Paul A. Ibbetson
The Black Death
By Paul A. Ibbetson
June 20, 2009

For the people of Europe who faced the Black Death in the middle 1300s, their lives before the plague appeared in many respects the same as for modern people today. People worked in the city shops, or the rural fields, in order to sell their goods to provide for their families and loved ones. People had desires, passions, unfulfilled dreams, and all the disastrously wonderful things that kept the people of those times, as well as folks today, from getting to bed at night or from thinking straight throughout the day. We like to think that we, as a technologically advanced people, are a world away from those Europeans of old. But, in reality, we are very much the same. Trade the modern day car for the horse and cart and, before long, we can find historical equivalents from the past to today for everything, right down to the iPod. In short, when we cut through the glossy coverings of the period, from then to now, people are people, plague is plague, and death is death. The truth is that simple — and that deadly.

I say this because America today faces another "Black Death" that is as <#illusive>elusive and evasive as the plague of Europe. However, this plague does not attack the glands and rot the flesh, as did the Black Death, but instead it clouds the mind and hardens the heart. This plague is none other than the disease of liberalism. As with the stories of the diseased and flea-ridden rats, nestled quietly in trade ships traveling to Europe from the Crimean port of Caffa, we see that terrible things often come in little packages. Liberalism is often portrayed as the small harmless aggression that should be allowed to fester in the corner of the room. After all, if we just spread a few flowers, no one will notice.

As with America today, Europe was ill-prepared to deal with the disease at hand. The Black Death, as with liberalism today, served to build individual distrust and division among the people, which weakened everyone's ability to find a true cure. In Europe, as panic began to build among the populace, friends and family members broke from one another, as each individual was considered a potential carrier. Blame for the disease was reduced to a vile finger-pointing game and the participation in wild and dangerous miracle cures. In the end, desperation walked hand in hand with apathy, and the Black Death ate its fill of Europe before lurching to parts unknown.

People are people, plague is plague, and death is death. Today, liberalism has spread its foothold in America and has expanded itself to the point where it now literally blows in the wind. It burns the eyes of what few patriots remain, and fills the lungs of the next generation with reckless disregard, as did the Black Death of old. For most of those struck with the Black Death of Europe, death was painful and certain. For those whose minds have been infected with the disease of liberalism, there is no sweet release of death, as liberalism is the gift that keeps on giving.

That is, in part, how the disease has grown to its current epidemic stage. You see, people infected with liberalism become "carriers," and most often for life. In America, it now has become fashionable to be a "carrier" of liberalism, and we have come to the point where it is all but necessary to test "positive" to gain inclusion into financial, social, and educational circles. I know that is a painful statement, but it's painfully true. Today's society is now dangerously close to the brink of disaster. Inevitably, if we do not address our own fleas and rats, the "black death" of our age will knock upon each and every door in this country, and it's knocking now.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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