Thank God for George Washington, the ‘indispensable man,’ on Feb. 22

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was one of the greatest men to ever have walked the earth, which is why I suggest saying a prayer of thanks this Saturday.

During one battle of the Revolution, at Monmouth in New Jersey, the American troops were in confused flight and on the verge of destruction when General Washington appeared on the field. Soldiers stopped in their tacks and stared as the tall, blue-coated figure spurred his horse up and down the line, halting the retreat. The young Marquis de Lafayette remembered the sight for the rest of his life, how Washington rode “all along the lines amid the shouts of the soldiers, cheering them by his voice and example and restoring to our standard the fortunes of the fight. I thought then, as now, that never had I beheld so superb a man.”

The General turned his army around. The fighting raged until sundown, and that night the British took the chance to slip away. Washington’s very presence had stopped a rout and turned the tide of battle.

It was not the only time. Again and again, Americans turned to Washington. He was, as biographer James Flexner called him, the “indispensable man” of the American founding. Without George Washington, there may never have been a United States. (Bennett, William and Cribb, John. The American Patriot’s Almanac. p.59)

The more I’ve learned about Washington over the years, the more I have come to love him. It’s hard not wonder what it would be like to serve under his command. Whenever I read of the pivotal role Washington played in helping our nation to survive such a fragile moment in its history, I can’t help but think, “There is a man who I would follow into any battle. I would die for that man.”

Think of all the men in your life. How many of them would you follow into battle without question? How many would it be an honor to serve? You could probably count them on one hand.

One day the fate of the nation will hang in the balance, and we will only be able to pray that a man of Washington’s caliber is available to guide us through the ordeal. Until then, take a moment every so often to given thanks for the “indispensable man.”

Related: D.C. goons target Mount Vernon during shutdown — even though it’s privately owned

Editor’s note to regular readers: As some of you may have noticed, I have written less blog posts on contemporary politics as of late. There are quite a few reasons for that, which I’m more than willing to elaborate on in the comments section. However, the long story short is that over the next few months I will probably lean more often on the readily-available wisdom of greater men than I to keep the blog fresh. I will still write on political stories that are front and center in the news cycle, but with less regularly. I’m still trying to find the proper balance, but I think that it this point in history it might be better to reacquaint as many people as possible with our founding fathers instead of the ramblings of modern career politicians.

D.C. goons target Mount Vernon during shutdown — even though it’s privately owned

It was only a few days ago that park police, acting on the orders of the Obama administration, tried to deny World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the national memorial built in their honor. I noted that this was no surprise, since during sequestration word was sent out to make Americans feel the pain: “However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be,” was the takeaway quote at the time.

Now, the Obama administration has even approved of an attempt to shut down Mount Vernon — even though it is privately owned.

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Yes, it is disgusting.

A few years ago I was the Program Coordinator for The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. For each class that went through, I had the pleasure of putting together a trip to Mount Vernon. A funny thing happened: it never got old. The estate is beautifully maintained, filled with history and an absolute must for anyone who loves learning about the history of the United States. I could go to Mount Vernon every year and still enjoy it because it is a pure honor and joy to stand on the ground once treaded upon by one of the greatest men to ever live.

The Heritage Foundation Mount Vernon Fall 2011
A picture of the last intern class I took to Mount Vernon, Oct. 2011.

Going to Mount Vernon is just as moving as going to the Capitol to view Jonathan Trumbull’s depiction of General Washington resigning his commission. If you’re not familiar with just how critical this moment in history was for the nation, I suggest reading up on it. Washington could have held on to ultimate power — like so many military men before him who were placed in similar situations — but he willfully gave it up for the good of country. He walked away. Just the thought of brings me to the verge of tears, as it did years ago when I was an intern for Congressman Peter Roskam. I used to give Capitol tours to constituents and other visitors, and I always stopped for just a few moments longer to take in Trumbull’s work.

The painting General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull is on display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. This painting depicts the scene on December 23, 1783, in the Maryland State House in Annapolis when George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The action was significant for establishing civilian authority over the military, a fundamental principle of American democracy. (Image: aoc.gov)
The painting General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull is on display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. This painting depicts the scene on December 23, 1783, in the Maryland State House in Annapolis when George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The action was significant for establishing civilian authority over the military, a fundamental principle of American democracy. (Image: aoc.gov)

The cause for the government “shut down” can be debated endlessly, but what is not up for debate is the despicable behavior of the Obama administration, which has gone out of its way to inflict pain on the American people. Instead of simply “shutting down,” the White House has put out marching orders to agencies to be proactive in their approach. They are finding creative ways to make Americans feel the affects of the shutdown, and for that they should be held in utter contempt.

If you’ve never been to Mount Vernon, please make the trip if you’re ever in the area.  If you ever have disposable income you’re looking to donate to charity, think about the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. It would be a shame if such a culturally important location ever came under the complete control over bureaucratic goons who would fence off the National World War II Memorial or close the parking lot leading up to our first president’s estate.

On Independence Day, Chris Rock celebrates his ignorance

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country.”

Those were the words of Thomas Paine, a man who dedicated every cent he earned to the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers would draw from Paine (among many other giants of Western thought) as they penned the Declaration of Independence. They would literally put their lives on the line for liberty, and in the process write two of the greatest documents of all time — all so ungrateful millionaires like Chris Rock could make a mockery of their accomplishments.

On Independence Day, the filthy stinking rich Rock celebrated his ignorance:

It must be tough being Chris Rock. Maybe if the founders were nicer guys he would have been a billionaire instead of a multimillionaire whose bathroom closet is probably bigger than my apartment.

As I said before, some form of slavery existed in all cultures throughout history. For thousands of years humans were finding ways to enslave one another. But it was Western Civilization that, for all intents and purposes, ended it. America’s Founding Fathers, in many ways, fired the shots that would eventually kill slavery.

Exhibit A:

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

If one believes these words, so eloquently written by the Founders, it is impossible to advocate on slavery’s behalf. In fact, Jefferson’s original draft had a direct admonishment of the King for sending slaves to the colonies, but he had to pull the language in order to keep his fragile coalition together (i.e., the coalition that would depend on a bunch of ragtag farmers with zero formal training to stand up to the British Empire and its legendary Navy).

With no real standing Army — and as traitors to the Crown — what the Founders accomplished is nothing short of a miracle. Modern day liberals want to dismiss the founding fathers as racist “white” men because they couldn’t end slavery overnight (Again, this was an institution that had existed for thousands of years.) They obliviously apply their modern sensibilities to past societies (i.e., “presentism”). Ironically, they are able to demand impossible standards of marvelous men because those men essentially accomplished the impossible!

As historian Larry Schweikart says:

“To have pressed the slavery issue in 1776 would have killed the Revolution, and to have pressed it in 1787 would have aborted the nation,” (A Patriot’s History of the United States, 116).

That is a fact. And after reading The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers and the Constitution — and then considering all the other threats to the fate of the nation — it is hard not to well up with gratitude that men like Washington were at the helm at that moment in history.

Chris Rock is apparently so busy spending his millions that he never opened up a few history books. Or maybe he did, but his mind is so obsessed with race that he’s incapable of objectively looking at something as monumental as the American Revolution. Meanwhile, his liberal defenders on Twitter try to boil down our nation’s history to 140 characters or less. Brevity is often the soul of wit, but it also can be the soul of a twit — as Chris Rock demonstrates.

Now if you excuse me, I think I’ll quote another white guy: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It’s a great point, made by Abraham Lincoln. You know, that guy who freed the slaves. It’s just too bad liberals like Chris Rock didn’t get the memo.

BioShock Infinite: The Enemy Is George Washington.

The makers of a wildly successful, cerebral video game series have decided that George Washington will be one of the main character's enemies. Given that the series has been known to offer customers a "thinking man's video game," it seems fair to ask what the message is that they're trying to send with BioShock Infinite.

If you’ve known anyone who’s been into video games for the past five years you’ve at least heard of the BioShock series, first person shooters that have done extremely well. Besides being critically acclaimed, the original game has plenty of Ayn Rand fans talking. BioShock Infinite, which comes out October 16th, 2012, looks like it might have plenty of “Occupy” types rooting for it come Halloween. Why you ask? Your enemy has a name: George Washington.

Ken Levine, Creative Director: “What I personally would have liked to have seen in a BioShock game is sort of a broader range of enemies, and I think in BioShock Infinite we really wanted to have a class of enemies that have a more imaginative range of powers. We came up with this concept called the Heavy Hitters, who are enemies that are sort of used to not just being more powerful, but also to augment the abilities of the more traditional BioShock enemies. You’re going to come across them in certain areas of the game and they’re going to provide a really unique challenge.

We wanted an AI that sort of expressed the very clear system of beliefs the founders had, and the Heavy Hitter that would represent that. And the Motorized Patriot sort of the embodiment of that.

Nate Wells, Art Director: And I came up with this idea of this creepily-motorized, like hall of presidents, animatronic George Washington. It was specifically the face. Specifically this weird porcelain child dolls, poor rendering of George Washington. That kind of clinched it.

Shawn Robertson, Lead Artist: “Everyone saw it and said ‘Okay. We can roll with that.’ It was one of those rare moments where you all come together and realize this is going to work. We’re all on the same page here. Let’s just move forward with what we’ve got.”

Okay, so you’re saying, “It’s an animatronic George Washington. It’s ‘The Motorized Patriot.’ Let’s not jump to conclusions.” Sure. I’m open minded. However, BioShock Infinite’s official website fills in a bit more of the story, and it looks to be one your liberal college professor would read to his kid at night. Your character’s enemies come from a floating city named Columbia:

The city of Columbia was built by the US Government in the late 1800s to serve as a floating world’s fair. The city was sent to travel from continent to continent and show the rest of the world the success of the American experiment. Unknown to most, Columbia was also a “death star,” secretly packed with weaponry. Political strife caused Columbia to secede from America and the city disappeared. No one knows how to get to Columbia (emphasis added).

Get that? The “American Experiment” spawned a Trojan Horse of war and destruction, one that can fly around the globe wreaking havoc. Now…if only there was proof that the Founders were also oppressive. Perhaps if there was a cast of characters who could serve the purpose of bringing that aspect to the forefront we’d be all set. Ah yes…The Vox Populi:

The Vox Populi–Latin for “Voice of the People”–are the group opposing the Founders. Their leader is Daisy Fitzroy. The Vox Populi started as a small underground group that worked to protect the rights of the working class. Following an inciting event in China, the Vox Populi staged violent mass riots against Founder oppression. The Founders retaliated with a violent government-imposed lockdown. Now, the Vox aim to destroy industry and government control in Columbia. They will vandalize anything from factories and utilities to the stores and homes of innocents. They see these acts of destruction as revenge against the Founder regime and the delivery of their political message.

Given the BioShock series’ history, it’s probably a bit premature to pass judgment. However, one must ask what kind of warped minds decide to use the founding fathers as enemies? Because the past games have been applauded for being more cerebral than their competitors, it seems fair to ask what the creators are getting at with this installment. What’s the underlying message the player is supposed to take away when the objective is to shoot George Washington’s visage until a metal face plate falls off to reveal an evil, robotic skeleton underneath? Why is the American Experiment being associated with a “Death Star”? The makers of BioShock Infinite sound like they meticulously planned out every aspect of the game, which should be great for fans…but it also makes it harder for them imply that it’s all “mindless entertainment” when critics start peeling away the layers of social commentary.

I haven’t played a video game for quite some time, but I might have to make an exception for BioShock Infinite.

George Washington likened to Xenu followers, Alan Colmes normal? We have a lot of work to do.

I was recently talking with a friend in Los Angles about what I do for a

This guy is a cultist who believes in Xenu while Alan Colmes is considered normal? We have a lot of work to do.

living. In short, I told her, I get to promote a think tank that believes Free Enterprise, Limited Government, Individual Freedom, a Strong National Defense, and Traditional American values are the principles our public policies should be crafted in concert with. In short—our First Principles.

My friend’s response was that it sounded like I was “in a cult.”  And, while she was in no way trying to insult my person or my profession, I think she was inadvertently on to something, which is why I responded, “Sure, I’m in a cult…if you consider the Founding Fathers part of a cult.” My apolitical, left-leaning friend unwittingly voiced what conservatives have known for years: we now live in a United States where the roadmap the Founding Fathers actually intended future generations to follow is now foreign to large swathes of the American public.—particularly young people. Liberalism and the moral relativism that comes part and parcel with it has muddied up the learning pool enough so that things that were once “self-evident” no longer are, and past axioms associated with freedom and liberty are no longer such—they must be questioned and examined.

To you and I, the evidence is clear that free societies are strongly correlated with prosperity and economic growth. To you and I, bloated government is like an out of control Zeppelin that clumsily teeters to-and-fro before crashing and burning into a sickening display of wreckage. But to countless others, there is no intellectual double-take when the same people who can’t run a post office decide they want to control the ultimate package: You, and the health and well-being housed inside (Kudos to any liberal critics who pick apart this post by pointing out that “Ultimate Package” sounds like a really bad 80’s adult film, but it still doesn’t undermine the soundness of the argument).

It’s a sad and pathetic existence when smart, creative young people in the prime of their lives are trained like Pavlov’s dogs to doubt the potential for greatness inside them (the key to their release?). Instead of cultivating a nation of go-getters who would look at the US economy’s flotsam and jetsam and make something new and bright and bold that might change the world for the better—because of their initiative—we’re planting the seeds for a nation of reticent loafs who wait for third parties to tell them what to do and how to do it.

It would be easy to blame the usual suspects (e.g. Hollywood, liberal academics, etc.) for the situation we find ourselves in, but in this instance I think it’s important for conservatives to look in the mirror and take ownership for the part they play in colonization of America by Alan Colmes clones.

When you’re trying to paddle to a destination up steam, a really a good idea is to paddle with a force greater than that of the current. Sure, the Tea Party movement is fighting furiously to save us from quickly becoming a nation of Nanny State slaves wallowing in subsidized mediocrity like blissfully ignorant pigs, but what if it’s too late? What if we’re too close to the waterfall and no amount of paddling can save us?

Personally, I don’t think we’re at that point (I’m an eternal optimist), but conservatives need to learn some hard lessons from this moment in history.  When fighting against the tide of liberalism, whether it’s on a college campus or the entertainment industry or any other aspect of our lives, we need to work twice as hard as the next guy and always be on the lookout for new ways to innovate from within, educate the public outside the Beltway, and disseminate amongst all contributors to the movement.

And if you haven’t gotten anything from this post I award you no points…and may God have mercy on your soul.