American Elephants

Explaining the Meaning of Liberty With Stories by The Elephant's Child

Ordinary and simple American stories, everyday occurrences here, unthinkable in many parts of the world.

Americans Are Not Willing to Trade their Liberties for Some Kind of Comfortable Dependence on a Corrupt State. by The Elephant's Child

Americans are disheartened at the drive by the Obama administration towards more government, bigger government, and more control by government.   This is such a profound misunderstanding of America and the American people, that we must return again to the great questions.  Where do we come from?  Who are we?  Where are we going?

“We Americans are a bundle of paradoxes,” says David Hackett Fisher.” We are mixed in our origins, and yet we are one people.  Nearly all of us support our republican system, but we argue passionately (sometimes violently) among ourselves about its meaning. ”

“We live in an open society which is organized on the principle of voluntary action, but the determinants of that system are exceptionally constraining.  Our society is dynamic, changing profoundly in every period of American history; but it is also remarkably stable.”

For over two centuries “our social system has remained stubbornly democratic in its politics, capitalist in its economy, libertarian in its laws, individualist in its society and pluralistic in its culture.”

The great historian Robert Conquest wrote:

The only reason we are able to examine our own and other history in an open way is that the culture which makes such thinking possible has, so far, survived and prevailed.

People forget what a remarkable thing it is that in our countries we have such rights and liberties.  Civilizations have existed for thousands of years in which there was no trace of the mere idea of criticizing the government, of being secure from arbitrary arrest, of having a fair trial (or even a fairish trial, or even a trial at all), of printing almost anything one likes, of voting for one of a number of candidates for public office.

We are Americans.  We are not Europeans, nor are we British.  We are not citizens who are willing to trade our personal liberties for some kind of comfortable dependence on the state.  We are a people who boarded ships to cross the stormy North Atlantic to an absolutely unknown land.  There we put down roots, built schools and churches, and pulled up the roots and moved on.  Across the Appalachians, across the plains and the Rockies, across a continent.

Even those who have arrived only yesterday come to an unknown country, and it takes courage to come.  We welcome them and ask them to become Americans, to renounce their prior allegiances, learn about their new heritage,  and become free people, free Americans.  Some of our newest citizens are most cognizant of the value of liberty, and prize it more deeply, for they have come from where such freedom was impossible.

I just don’t believe that free Americans will stand for ideological statist policies that are deeply opposed by the majority of the people.  Americans will stand up to be counted, and make it clear that there are limits, there are laws, and ego-driven congressional leaders must follow the rules. We don’t like corruption, we don’t like sneaky backroom deals, we don’t like crony capitalism, and we won’t tolerate thugs in government.

Recommended Reading:
David Hackett Fischer: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America
Bernard Bailyn: The Peopling of British North America
Robert Conquest: Reflections on a Ravaged Century
Robert G. Athearn: The Mythic West In Twentieth Century America

And Thank You, Corporal Frank Buckles (ret.) by The Elephant's Child
November 11, 2008, 7:21 pm
Filed under: History, Military, News | Tags: , ,

This video was filmed sometime over the past year. Since then, Corporal Frank Buckles, 107, has become the only living American veteran of WWI. Thank you Corporal Buckles, and God bless!

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