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“To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.” -— George Santayana
There are times when the fog is so thick and so unyielding that it very nearly closes in on the mind and spirit, paralyzing the expressive impulse under the weight of self doubt and unrelenting questions:
- How do I formulate this or that idea without alienating friends and family, readers of like mind and readers of a different mind, neighbors, employers, or even strangers?
- Having spent 20 years on active duty deploying around the globe in defense of my country, and 40 years making the case for American exceptionalism and the enduring genius of the nation’s founding documents, do I really need to continue waging the fight now that our descent into madness appears locked in?
- At an age when the idea of some modest level of comfort and tranquility is on the horizon, is it worth it to, paraphrasing Whittaker Chambers, battle on behalf of the losing side? Wasn’t one stress-induced stroke enough?
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat at this desk, at this keyboard, overwhelmed with melancholy that flows from the lives lost, livelihoods destroyed, families devastated, cities reduced to grisly precivilizational hellholes, a government that is radicalized and weaponized against its own citizens, and an education system that can’t even train students, let alone educate them. Then, nearly devastated by the cataclysmic scale of the loss, I’ve been unable, up to this point at least, to offer little more than some plodding words of exasperation. I needed to sharpen the quill, as it were.
Where best to start? As in most matters, it’s best to begin with things over which one has control. At the top of the list is the need to, as I’m fond of saying, “Embrace the power of no.” In short, that means jettisoning excess items that require energy best directed elsewhere. Much of this was done by simply starting over with a “less is more” approach to life in Florida.
Then, taking stock of what is and is not needed, it became time to get out of the internet radio “business,” and I use that word advisedly since the thing never turned a penny in profit. How it could it, in all honesty, when attention is required elsewhere? Better to excel at a handful of core endeavors than turn in a mediocre performance over a vast field of peripheral activities.
Speaking of being able to say no, as much as I love the beach and the assorted diversions that life here offers, I’ve learned to pare down the social calendar in favor of time spent reading. Here, I’m not only talking about the latest catastrophe in the news, but books that inform and fortify the mind and spirit.
Spencer Klavan’s How To Save The West (Ancient Wisdom For 5 Modern Crises); Troy Senik’s masterful work A Man Of Iron, on the life of Grover Cleveland; Professor Anthony Esolen’s Out Of The Ashes; The Gateway To The Stoics (Introduction by Russell Kirk), it includes Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, Epictetus’s Enchiridion, and Selections from Seneca’s Letters, and Robert L. Woodson Sr.’s Red White And Black, are a few of the things I’m sinking my teeth into at the moment.
All of which provided the time, the environment, and the resources that yield grist for the mind and steel for the spirit. Which leaves only the act of revamping this website and writing this preface before we get down to business.
If past is prelude to the future, I assume that my unvarnished take on events will elicit formulaic responses from the left (ad hominem, followed by a demand for sources and facts, followed by more ad hominem when faced with said sources and facts), and the usual sniping from what WFB called “the well-fed right.” So be it.
I won’t shy from remarking the obvious; namely, that the deadly crime wave sweeping across the country is a choice; that the DOJ and FBI have gone renegade; that the progressive insistence at looking first and foremost at a person’s race as an indicator of character has it’s American historical roots in the Ku Klux Klan; that opening the nation’s borders to millions of illegals is also a choice; that people who dress and pretend to be the opposite sex in an effort to “challenge gender norms,” are generally losing the challenge; and that as Calvin Coolidge observed:
If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from theconsent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.
If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward to a time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress.
All in all, there’s a compelling case to be made, and if we’re going to lose our country, the utopians and other malcontents who are fundamentally transforming us into oblivion should at least be made to face the truth.
Originally posted here.Published in