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I joined Ricochet many years ago with the intent to post on a series of my favorite paragraphs/passages from my, unfortunately, delayed thirst for reading. (The site seemed much more intellectually curious back them. Alas, yesterday shows just how untrue that is today. But I digress.) While I did get distracted along the way, here is an opportunity to present another one.
Leading up to the following events, Secretary of War Stanton had leaked information from a secret cabinet meeting to the press to distance himself (and the cabinet) from the mighty General. He also “quoted selectively from Halleck’s letter to him and added some words in Sherman’s orders to his cavalry, leaving the impression that Sherman might have been bribed with Confederate gold to sign an easy peace and let Jefferson Davis escape the country.” (Pages 344-345, emphasis added) Then the review of troops in Washington, DC:
Coming into Lafayette Square, Sherman rode over to the side of the street toward the front of the house that served as the army’s headquarters for the defense of Washington. Secretary of State Seward, who was still recovering from the knife wounds he received during the attempt to assassinate him, had been brought there to watch the parade. Sherman brought his horse to a halt and “took off my hat to Mr. Seward, who sat at an upper window. He recognized the salute and returned it.” Finally, as Sherman came to the presidential pavilion and the other grandstands, with the bands striking up “Marching Through Georgia,” the New York World said, “The acclamation given Sherman was without precedent…The whole assemblage raised and waved and shouted as if he had been the personal friend of each of them…Sherman was the idol of the day.” When he entered the pavilion after dismounting from his horse in the White House grounds, everyone was still on his feet to welcome him. Witnesses would differ on whether Secretary of War Stanton extended his hand to Sherman or simply nodded in greeting but, in a historically memorable instance of one person “cutting dead” another, Sherman walked past Stanton as if he were not there. He shook hands with President Johnson and every other member of the cabinet, Then, to loud applause, he and Grant greeted each other warmly. – Page 389, Grant and Sherman (The Friendship that Won the Civil War) by Charles Bracelen Flood
The layers of symbolism around the salute to Seward. The clear admiration by the masses despite the attempts by insiders to manipulate otherwise through the press. More deliberate symbolism with the President and most of the cabinet. And the victorious generals together. Oh, yes, I cannot not forget the deliberate and very public snubbing of a principal Executive Branch office holder right in front of Stanton’s boss, the President. (In fact, right in front of all of Sherman’s “bosses” too.) And no one says a thing. Simply magnificent.
I cannot help but tie this episode to more modern context through the mindset established by Victor Davis Hanson in The Soul of Battle. In it he presents the concept of an “Army of a Season” and how certain times and events in history may dictate that such an entity emerge from the people and fight back the evils that threaten that people. As for the leaders of such entities (Think: Sherman and Patton):
These marchers of a season must be led by ruthless and gifted men who are often of little use in a peacetime democracy but find their proper authoritarian and aristocratic calling only as absolute rulers of an armed citizenry. Yet much of their bluster and avowals to make the enemy “howl,” to turn the countryside into a “sheep-walk,” to kill the “bastards,” was the necessary veneer to their more subtle strategy of indirect approaches… …a strategy…so misunderstood by fellow commanders and politicians weaned on [more typical] Western tradition…” (Page 11, emphasis added)
I will let you translate terms like “peace time” and the examples of “bluster and avowals” to our more current example on you own. If you are not the type to take the Democrat impeachment narrative as dictated from their script at face value, I think you can handle it.
If you do not see our current situation as the direct descendant of the Tea Party of the Obama Era that was dismissed and met with condescension from our greater Ruling Class…and was organized against by the weaponized forces at the control of the Executive of all the people (A very classy twit, after all.) then you just haven’t been paying attention. Furthermore, if you don’t see Mr. Trump as the leader of that descendant of the Soul of Liberty…a leader the emerged from outside the failing system much as Sherman (and Grant) emerged from the west with new tactics and approaches that were effective in the battle for more liberty when the tired old ways of the Potomac (i.e. McConnell, er, I mean, McClellan) had failed over and over again…then you do not understand the “battle” we are in.
As such, Trump has his Stantons. And in some departments, it is Stantons all the way down…extending also to the media and those planted (both actively and as volunteers) in neighborhoods like this to gaslight the narrative and pre-plant the talking points as required. (As I commented yesterday via a quote from Andrew Brietbart: “This is Dadaism. … It doesn’t make sense unless you understand what they’re doing.” NOTE: If you pay attention, you can see what they are doing.)
As part of this Soul of Liberty, it is incumbent on us (i.e. those in neighborhoods like this) to see and spread not only the truth but rationality and intellectually honest/consistent debate. This involves actual thinking and not accepting without proper scrutiny the scripted narrative blared at us through the media and slipped to us in conversation. A few quick examples from yesterday’s local conversations:
1) When the situation exists where an investigation of rampant corruption in a foreign country shares a significant domain with the President’s political rivals, it may not be wise to accept the narrative about “digging up dirt on his political rival” when the very same action would constitute a valid, responsible action as part of his job. Maybe you should ask why there is so much overlap in names associated with that situation and why so many want to distract from that perspective of the story.
2) When terms like “subpoena,” “executive privilege,” and “whistleblower” (the list can go on and on) are thrown around with wild abandon…especially by elected officials and pundits but also by on-line neighbors…don’t automatically assume that they are being used correctly or that they have any significance in the context they are being used. Also note when someone has it explained to them by a smarter neighbor but refuses to acknowledge the education only to return with that same point over and over again.
Finally some advice: Watch out for the nonsense. (P.S. It is all nonsense.)
That is all for now, my morning coffee is wearing off and I need a nap. For most of you, your feedback is very welcome…Published in