On July 4, 2011 millions of Americans enjoyed the celebration of the signing of our Declaration of Independence by spending time with families, barbecues with friends and attending one of the many fireworks displays in communities around the nation.
Although it’s over, this Fourth of July in 2011, has more to it than perhaps any before it in our history because it is obvious to all but the completely aloof that we are facing a crossroads in our nationhood like none we have previously encountered.
Stories about the signing of the Declaration and Jimmy Cagney’s role as George M. Cohan in the 1942 hit movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy” were no doubt watched by millions and served to remind us once again of our beginnings, our noble history and our well earned national pride. For many young Americans no amount of movie nostalgia or tribute to the founding fathers counts for much, because they don’t know America’s history at all.
Recent statistics have concluded that schools are turning out kids who know only 20th century history after graduation. This means that they don’t even know half of our own history as a nation. Why would we boast that our youth are the leaders of tomorrow if they have no clue about our past?
We love to discuss the rise and fall of nations and empires and in so doing we hope to discover clues about how they began what caused them to flourish as long as they did and ultimately what caused them to fall. With the exception of nations that fell slowly from within most were brought down suddenly by the interjection of an entirely new ideology or the meteoric rise of a dictator, despot or unscrupulous ruler.
The pattern is easy to see but in today’s world of the history challenged and followers of pop culture, who is noticing? The pattern that shows up the most has certain commonalities that have more to do with speed than ideology or personality.
Alexander the Great conquered the entire known civilized world in only 13 years. Adolph Hitler rose to power and obliterated every foundation Germany had ever known in only seven years. China’s Mao rose up like a shooting star, crushed ancient dynasties and disappeared off the scene before a generation came and went.
Prophecy has it that the much feared antichrist predicted in the Bible will rise to completely control the ‘new world order’ in only seven short years. Unlike those before him he gets a grip on the entire planet by means of the economy, not by warfare.
Both the lesson and the dire warning derived from these observations seems at the moment to be overlooked by many Americans who either are not considering the history of other nations or are caught up into the fluidity, albeit completely unstable changes encroaching on our social infrastructure.
Before the love of our country and its illustrious history passes into the realm of fond memory it behooves us to consider both the re-election endeavors of Mr. Barack Obama and the words of an old time country bluegrass favorite entitled ‘Darby’s Castle.’
It is the story of a young man who meets the love of his life who he promptly marries and settles down with. He decides to build her the most magnificent home to celebrate the love he holds for his young bride Ellen. He soon gets caught up in the building and has no time for his bride. It keeps getting grander and more elaborate with the passing years and Darby spends sleepless nights pondering new rooms and additions he wants to build.
Ellen’s loneliness increases in equal and direct proportion to Darby’s involvement with the building until a tragedy strikes. In her loneliness she seeks out the company of another and is discovered by her husband in the most compromising situation of all. It is summarized in the chorus of the song and it is a chorus that we all may be singing if we do not take account of choices that will affect our nation in the very near future.
History proves that it takes no time at all for a ruler to achieve power and subsequently strike at the base or the very foundation of that nation. A solid foundation can endure the changes attached to its upper levels but when cornerstones are pulled, the entire structure faces imminent collapse.
Barack Obama has already added more change to the upper structure than it can barely endure. Now some are calling for a more progressive constitution. Obama’s economic policies have produced the biggest deficit in our history and the most joblessness since the Great Depression.
Is four more years of Barack Obama enough time to bring our history to a halt added to the four years he has already had? In fact if history is any guide it is more than enough. Here is where we may want to consider the chorus of Darby’s Castle.
Oh, it took three hundred days for the timbers to be raised
And the silhouette was seen for miles around;
And the gables reached as high as the eagles in the sky -
But it only took one night to bring it down,
When Darby's castle tumbled to the ground
Michele Bachmann, who has surged in the polls since she began her bid to run for the presidency, said in Iowa on the day she announced, “We cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama.” Much more than a canned phrase Bachmann’s observations are more like a prediction made by the prophets of old. Ignoring this warning could very well mean America’s Castle could also come tumbling to the ground.
Copyright ©2011 Rev. Michael Bresciani