Looking at the push and pull, the hate, the graft, the lack of statesmanship and the overabundance of politicking as essentially one man battles for a return to sanity in Washington, I cannot help being drawn back in memory to times that now seem forever ago. I am sickened by what I find and by the guilt that keeps telling me I should have been a better watchman on the wall several decades ago. I know I saw some things going on that disturbed me and I should have searched a little deeper into the cause and effect, the whys and the wherefores. But what could I have done if I found them? I was just a tiny speck merged into planning that had its origin years, if not centuries, ago. I’m sure I discussed some of what I was thinking with one or two friends who had some of the same ideas, and I’m sure I wrote to a Congressman or two. I was doing my civic duty. Back then I even had the idea that Congressmen read their letters.

When I was in school we got good teaching about how this nation was founded. I still have my seventh-grade history book. It’s a good-sized book, about 800 pages, its title: AMERICA yesterday and today, written by Roy F. Nichols, William C. Bagley and Charles A. Beard. It’s filled with illustrations by George M. Richards. History was made interesting. One of the illustrations, a color drawing of Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, begins the chapter “The War for American Independence” on page 95, nearly a hundred pages later the war history ends on page 181. I would like to compare this to today’s 7th grade American History book…if there is one. Somewhere between my 7th grade (1942) and today we let the federal government take over our education system and it’s being going down-hill quality-wise, up-hill cost-wise ever since. Somehow along the way we’ve let the government convince us they know better than we how we should live.

If you are under age 50 or maybe even 60 you might not know some of the things I will be referencing. I grew up in a small city, roughly 25,000 people. Back then one could raise chickens and even graze cattle in town. Some folks still had horse and wagon transportation and trolley cars were common. No one on the block where I lived had a car until a neighbor up the street won one at the county fair. All the neighbors had to go inspect that Ford. Our family had chickens and a fair-sized garden so we weren’t going to starve when hard times came; and they did. I remember taking some turnip greens door to door trying to sell them. But this is simply prologue to where I want to visit, I want to try to sort out how we managed to get this far down-hill without waking up. Of course, many of today’s people, perhaps most of them, probably think we have been going up-hill, and in some ways that is true. One can’t fall off a mountain unless one climbs up it, and there is this old adage; the greater the fall the deadlier the landing.

We had a small, local grocery store about a block from our house. Neighborhood groceries were common occurrences back then. Most of them provided charge accounts with no interest to people in the community. They knew nearly everyone in the community by sight. They knew which children belonged to which family. If grandma sent me to the grocer to pick up something there was no question asked. She couldn’t call and tell them I was coming because we had no phone. The phone phenomenon was kind of new, and rare back then. The phone technology of today could not even have been imagined, and from my personal perspective we would be better off had it never arrived.

There are many things we could do back then that we cannot do today. We could sit together and have face-to-face conversations that seem impossible these days without someone’s phone ringing or some participant who simply prefers phone games over conversations. We used to write letters to stay in touch with friends and family. Doing this required our concentration on the person to whom we were writing. Today we send a text message and we are thinking more about the texting than the individual receiving it. The letter was usually lengthy enough to become history. The text is usually more about me than about you. Following this line of thought let me say a thing or two about today’s social media: I don’t have a Face Book account but I know there are millions out there who do. From talking with some who do and reading of how they are used I can imagine how the following might occur. One goes to his Face-Book account and posts his latest photo or two and tells the whole world about how he felt taking them. He will probably also tell everyone about that great party he attended yesterday and the wonderful reception that welcomed his arrival. Face-book is his braggadocio portal and he wants it to welcome more friends than anyone else’s. When it doesn’t stack up he feels a bit uncomfortable and if he gets too much criticism he’s going to become moody and downcast, maybe even depressed. Things aren’t like they used to be when we would get together as friends and discuss things. Back then we knew each other well enough to understand who we were. Sometimes we might run into a bit of criticism but we were close enough to work it out. We might even be competing with one another, but we were not competing against the world, as many seem to be doing these days.

I hope you won’t mind if I bring a little Scripture into the picture here: After the great flood when the children of Noah had replenished a sizable population God spoke and told them to move from the big city (Babel) they had built and spread out over the earth. But the people (led by Nimrod) refused. So God changed their languages so they could not understand each other and they moved out, each language going elsewhere. He separated them because “… Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do.” Genesis 11:6 (ASV) Nimrod was working for a one-world government and could have achieved it had God not confounded the language. Satan has been trying to create this one-world government ever since. Take a look at history, Rome almost built a one-world dictatorship, Hitler was working to create a world-wide empire that would last a thousand years, Stalin would have loved the idea. The European Union, early-on, used a painting of the tower of Babel as an emblem, NAFTA was designed to merge Canada, the United States and Mexico into a regional government that would then merge with South and Central America. A free America is the big piece of the one-world-pie he has thus far been unable to grab. A strong Constitutional Supreme Court will be another block in the road for him. You wonder why Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment is being so maliciously attacked and President Trump has garnered so much hatred? Well he’s fighting an evil movement that had almost succeeded in capturing the United States. Such brashness must not be tolerated!

I fully understand that we live in a world of many cultures with many religions and that everyone reading this may not belong to the Christian faith. They may even think the Christian faith cannot be true because it professes to be the only way to Heaven. The Jewish faith and the Moslem faith also claim they have the only true religion. The Moslem faith also thinks Moslems are to slay or convert everyone else to their faith. Christians think we should tell everyone about Christ to give them an opportunity to become Christians by accepting Jesus as savior. We do not hate them, we do not think they should be slain, we try to love them and pray for them because that is what Christ would do. Sometimes it is hard for us, it was not hard for Him, He died for them too. 

This is not exactly what I had in mind when I started writing. I was hoping to point out some of the many ways we have failed to protect our nation from ourselves. I remember hearing the term “common sense” often as I was growing up. It’s just common sense to think you’ll get wet in the rain or you will get sunburned if you don’t protect yourself under a hot sun. It’s common sense to look both ways before crossing the street. It’s common sense to avoid crossing a railroad track when the train is barreling down on you. Common sense is what the people learn through experience, what children should be taught by those who have had the experience, or what you know by just observing the world around you, and now it’s common sense to expect trouble when you oppose the Left’s agenda. These days you don’t hear the term very often. We want an expert opinion, let the professionals handle it. It seems to me and many others that politicians find it particularly difficult to understand what common sense is all about. I think most of those in Washington (and local governments) should have been voted out years ago. The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, let’s pray that many of our political leaders will learn a little common sense or be replaced with statesmen who already have it.

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Mike Scruggs