Mob Rule and the Destruction of History

Reader Advisory: This is an Opinion Piece that expresses the view of its author. If you are likely to be upset by a view of recent events that may differ from your own, please stop reading now, and we’ll see you tomorrow. If, however, you are not offended by a diversity of opinion then please feel free to continue, and for best results, please begin with the Prologue to this piece, if you haven’t already read it.

Over the past month or so, we Americans have borne witness to some rather bizarre cultural twists and turns that followed the horrific murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman as a few of his fellows stood by watching: I hope they throw the book at those guys.

I was, as you know by now, on a road trip when all of this began, and the first I heard in the wake of this was the controversy about whether or not the name of Fort Lee should be changed. I still haven’t figured out what the connection between the two might be, but nevertheless, that was the first thing I heard while on the road. As recently as this morning I heard reports about the need to take the name Lee out of the name of Washington and Lee University, where Robert E. Lee is buried and where he was the University’s President at the time of his death.

There are many places in the Southeastern United States named after Confederate heroes, it isn’t just General Lee, but let’s just take him as an example…

Robert E. Lee was an honorable man by all accounts who possessed many admirable qualities personally, and who is said by many to have been a great military tactician, and most of the history of the American Civil War would tend to bear that out, although he was not infallible. Prior to the war however, he was an officer in the US Army, a graduate of West Point, and was actually offered overall command of US forces at the outset of that war, but he chose to renounce his oath of allegiance to the United States and chose instead to take up arms against the US, and if that doesn’t make him and so many others like him, traitors then I simply don’t know what to say! I too have taken that oath 3 times, and if I took up arms against my country the only thing they might name after me is the prison cell I rotted in. Yes, I know that he felt his first allegiance was to his state, but his oath was to the United States.

Fine, change the names if you want; Who cares about a name?

Then the mob began terrorizing cities, tearing down statues, setting fires, throwing bricks… while local officials did nothing to stop them, and while the police, whose job it is to enforce the law and maintain public safety stood around and watched. In Seattle, the mob was allowed to occupy a significant part of that city, and calls for help from citizens often went ignored as the mayor declared it a new summer of love.

Well, it was a summer of love until the mob came for her that is, then she morphed into a law and order mayor.

I’m sure I don’t need to mention any more instances; you’ve all heard the reports. The point I’m trying to illustrate is that when those who are in positions of public trust refuse to stand up to the mob, then the mob rules the day, and in way too many places this summer, our public servants have let the mob rule the cities they are responsible for making safe for their citizens.

What really amazes me is that in more than one of these cities, these elected officials are up for re-election, and in November, they will win their elections in spite of their negligent disregard of their duty. Have I mentioned that they are all members of the same political party? Do you see other members of that party denouncing what has been going on?

Not so much, for the mob is helping their cause in this election year, and in the process, it is wiping away their party’s shameful history as the Party of Slavery, Segregation, Jim Crow and the KKK.

Yep, it makes me a little crazy to watch this.

Four years ago, I began posting a weekly series on the history of Progressivism, and if you were around back then I suggested my theory that we have been locked in an ideological struggle between Progressivism and Classical Liberalism for more than a century. I suggested then that we are gridlocked politically because there are no more compromises to made, and that the USA cannot really move forward again until somebody wins, and somebody loses. I stopped posting on the subject rather suddenly because I could see that I didn’t need to post about it, for it was playing out right in our living rooms on the evening news for all to see.

Just think about what’s been gong politically over the last four years: The Russia hoax, which although discredited is still being played. The ever-growing thought police making everything racist, sexist, homophobic, and diversity of opinion into assault. The idiotic Ukraine story that led to a shamelessly fraudulent Impeachment, and my personal favorite, the politicizing of the COVID pandemic… and now the attempt to sanitize the history of the Party.

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Yes, I could be entirely wrong: I’ll admit that, but I doubt it. If nothing else, this is going to be a very interesting year to watch. Happily, whether I turn out to be right or wrong, my hope is entirely placed in Christ, and not in the crazy world we are living in these days: In the end, justice will be done, evil will be but a distant memory, and tears and pain will cease forever.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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20 Responses to Mob Rule and the Destruction of History

  1. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    This is a reblog of one of Don Merritt’s occasional political rants. Usually, Don does excellent Bible exposition. However, he sometimes veers off into politics, and those post are interesting too.

    I agree with most of Don’s posts, but I would interested in hearing people express their opinions on this sentence.

    Prior to the war however, he was an officer in the US Army, a graduate of West Point, and was actually offered overall command of US forces at the outset of that war, but he chose to renounce his oath of allegiance to the United States and chose instead to take up arms against the US, and if that doesn’t make him and so many others like him, traitors then I simply don’t know what to say!

    Frankly, I don’t know if during colonial times the British required American official to take an oath of office. Nevertheless, King George III still itched to hang the men who signed the Declaration of Independence as traitors. Yet we know they were not traitors. They had to choose where their greater loyalties resided.

    Men like Robert E. Lee faced a similar conundrum. Only he had nothing to do with the decision to rebel. All he could do is choose between the Union and Virginia.

    Anyway, as angry as they were by the end of that long, bloody war, the people of the North never seriously considered hanging Southerners for treason. No doubt with so many dead they considered it.

    Here is what the Constitution calls treason, from Article III, Section 3.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    I suppose Robert E. Lee fulfilled the requirements for treason, but I seriously doubt the people who drafted that section had civil war in mind. One of the reason for the Constitution was to avoid civil war. Because of slavery, the designs of the framers of the Constitution did not work as well as they might have wished.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you for asking the question Tom. I know that my sentiment isn’t popular in many places, but it’s worth considering and I’m interested in reading what others think about it.

    • They did require oaths to the US after he Revolutionary War.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Inspirations By Katheryn

        Yes. That’s part of the Constitution. Forget exactly where, but “The Federalist Papers” include an essay that suggest one of the reasons the framers of the Constitution wanted to unify the colonies was to prevent the wars that Europe frequently experience. We had a civil war, which was bloody enough, but we have still seen nothing like Europe. Was the oath important? Probably. There is no way to measure such a thing.

    • directorfsm says:

      CT, I have to agree the majority of Southern commanding officers were not traitors they were patriots who believed in the constitution and states rights. (Seems like a familiar thought being resonated today) Who are we to judge them as traitors nearly 155 years after the fact when their contemporaries decided they were not? I think Matthew 7 would apply here.

    • Sorry, but your founding fathers were all traitors and terrorists (the Boston Tea Party was a terrorist attack), but that doesn’t get mentioned in polite society as the victors write the history. Not sure it the American Revolution (or Lee’s situation) was a greater loyalty – from where I sit it looks like it was all about money, but it sounds better if you pretend it was about freedom and ‘rights’.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Lorne Anderson

        The Boston Tea Party was a terrorist attack? I would call that an excessive use of hyperbole.

        When I was growing up, we celebrated the Boston Tea Party. We didn’t think much of the Boston Massacre, but John Adams is famous for defending the British soldiers who shot the colonist. For the sake of principle, Adams risked his reputation.

        Were the founders perfect people? None of us are perfect, and they were not either. Still, it wasn’t about money. It was about principle.

        You don’t agree? Well, I suggest you think about the problem of going up against the most powerful military force in the world. Benjamin Franklin expressed it this way at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

        Read the Declaration. That document explains why the founders risked so much, why they fought for eight long years.

        In the Declaration, the founders make a better argument than I can make. They explain the principles for which they fought. If after studying the Declaration you still want to believe it was about money, that probably says more about your values than it does about the founders’.

  2. Sherron says:

    I agree with you Don.

  3. Mel Wild says:

    Good post, Don. Any sensible person should agree with you, regardless of party affiliation. The problem is, people are not only woefully ignorant of their history, they’re being polarized and manipulated by Twitter feeds and the mainstream media’s narrative that does not allow the points you made to be heard. The hypocrisy is mind-numbing, but if people actually want to think for themselves and investigate it further, sanity may return to our culture. That’s my prayer, anyway.

  4. Reblogged this on Inspirations By Katheryn and commented:
    My friend has some interesting observations about…well, you know.

  5. Pingback: Mob Rule and the Destruction of History — TLP – quietmomentswithgod

  6. Not being American, and living in Europe, I bring a different perspective to your recent (and less recent) history.

    I am surprised how little Americans are concerned about foreign attempts to influence the results of your elections. And the rest of the world looks at your country’s response to COVID-19 in awe at how such a developed nation could possibly screw up things so badly. And politicians own most of the blame for that one, as they do in several other countries.

    America is no longer the “city on a hill” it once was in the eyes of the world. Your last two presidents, from two different political parties, have reduced you to a second rate power in the eyes of the world. I doubt that will change much in the near future, no matter who wins in November.

    Assuming that is that you even have an election.

    • Don Merritt says:

      An interesting perspective, thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      @Lorne

      If you are getting your news about us from CNN, please bear in mind that the news organization is no longer taken seriously over here by most people. Their ratings in America stink.

      Also note that it is easy to see things differently when we have a different perspective. When I lived on America’s Gulf Coast, I survived several hurricanes. The national news media always makes a humongous big deal out of the storms. The hyperbole is absurd. Certainly the storms make a huge mess, and they are scary. Nevertheless, people bury the dead (sometimes rebury when a casket floats up out of the ground) make repairs, and get on with life.

      The United States is not a poor country. We build well, and we get out of the way when we have no other choice. So, we don’t have a 500,000 dead when one of these storms hits a populated area, but the national news media reports make it sound like the worst imaginable doom and gloom.

      Do we have problems? Yep! Because human beings are sinners, no human society is especially stable. Not one! That’s why it is foolish for us too much faith in governments run by mere men.

      • I gave up on CNN a couple of decades ago.

        Complete agreement on the sinners concept.

        Never understood why people always rebuild in flood zones. Must have something to do with human optimism.

  7. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on Boudica BPI Weblog and commented:
    H/T Citizen Tom

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