Curtis Dahlgren
The Year of the Gipper (and goodbye to a decade)
By Curtis Dahlgren
January 5, 2011

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth." — John Locke (1632-1664)

"Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities . . . [and]

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God."
— G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

"THANK THE LORD FOR SMALL FAVORS," my dad used to say, and thank God 2010 is over!

This past Sabbath saw us not only in a new year but technically another decade altogether. There was no year zero, so 2010 was the last year of the 201st decade after Christ, and what a blessing that the 111th Congress will never reconvene! If I were a congressman, the last thing I would want on my tombstone would be "Member of the 111th Congress."

Roget's Thesaurus offers the following synonyms for the word "congress" (come together): conjugation; sexual intercourse.

Does that not say everything you wanted to know about the 111th Congress but were afraid to ask? We the taxpayers have become victims of sexual harassment by the last Congress! We got you-know-whated. And they kept up their dirty work right through the holidays again. I was going to conclude my last column by saying "a pox on them for ruining the mood of the season," but I didn't do it.

Shucks, they not only ruined Christmastime, but Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, the winter Saturnalia, and Hanakkuh too, not to mention the Rose Bowl parade. And while they thought we weren't watching, the Executive branch and its cabinet members made ever-more brazen power-grabs. Like the proverbial scorpion, they just couln't resist ramming their junk down our proverbial throats. It's what power-lovers DO, when they can (i.e., if we LET them).

You've heard all the economic statistics already: The 111th Congress had more deficit totals than the first 100 Congresses combined; our deficit this year is 1.3 trillion dollars; national debt went from 13 trillion to 14 trillion in just seven months.

China passed Japan last year as the world's #1 economy. We're #3 and worse yet, we owe over half of our debt to foreign countries — and over half of that to China. Besides, several of our states may have to default on their debts in three years or so. And don't forget the amount of hard-earned cash all of us are forced to give to the "oil-producing countries" — as if we weren't one, thanks to the EPA and the Department of Energy.

The 112th Congress is being asked to raise the so-called debt "ceiling" once again this week. Conservatives are being told that "we must be adults" about this!

G.K. Chesterton said it best when he said that tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions. It might also be said that tolerance is the virtue of a man without salvation. Every man must choose between Truth and tolerance. We "cannot choose both and expect to dine at the Great Supper."

Someone else said that "tolerance" is an attempt to widen the proverbial Narrow Path. One of my dictionaries says that tolerance is like "tolerating your brother-in-law." Glorifying "tolerance" is even an insult to the Sisters of the Perpetually Offended.

Daniel Webster, once said, "There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter: from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence. I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men and become the instruments of their own undoing."

These "designing men" want to further dupe us by "regulating" speech during elections and on the Internet (formerly called the Information Superhighway). For over 100 years the Communist goals said, "Get control of the means of communication, get the children interested in sex, neuter the natural leaders, always preach democracy but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible."

"Evolution introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion." — John Dewey

"Because Roman civilization perished through barbarian invasions, we are perhaps too much inclined to think that that is the only way a civilization can die." — Alexis de Tocqueville


This is not only a new decade, but it's the centennial year of Ronald Reagan's birth. I want to be the first to proclaim this "the Year of Reaganism" and dedicate it to the younger generation who can barely pick his photo out of a lineup.

Frankly, one of the reasons I still have HOPE is that grandchildren are usually more like their grandparents — personality-wise — than their parents. I hope that this means our youths will be less like the 70s rebels and more like those of us who are "stuck in the 50s."

As Chief Dan George said, "If the very old will remember, the very young will listen." Listen to this:

In one of the least-remembered speeches of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan's farewell to the United Nations, he concluded his prepared remarks in the tone of a grandfather, as if talking to his very young offspring. He spoke of his hometown on the Rock River and the hearts of the people of the heartland, how his mother had taught him the value of prayer at a very young age. It would be hard to picture this today, but President Reagan actually told the delegates to the General Assembly of the U.N.:

"The deliberations of great leaders and great bodies are but overture. The truly majestic music, the music of freedom, of justice, and peace is the music made in forgetting self and seeking in silence the will of Him who made us."


I want to finish this up on a high note, with a few words more about Freedom. It's not quite morning in America again, but the Fat Lady is done with the New Year's music, and the rooster is beginning to warm up his windpipe. Like the teams left in the playoffs, everything is not lost yet. The grandchildren of the Baby Boomers may yet prove to be culturally more like the very old who know the meaning of the word "Freedom." Too many just don't understand!

The Thesaurus lists the following synonyms for Freedom:

- license
- laxity
- libertinism
- lattitude
- profligacy
- wantonness
- abandonment
- released
- unleashed
- unbridled

Now those were the meanings the hippies meant by "power to the people." What those old nihilists meant by "liberation" isn't what Patrick Henry had in mind in that old Virginia church when he said, "Give me Liberty or give me death."

Licentiousness was not the reason the first colonists came to the New World. That was in fact one of the reasons that they wanted to get out of Europe so badly. They risked their lives crossing the Atlantic Ocean to what? To a wilderness where their lives were still in great danger. That first winter at Plymouth, there was a lot of grave digging going on (for nearly half of them). And what was it all "about"? It was mainly the freedom to worship God, and according to their own consciences. That's what it was all about!

I just read an interesting article on the first Thanksgiving in America, and here are a couple of excerpts:

"Prior to making their way to the New World, the Pilgrims, themselves the victims of religious persecution, spent several years among Sephardic Jews in Holland . . . This connection is not well known among most secular U.S. historians, but the Jews, who also arrived early at the New England colonies, have kept track of [the parallel between Thanksgiving and Israel's fall festival of Ingathering, Sukkot] . . .

"'The Puritans in England,' writes Jewish historian Max Dimond, 'regarded themselves as Hebraists . . [and] the British rulers rightly regarded them as Jewish fellow-travelers, and when they departed for the Colonies, the British ruling class wrote them off as good riddance. . .

"It is no accident that the early settlers called their Plymouth Colony 'Little Israel,' and they even compared Governor Bradford to Moses." [; Nov-Dec 2010]

I could elaborate on the subject another time, but the bottom line is that since 1620 to the 21st century, the word "Freedom" has evolved from a weighty responsibility on the shoulders of the Individual to "having a fling" and "swinging," or just doing whatever we want to do! No wonder John Dewey's public education system doesn't want to talk about the Puritans or Pilgrims (at least not in a positive light). Kids are told that our government was set up as a totally secular one by Deists and other non-Christians — totally misreading the Foundation of the whole New World's civilization.


Chesterton said, "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the Democracy of the dead."

By the way, that means one thing in downtown Chicago, and quite another thing in TeaParty USA. And all WILL be lost unless we figuratively start voting the values of our "obscure ancestors." In 1984, President Reagan spoke to the National Association of Evangelicals and said:

"I urge you to beware the temptation of pride — the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and . . thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil."

The Bible tells true Christians that we "wrestle against wicked spirits in high places," and I MIGHT ADD:

"God wouldn't have told us to 'wrestle' if the deck were stacked against us, that there were no chances of winning, eh?"

Chesterton said, "I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act, but I do believe in a fate that falls on men UNLESS they act."

to roughly quote Edmund Burke:

"All that is necessary for the forces of evil to conquer the world is for enough good men to do NOTHING!"

'Nuff said? Let's win one, this year, for the Gipper!!

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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