“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” ~ D.H. Lawrence 1885 – 1930
Earlier today I noticed one of my favorite people on twitter (@_Holly_Renee) send out a great tweet about equality. To which someone replied “there’s no such thing as equality”. That in turn reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from a great movie.
And here it is..
From The Film Gettysburg (1993):
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Tell me something, Buster… What do you think of Negroes?
Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain: Well, if you mean the race, I don’t really know. This is not a thing to be ashamed of. The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time.
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: You see to me there was never any difference.
Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain: None at all?
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: None at all. Of course, I haven’t known that many freed men… But those I knew in Bangor, Portland… You look in the eye, there was a man. There was a “divine spark,” as my mother used to call it. That is all there is to it. Races are men. “What a piece of work is man. How infinite in faculties and form, and movement… How express and admirable. In action how like an angel.
Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain: Well, if he’s an angel, all right then… But he damn well must be a killer angel. Colonel, darling, you’re a lovely man. I see a vast great difference between us, yet I admire you, lad. You’re an idealist, praise be. The truth is, Colonel… There is no “divine spark”. There’s many a man alive no more of value than a dead dog. Believe me. When you’ve seen them hang each other the way I have back in the Old Country. Equality? What I’m fighting for is to prove I’m a better man than many of them. Where have you seen this “divine spark” in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? No two things on Earth are equal or have an equal chance. Not a leaf, not a tree. There’s many a man worse than me, and some better… But I don’t think race or country matters a damn. What matters, Colonel… Is justice. Which is why I’m here. I’ll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I’m Kilrain… And I damn all gentlemen. There is only one aristocracy… And that is right here. [points to his head]
Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain: And that’s why we’ve got to win this war.
Seldom has a day gone past this summer without a story on ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), formerly al Qaeda in Iraq, or the Israeli operations in Gaza, making the headlines. That means that seldom has a day has gone past that I’ve not been reminded of these amazingly insightful comments by the former Speaker of the House in 2007. I am certain that once you read them.. you will never forget them either.
“I am really deeply worried. We have two grandchildren who are six and eight, and I believe they are in greater danger of dying from enemy activities than we were in the Cold War. There are thousands of people across this planet who get up every morning actively seeking to destroy the United States. They are spreading their poison by sermons, by the Internet, by a variety of recruiting devices.
Tony Blair said it very well. The people who did the London subway bombings spoke English, were British citizens, lived in British housing and had jobs, and had decided, because of their relationships, that they were engaged in a war against the very country which had given them prosperity and freedom and safety.
When you see the Taliban kidnap 22 Christian South Korean missionaries who are there to help the people of Afghanistan, and nobody gets up and says this is despicable. Where in the Muslim world has there been any battle cry saying they should be released? Where has anybody gotten up to condemn? When you see a 12-year-old boy in Pakistan saw off a man’s head on videotape, where is the condemnation? When you know that the schools recruit suicide bombers. When you know that the Iranian government ran a cartoon last year, for children, aimed at recruiting 10-year-olds to be suicide bombers, on public television. At what point do you have to say enough? When you’re lectured by the Saudis about being respectful, when they do not allow any Jew or any Christian to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia, and we tolerate it? When do you draw a line?
Nobody in this society has yet given a speech to outline the scale of this problem, in terms of senior leadership. And yet it’s obvious. We haven’t won in Afghanistan and we are not currently winning. If you’re not winning a guerrilla war, you’re gradually losing it. We have not won in Iraq. The Israelis, despite 30 years of work, have not won in either Gaza or the West Bank. And we’re sleepwalking. And we’ve now focused on Baghdad as though somehow we can retreat from history and find an elegant way to get out of this and it won’t have terrifying consequences.
I believe we are on the edge of a precipice. The Iranians are desperately trying to build nuclear weapons, and they will use them. This is a state, look, read what Ahmadinejad says. He writes poems about the joy of being a martyr nation. He gets to wipe out Tel Aviv; maybe the Israelis use nuclear weapons and wipe out Tehran. He would accept that in a minute because he believes everybody in Tehran goes to heaven and everybody in Tel Aviv doesn’t.
We, it’s very hard for secular elites to understand this. Religiously driven people do things that don’t calculate in nice academic faculty surroundings, and they don’t calculate at the State Department and they don’t calculate in a rational way in most of our bureaucracies.
We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.” ~ Newt Gingrich, 2007
With the never ending talk of the “evil” of guns, as if these inanimate objects some how possess a soul or a will of their own, I think it’s time we fight back against these lies and start spreading this truth! Because there is an evil in this world. But it is not found in any lead, or steel, but in the hearts of men.
“The gun is the great equalizer. For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish.” ~ Unknown Author
With each passing day revealing new secret government programs designed to protect us in our war on terrorism, at the cost of our freedom, I think these words from George Washington are as relevant today as they were in 1776. And I would add.. that if we are to prevail in this war, if we are to make the world safe from those who wish to destroy our way of life, we must do so as free men, or not at all.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.” ~ George Washington August 1776
Earlier today we heard the words .. ” I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Sadly, after four years of observing the actions of his first term, I must say those are just words, very empty words.
This country does not need more empty words. It does not need more opinion poll promises. It does not need more Governmental responsibility for the lives of its citizens. For if such things were key to our prosperity we would be living in the golden age of this Republic. But we are not.
What we need is a return to the most simple of beliefs, a return to the core philosophies on which this Republic, and her greatness, were founded.
A return to the beliefs of men like Ronald Wilson Reagan, who not only spoke, but lived these words of freedom:
“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” ~ Ronald Reagan
After being bombarded with tweets from liberals in the weeks surrounding the 2012 election, it occurred to me that most could be summarized with this message I just received, “Let 2012 go. Embrace Obama”.
This in turn reminded me that Patrick Henry, who in March of 1775 found himself on the floor of the 3rd Virginia convention arguing for separation from Great Britain, knew us all too well.
And that if this country is to recognize and return to the principles that made us unique among all the nations of history we must recognize this simple principle found in these Words of Freedom.
“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. ~ Patrick Henry March 23, 1775