to co-exist with any imagined right of states to secede. Only We the People could do that. He also shared Jefferson and Lincoln’s disdain for an imperial third branch of government as Oligarchs on a Supreme Court meant to interpret, not amend that Constitution.
All have sinned, and one day I pray that those who shout “pro-choice” will be publicly vilified for the millions of innocent babies killed at their behest. We overcame slavery and oppression. Hopefully one day, after bathroom Common Sense is restored, and hopefully without the necessity of a second civil war, we can ensure the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for babies in the womb.
In the meantime, could we please not re-write a false history of those without whom our historic prosperity would have been impossible?
Yes, mass movements and forces greatly influence history, but still…one man or woman with courage can make a majority and an exceptional nation.
A new city was born after last year’s referendum in the Peach State and it will elect its first mayor and city council this coming March. Since before the War Between the States, the area roughly 15 miles east of Atlanta has been known as Tucker. It was developed by a Scottish entrepreneur who settled there after fighting in the Indian wars in the West.
Now, 200 years later comes an entrepreneur from the West, Kansas to be specific, to Tucker with that same entrepreneurial spirit, who is running for a seat on the first city council for the new City of Tucker, Georgia.
Susan Wood, after starring in high school sports, matriculating at Kansas State University including serving on the Student Senate, and working in the real estate industry in Atlanta, found her way to Tucker during the depths of the post-2008 Housing Bust to manage and later become a partner/owner of the Comeback Bar & Grill. First named Barlows, it took over where even a Taco Mac (the famously successful Atlanta chain) had failed. Flanigans and other Tucker staples failed.
But thanks to Wood’s meticulous attention to product and the needs and wants of her customers and employees, Comeback weathered the economic storms. Now she wants to bring that same frugality and attention to service to the first city government in her adopted home of Tucker, specifically, District 2, Post 2.
Her platform is to first do no harm to the existing business environment in Tucker by raising taxes or other costs of doing business via regulation and fees. Her vision is for Tucker to be the best environment for business in DeKalb County, Atlanta Metro and the state of Georgia.
We think her lack of prior political experience, especially in this political year, should be an asset as she brings a fresh approach from the private sector where she and others struggled to make ends meet while creating jobs. She has succeeded with her conservative approach to business and we think her enthusiasm and history of success could convince voters to elect her to look after their interests in the new city government.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
The businessman eschews semantics and revising history in favor of taking care of America’s business
Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? A “failure”? Who cares what one-word description best fits says Herman Cain. Leave such irrelevancies to politicians, academics and bloggers with time on their hands. He would rather be about the business of curing what ails America.
Admittedly, it helps to have a record in business of fixing broken companies rather than having inherited messy state governments and people with demands more complicated than Whoppers or Mafia pizza pies at reasonable prices. But unlike his Bay State, Lone Star State and Gopher State opponents for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the former corporate CEO from the Peach State is not afraid of truthful explanations of his present policy positions and frank apologies for past mistakes.
This early 2007 supporter of Mitt Romney, before Fred Thompson briefly dropped in on the 2008 race, began this campaign in Cain’s corner, having volunteered for his unsuccessful Georgia senatorial bid in 2004. But we quickly became disillusioned when our Atlanta neighbor and former 750 WSB-AM radio talk show host took an extreme and unconstitutional position opposing the building of a mosque within the city limits of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and seemed not up to speed on the Palestinian demand for the “right of return” of so-called refugees to Israel and other issues in the first two debates.
Cain’s honesty and common sense trumps slickness
But, to our great pleasure, rather than deny ignorance or mistakes, Cain did his homework, apologized and made corrections in his positions where appropriate. Now, he and fellow Peach State denizen and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, look like the adults on debate hall stages full of a few unruly children fighting over toys.
Toys? Yes, and especially the age-old stand-by of mostly meaningless semantic arguments that seek to simplify major issues down to labels.
Whether the Social Security program always was or now is a “Ponzi Scheme” and/or a “failure” in some existential sense, it is not sustainable in its present form. Many if not most federal government programs need to be reformed with conservative principles, returned to the states or ended altogether and most if not all bear no resemblance to schemes known by proper names or geometric shapes.
Could at least one candidate identify problems in plain language and figure out what laws to pass to solve the problems, rather than seek history books for cute analogies? Cain says yes.
Instead, Republicans need to reach out to all voters, regardless of race, and aggressively make the economic and, especially the moral case against Democrats and for the GOP.
Since my 2000 conservative epiphany, after 18 years an activist and official of the Democratic Party, I have been adamant in encouraging my grand new party to reach out to Blacks and take the gloves off in defending themselves against Democrats’ false charges of bigotry and lack of concern for the poor.
I still favor all of the above and, inspired by recent Frederick Douglass Society discussions bemoaning the lack of an adequate reach out effort for Black votes (but mostly failing to describe how to so reach out) I want to offer a specific strategy below.
Leave Mob-like reach outs based on envy to the Democrats
But first, can’t we all agree that any voter, regardless of race, with the proper view of the goal of politics and the history of the past 45 years ought not need to be reached out to? By proper view, I mean citizens that understand that we elect chief executives and legislative representatives to enact and execute laws that work for the Common Good in keeping us safe and in maximizing Liberty, with the economic fruits same produces.
After all, at least a plurality of voters experienced Carter/Dem-super-majority malaise and the Reagan Recovery Newt and Clinton continued. Obviously, a majority of voters have been harmed by the policies of the majority Democrat Congress since 2007 and what President Barack Obama’s administration hath wrought over the last three years.
And can’t we also agree that we would not want to reach out to those that view party politics as a way to take from others in order to feather their own group’s nest, use government as a public sector jobs program, or have their envious motives acted out in the public square, except to say to those voters that they should be ashamed of themselves? I think so.
Reach out by refuting the Democrats’ claim to be the Party of the poor and the working man
Amorphous references to the Party of Lincoln’s need to reach out to Blacks due to their “unique culture and history” need to be made specific, especially given not just the abolitionist founding and pro-civil rights history of Republicans culminating in their majority support for the Civil and Voting Rights Acts of the mid-1960s; but also due to their governing history from 1965 through today.
Blacks have fared better, as have all Americans, under conservative and Republican policies. Moreover, given all the years of GOP presidencies and congresses since 1968, shouldn’t perennial Democrat warnings that Republicans will take food and checks from Blacks, widows and orphans fall on deaf ears? Obviously so.
“But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let them die?” – Wolf Blitzer, CNN
While Mitt Romney and Rick Perry indulged in strained Social Security/Ponzi scheme analogies at least week’s Republican debate, Blitzer’s loaded question and Ron Paul’s actual answer revealed much about what divides so many Americans and prevents policy solutions in health care and other areas:
PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.
Of course, the post-debate focus of the mainstream media was on a shouted assent to Blitzer’s question from an audience member and the Democratic Party’s half century agenda to define the Party of Lincoln as heartless Scrooges (see also racist, sexist homophobes, but I digress).
And indeed, given the long periods of Republican control of Congress and the White House since the 1950s and especially since the 1980s, with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid still intact, Democrats have a hard time relying on historical facts and their definition of compassion, i.e. blinding support for New Deal and Great Society programs, to make the GOP into a Dickensian villain.
Meanwhile, we don’t remember any 24/7 MSM uproar when $500B was cut from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare in 2010 by President Barack Obama and super-Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress. Nor do we recall even one White House press conference question about President Obama’s 2009 town hall “take the painkiller and go home” response to the daughter of a 105-year-old mother concerning what should happen if mommy showed up at the hospital with her ObamaCare policy needing a pacemaker.
How war and want concentrates the mind on what matters most, ten years on
We miss our loved ones that died of natural causes before that Day and we well remember The Day America’s idyllic vacation from history ended as seminal even as we suffer under economic depression.
Many can’t afford Le Seuer peas, but this generic brand consumer still loves life and thanks God for the Texan that kept more alive when murderous Islamist evil visited our shores. In the wake of the Towers’ fall, the memory of Gore-ish multiple personalities faded for a time, as even Democrats saw the need for Daddy.
But President George W. Bush-driven safety and prosperity returned and with it Florida’s bloody shirt and late 90s WMD-amnesia, majority Democratic Party congressional votes for the War in Iraq notwithstanding. While the aroma of death still defined Ground Zero, it was self evident that Saddam could not taunt us from his safe terrorist state. But soon (albeit, after a certain Texan was re-elected Commander-on-Cheif) the aroma of Utopian Hope and Change animated and suddenly, keeping America free from Sea to Shining Sea took a back seat.
Last week, the son of Doris Kearnes Goodwin bemoaned that it was, ” too bad there had been no call (from President Bush) to all Americans to sacrifice and for unity? In the BushLied Era?
Maybe they wanted to practice the forced sacrifice of the American Dream in exchange for a Democratic Congress, TARP (Senator Obama voted for it and the two last budgets forced on Bush, which kind of puts what President Obama inherited into perspective, no?) ObamaCare and the stimulation of Labor Union dues for Democrats in Food Stamp Nation.
Life after September 11, 2001 and before the end of Great Depression II
But life goes on for those of us that remain. Before 911, we lost loved ones and it still hurts. Before there was an America to save from the liberals, there were 5000 years of history and a Christ that died for all lives. And as important as America and its standard of living are, the main point of all this is about us, each human being, and God.
Fifth annual Braves-Gamecock Ode to the late radio pigskin prognosticator, Leonard Postero aka “Leonard Postosties” of Athens, Georgia that thanks God for: the return of college football; the mostly non-rushing but still enjoyable NFL version of same; and the Vernal Equinox-induced cooler weather.
This year we begin our coverage with the vacation-delayed 4th Quarter of the 2011 ABL (Ain’t Bean Ball League) championship game, scheduled for Thursday, September 8 in Washington, D.C. as the Boehner Non-Filters are smoking theObama Zeros, 20-0.
The Non-Filters jumped out to an early lead when Tea Partier returned the opening kick-off all the way and found Paul Ryan in the end zone. Boehner missed both extra points.
Debt ceiling defense dominated the 3rd Quarter before Obama fumbled the snap from Martha’s Vineyard while trying to hand off to Joint Session. Boehner returned it for the third Non-Filter TD and converted the two-point try on an end around Rush Limbaugh version of the Statue of Liberty play.
Irene and Sloth made the field unplayable for days, during which time the Zeros lost a challenge to Non-Filters’ title to the Capitol Hill House Chamber site for the resumption and finish of the contest, so dependent is Obama on “clearing the field” to score.
Leonard’s Loser: Obama Zeros (Cockstradamus, pictured below, prognostication arrived from his Azores Sabbatical retreat in 2009)
The Wildcats of Arizona launch Week Two of the NCAA season by legally crossing the Oklahoma border to lose to the 9th-ranked Cowboys of Oklahoma State.