The United States Of America No Longer Exists?
It’s a good thing Matt Walsh wasn’t there at the battle of Trenton. He certainly wasn’t there during the battle of Hillary.
When George Washington’s army had dwindled to a mere 2,000 soldiers, down from 25,000 during the summer of 1776, it looked as though the American cause was finished. Think about it: out of nearly three million American colonists, only 2,000 constituted the Continental Army. Their fellow citizens were delinquent in housing them, clothing them, feeding and arming them. The soldiers were cold, sick, lonely and discouraged from months of retreating and surrendering. Washington desperately needed a victory to encourage both the army, and the nation.
“Wait a minute,” Matt might have argued, had he been there. “Is there anything that really unites us? Do we really agree on anything? Should we really go attack those beer drinking Hessians on Christmas Day? Just name one ideal we share. Dare ya.”
Matt just assumes, in another screed too depressing to have been written by a young man, that Americans, during a great crisis have always been united across the board. Surely, throughout history, we were one people, right? Matt laments our absence of ideals:
What ideals? Tell me exactly which ideals unite and define the United States in 2017? I don’t want to hear about what ideals united us in 1776 or 1890 or during WW2. Those days are gone.
Maybe Matt doesn’t really study history. Maybe he missed out on John Adams calculation about only a third of Americans supporting the cause, with the other two thirds either against or neutral. Did he miss Boston Tory pastor Mather Byles who famously criticized the American Revolution by saying, “I would rather be ruled by one tyrant 3,000 miles away than by 3,000 tyrants one mile away?” Maybe Matt missed that bootlegging patriarch of the Kennedy clan, old Joe, who incessantly apologized for Hitler’s Germany, prior to World War II. Maybe he thought everything was just hunky-dory in 1890, the year of the Wounded Knee massacre. Even in the cheery world of Courage, New Hampshire, my territory, I encountered in my research the other day a moping, faithless set of resolutions from the town of Hinsdale, New Hampshire during the year 1775. Far from endorsing the rights of Englishmen, these town fathers were criticizing “patriots,” and advocating that everyone just apply themselves to their farming. Let Boston go it alone, because we don’t have any stake in their fight.
Matt, America has always been divided. We’ve always had to kick faithless bastards up the hill, or into the voting booth, or off to church. Right after our great revolution over taxation, we got in a bad family fight over taxing whiskey. We had trouble defining freedom of expression from the very beginning, and we toyed with Alien and Sedition acts. We’ve put Japanese Americans into internment camps. Janet Reno burned dozens of children alive at Waco. Some Americans were so lukewarm on the civil war they paid other men to fight for them.
Moreover, we’ve always had slightly different versions of the faith. The American Revolution was fought by, and between Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Quakers, Anglicans, and even a few free-thinking weirdo atheists. You could argue that our freedom of religion itself grew out of our very division. We didn’t want any bishops or cardinals, thank you very much.
Freedom, by definition, is messy, and it can even be tyrannical, when the majority is narrow minded. It gets even worse when the “pure” minority refuses to fight. (Did you hear that last part, Matt?)
I share Matt’s lament about the gay gestapo forcing Christian bakers to violate their conscience, or face fines. I share Matt’s desire for a spiritual revival. I long for a day when more Americans share an appreciation for private property, choice in education, and the rule of law.
But sitting on the sidelines and waiting for John the Baptist to declare his candidacy and unfurl some glittering banner that will unite us all — well that just isn’t helpful. We win battles one victory at a time, and sometimes the victories are small. Matt was so pure in the last election he spent most of his time criticizing a candidate who promised respect for life, lower taxation, and a strengthened American military. Why? Because Matt didn’t trust his “ideals.” Matt didn’t like voting for a casino owner with a divorce record and a reality TV show. Matt wanted to be inspired; he wanted to feel some of that campfire, sing-a-song glow, and it just wasn’t happening for him.
Grow up, Matt. Our job as conservatives is to teach, instruct, and persuade the clueless progressives who inhabit the federal government, Hollywood, and even the church. We actually have a champion for many of our causes in the White House right now. Maybe you missed that? Maybe you would rather complain?