Friday, February 17, 2012

Living History

Today as you go about your tasks, you are living history. Today is Tomorrow’s history and next Century’s ancient history. Perhaps if you are caught up in a momentous event today, you may become a footnote in history. There is a methodology for historical analysis called the new social history which attempts to view history through the eyes and sensations of ordinary people. Their primary criticism of traditional historical methods is that they focus too often on “great leaders and grand events” while time and living continue onward outside the elevated activity or person. They may be correct (in fact, they are correct), but scribes and journalists record the monumental movements of societies and rarely chronicle the mundane or ordinary. Thus a history of the common people and their reactions to disruptive occurrences is difficult to define and describe.

As an activist for restoring the United States to some semblance of its constitutional roots, each of you plays an important role in the eventual outcome. Your contributions will probably go unheeded when the history of the movement is written. Your individual efforts may attract others to the cause. Your consistent work for liberty may inspire others. Your thoughtful reasoning may help others conclude that liberty is a worthy goal. Your persistence may inspire others to never give up, and your passion may inflame others to act quickly rather than linger. Chances are you will not merit a footnote when the history of the rebuilding of the nation is assembled for future generations. You will, however, carry your tiny piece of the restoration history in your heart as you are lowered to your final earthly resting place. You may not be IN the history, but you will be a significant force OF the history.

As you are reading this, something is happening somewhere on the planet or in space that will be considered to be historically significant. Odds are you will not be involved in that event, but your place in history has been confirmed because you are at this moment reading this column. In other words, people who have no care or concerns about the nature of our relationship with the government do not read these words. They watch “American Idol,” they bowl 4 nights per week, and they rarely think about how their inattention affects their lives…..for good or ill. Your historical contribution at this moment is to read this because you understand that my primary objective is to teach and inform about the value of individual liberty and constitutional government. There are others who are better teachers than I am, and many who have more information than I do. I understand that this column is not your sole source, and I would be dismayed if it were.

Living history can be more important than being history. I’ve been reading a narrative history about George Washington who, as you probably know, lost more battles than he won during the Revolutionary War. The real heroes were those nameless, faceless members of the Continental Army who honored their commitments and endured amazing deprivations during the war. Traitorous Benedict Arnold, egoist Charles Lee, pompous Horatio Gates and dandy Alexander Hamilton have all been written about in histories, but not too many of the grunts…..the people who did the heavy lifting….have been identified or lauded. Yet it was their perseverance and commitment to liberty that drove them to endure the constant retreating, near starvation and abysmal lack of proper clothing and equipment. We do not know who many of them were, and large numbers of them perished throughout the campaign from enemy fire, disease and frostbite. They made the history. They lived the historic moments that we read about while sitting in the comfort of our easy chairs. They are little noted. They are not lauded or celebrated, but their contributions to our liberty were huge.

As our battle to restore our Republic and its protection of our liberties moves forward, we will benefit by recalling those anonymous warriors of some 235 years ago who believed that independence and freedom were worth the suffering they endured. We should honor the unknown or forgotten soldiers by laboring in honor of their memories for a renewal of their dreams. The history of this movement may feature some “leaders” whom we’ve never met, but each of us can live the history by never faltering. We must carry on living history so that the dreams of the Founders’ and Framers’ will live. That is the least we owe that ragged band of faithful Continentals. We must live the history.


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