What just one man can do.
I start this essay while touring the Eastern European countries of (East) Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Quite a beautiful tour, mostly on a Viking River Cruise ship on the river Elbe. A lot of history along the way, and if you will bear with me I’ll try to relate my observations from this tour with my political thinking regarding the future of the United States, and in particular the November 2012 elections.
Eastern Europe represents the confluence of three major flows and eras of modern world history; actually two since two of the three I will talk about are essentially one and the same.
The three are: the German Nazi movement of the 1930’s and 1940’s; the Communist movement of the1920’s thru the 1980’s and into the early 1990s; the third flow is that of the nations of the free world as represented by Great Britain and the Untied States who fought back against the tyranny of the Nazis and the Communists. The philosophical, political and economic roots of the first two eras emanating primarily from a singular man. Karl Marx
We can still see in Berlin: the shadows … the results and remembrances of what just one man can do … the destruction that just one man can accomplish. We see it in the large Holocaust Memorial just across the street from our apartment; we see it in the Brandenburg Gate just around the corner, once severely damaged but now fully restored; we see it in the Reichstag just down the street, once severely damaged by allied bombing and artillery but now fully restored; we see it in the remnants of the Berlin Wall that held so many captive for 30 years; we see it in the patched up bullet damage in buildings all around the city; we see it in the many written and pictorial reminders to German citizens of the darkness of their not so distant past. Years ago on a different trip we saw the results of this one man while touring the infamous death camp of Dachau in Southern Germany.
Adolf Hitler was the man’s name .
Here in the former captive countries of the Soviet Union which we have visited, and further to the East throughout the Soviet empire we can study the results of another singular man, Joseph Stalin. And going further East we can study the results of another singular man, Chairman Mao Zedong of China and yet another singular man Pol Pot of Cambodia. It is estimated that over 100,000,000 (that´s 100 million) people died because of the ideologies and policies of these singular men.
Also during this trip I am reading a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a prominent German pastor who resisted Hitler and the Nazis and gave his life in that resistance in a failed assassination plot against the Fuehrer. This book, although the story of one extraordinary man, provides much insight into the rise of the Nazi government, and provides many warnings from the history of that dark and Satanic era.
While I don’t see an American president having such a catastrophic impact on world history, I do want to caution us on the fallacy that it couldn’t happen here. We have had our own dark history; the dark history of slavery and the resulting civil war it spawned resulting in the death of over six hundred thousand soldiers on both sides of that war. Even after the Civil war, racial hatred and its evil activities and policies existed far beyond the ending of the war. The potential for massive injury lurks just beneath the surface of any society, and is only constrained by transcendental means; a societal belief in a just God coupled with a governing structure such as our constitution which seeks to minimize the excess of government.
A common thread I see in the rise of such tyranny is captured in a phrase uttered by a prominent American politician several years ago … “Never let a serious crisis go to waste …”
Germany after World War I was in a serious state of crisis where the value of the Deutsche Mark fell from seventy-five to one in 1921 to forty billion to one just two years later in 1923. This crisis afforded the opportunity for the Nazi party under Adolf Hitler to rise to power.
Likewise in Russia, World War I devastated Russia giving rise to the revolution in 1917 and creating a crisis environment leading to the Communist regimes of Lenin, Stalin and those following. Not letting the serious crisis of 1917 go to waste resulted in the deaths of some one hundred million people during the reign of the Communist empires in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and elsewhere.
But is catastrophic war the only form of massive damage that can come upon a nation, or emanate from a nation? I think not, and as I look at the building troubles ahead of our great nation I see potential for great peril:
- I see a rising national debt that will kill off the hopes and dreams of future generations including those of my grandchildren, depriving them of the opportunities and freedoms previous generations and my own has experienced.
- I see a rising national debt that will cripple the ability of the United States to protect and honor its commitments around the world, and cripple the ability to maintain important domestic needs.
- I see a rising national debt that will turn the lights off in that Shining City on a Hill that has attracted so many from around the world to these shores of liberty and opportunity.
- I see a President that is governing by Executive Order and bureaucratic regulation rather than laws passed and overseen by congress; he has made Congress irrelevant and obsolete, and thus has come perilously close to destroying our republican form of government with its checks and balances that protect our individual freedoms.
- I see a President that is systematically weakening American influence around the world, especially in the volatile region from Pakistan westward to Tunisia. As Glenn Beck warned several years ago, we are facing an Islamic Caliphate extending from Pakistan westward across Africa and possibly into Europe. This Caliphate will be a continual threat to world peace much like Communism was in the previous century.
- I see a President who is turning the back of America to Israel in spite of the Biblical injunction “I will bless those that bless you, and curse those who curse you” (speaking of Israel.)
This last concern is perhaps my most serious concern; America turning away from God. Such a turning away can result in any manner of trials and tribulations for a nation and its people; trials and tribulations that cannot be full realized untill it is too late.
Am I being overly pessimistic in my outlook? Do I want to risk the future of our republic with a vote for one who will not let a serious crisis go to waste?
Or will I trust one who values his faith in God and the American people and one who values the very foundational princilples which established this great republic in 1789?
Be very … very careful who you vote for in this and every election-