What was it all for?
0 comment Sunday, June 22, 2014 |
Chuck Baldwin reflects on the Alamo, on this anniversary of its fall in 1836. He writes about the character of the men who died defending the Alamo, men like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Barret Travis.
He notes that Travis was a mere 23 years old when he met his death, and as you see by the letter he wrote before he was killed at the Alamo, Travis was a man of maturity and character, despite his youth. Of course, until very recent times, 23 was very much considered a man, while today, a male at 23 is often referred to as a ''kid'' or a boy or a youth. We no longer expect maturity of 23-year-olds. Maybe that is one of the reasons why we seem to be lacking leaders now; we delay adulthood until what used to be considered early middle age.
But be that as it may, the defenders of the Alamo were extraordinary men. They should be role models for our youth, but given the feminizing of our society, and the downplaying of the warrior ethic and masculinity in general, I suspect they are not held up, today, as men to be emulated, as in past eras.
Baldwin's piece is good, but I have one issue with it, and it's a fairly major point of difference. He says that the Alamo defenders fought and died for freedom.
''The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was "the land of the free and the home of the brave." They believed God was on their side and that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.
By today�s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning�none. However, the call for pragmatism and practicality was never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, "Victory or death!"
Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch our gutless political and religious leaders surrender to globalism, corporatism, and political correctness. Try to recall the time in this country when ordinary men and women had the courage of their convictions and were willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom and independence.''
He says that 'liberty and independence' was what motivated the men at Lexington and Concord, too. He says that they died for these principles.
Firstly, I would say that the Alamo represented a different struggle, to some extent, than that of the American Revolution.
The Texas colonists came to Texas at the invitation of a foreign government, the Mexican government. They were entering a foreign land, and they knew that the Mexicans were a people of a very different background, culture, language, and religion. They knew that the heritage of freedom in the American sense was not part of Mexico's system of governance.
The American Revolution was not the same situation at all; the American colonists knew they were of the same blood as their English rulers; it was not a case of being dominated by a foreign people with a different understanding of ''rights'' or freedoms, as with Mexico. They did not see the English authorities as alien peoples; why would they? They were all of the same stock, with the exception of course of the Americans of Dutch descent or Swedish descent, who were a distinct minority. The American colonists claimed 'the rights of Englishmen'.
Somehow, recent generations of students seem to have the idea that the colonists thought of the English as alien oppressors, which was not so. The quarrel was a family quarrel, with the differences being over ideas like 'taxation without representation'. So to that extent, the American Revolution was about ideas or principles, but the Alamo was about a distinct people (the Anglo-Protestant American colonists) being under the rule of a very different people, and deprived of their rights as they understood them. There was an element of a culture clash, even if you don't want to admit a racial aspect, to the Texas independence movement.
I personally don't think that many men (or women) will be willing to die for abstract, disembodied principles like 'freedom' or 'liberty'. I think what it comes down to is that men will fight and even die for home, hearth, land, and ultimately, their kin, their people. I think that's true down through the ages, even when there are abstract principles invoked. And men will die for their faith, if that faith is genuine and strong enough.
And that is the crucial issue now; how many people will risk all to fight for abstractions like the 'proposition nation' with its 'freedom and liberty' shibboleths? Not many, I would say, but people will fight or risk harm to protect their families, homes, lands, and their faith.
Since our country has been turned into a 'proposition nation', open to one and all, standing for no particular way of life except 'freedom and equality', then it is no wonder that many people's loyalties have become attenuated. That may be the reason why ''the best lack all conviction'' these days, because why fight for an abstract notion or for a system of government or a government apparatus in a far-off city? What counts to most red-blooded people is their homes, property, friends, family. It's the people (plus the place) which is home to us. That's what we will defend. Anything else is just words on paper.
I have a few kinsmen who died at the Alamo. I am certain that they died in defense not of abstractions, but in defense of their right to live on their land among their people, practicing their faith, on their terms, self-determining. The issue of their right to bear arms was what sparked the ultimate struggle; the Mexican government tried to disarm them, and then the fight began.
Many of today's politically corrected people don't know why old Americans were so attached to their right to bear arms. It is with those arms that a man can secure and protect his home, his land, his family against outlawry and against a despotic government. A disarmed people is an enslaved people. They knew that.
But ultimately, both the Texans and the Revolutionary patriots wanted the right to live peaceably ''under his own vine and fig tree'' as self-determining people, among like neighbors. That is a primal affinity for most healthy people. We can't make these conflicts into a war for abstractions; it was about flesh-and-blood bonds.
And if one believes that they primarily wanted to secure their political rights, what better way to guarantee them than to live among your own people, who share common standards and ideals about how people treat one another, and about just what rights we have as individuals and collectively?
We are told by the open borders zealots that all the millions who are arriving in our country every year are coming because they want ''freedom and liberty''. But it is evident to anybody with eyes and sense that what many of the immigrants consider 'freedom' is not our idea of freedom. What they consider their 'rights' are not necessarily what we as a people have agreed to be our rights. And their assumed 'rights' come into conflict with ours, and the conflicts are insoluble in some cases.
No, our forebears did not fight or die for abstractions and fine-sounding words on parchment; they died for the right to be self-determining, to live and worship as suited them and their ancestors, and (they hoped) their posterity.
It's all about the people, the flesh-and-blood people.

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