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The Colonel #54 American Experience

“Now from memory experience is produced in men; for the several memories of the same thing produce finally the capacity for a single experience. And experience seems pretty much like science and art, but really science and art come to men through experience…

With a view to action experience seems in no respect inferior to art, and men of experience succeed even better than those who have theory without experience.”

Metaphysics, Aristotle

The history of America is checkered with episodes that shine both positive and negative lights on our country. This is not surprising since it is peopled and represented by human beings. What is surprising is that for most of our history we have been content enough and free enough to let the light shine.

But that candle of freedom is slowly being snuffed out from within. For several years now we have been busy removing statues of those dubbed offensive by the cultural police. Free societies do not do this. That behavior is the preview of societies with a closed press and a government that would hide anything that might detract from its present “perfect” state—places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and the old USSR.

In America, we are not without mistakes or departures from our ideals, but neither do we hide them or let them go without an effort at correcting them. Experience is the best teacher, and it is from our collective memories that the lessons of experience are drawn.

The founders of our country took the lessons of world history, consulted political theory, and sat down together to debate and decide how to assemble a way to govern a country based on what they knew. They can up with our Constitution, and for 115 years, through wars, recessions, internal strife, and riots, it worked just fine.

Then we "woke" to the idea that we were somehow better human beings, so much better, intelligent, and sophisticated that we had outgrown the Constitution and its slow, deliberate methods of discussion, debate, and the separation of the powers of government.

The world was a complicated place in 1900, we needed to turn the reins of government over to experts. And we needed to isolate these experts from public control. We didn’t want regular citizens deciding they knew better than experts what was need for their lives and the country.

A few years later we elected a President who equated democracy with socialism and started us on the long march to the surrender of our history, our equality, our property, and our freedom.

We have watched the statues come down, textbooks altered or banned, libraries purged, twisted history being glorified, and our election process desecrated by those without experience beyond classroom lectures.

We have become a nation of people who can do little, make little, and live little. More than ever, we need experts to tell us what to think and what to do. I love/detest the announcement of the “news” that goes—so and so happened, here’s what you need to know.

We are being robbed of the experience of freedom. We are losing the freedom to make our own mistakes, enjoy the blessings of our own labors, and find our own way to live our lives. It the place of these things—well, we can all get together in our masks at an appropriate distance and sing We Are the World.


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