April 9, 2022

Abraham Lincoln in May 1858, one month before he delivered his famous “House Divided” speech at the Illinois State Capitol (public domain)

Dear Readership,

My longtime friend Jim Willhoft wrote the following to me:

“I don’t watch much TV.  However, I was watching ME TV and an episode of Bonanza came on.  The episode was prefaced by:

Viewer Advisory:  The broadcast includes inaccurate depictions of certain cultures.  Discretion is advised.

“So, Bonanza is racist and will probably one day be stricken from the airwaves.

“In other words, Big Brother is watching.  And, Big Brother is watching shows that are 50 years old for evidence of racism.

“As China buys up America and our debts grow obscenely, Big Brother is more concerned w/TV shows that aired 50 years ago.    

“Brings to mind the adage, ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned.’

“Lastly, in the olden days we said, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’  Now we say ‘Boo Hoo!  I’m offended.’  We have become weak and thin-skinned.  We don’t have the backbone it takes to brush ourselves off and keep going.

“We blame others for our misfortune.  We need to get back to hard work, common sense, and assimilating into the America that is the envy of the world.  We need to be less ‘Hyphenated-Americans’ and more like the Melting Pot that makes us strong. 

“America:  Love it, or leave it, or stick around and help us to make it better.”  

Another friend writes:  “I was very sorry to read this piece on a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer.  I think this is wrong headed. No one sues car manufacturers when a private individual causes a terrible auto accident. If a guy shoots people I don’t see it as the fault of the company that made the gun any more than I would blame GM or Ford for a driver that killed some people while driving one of their cars. This kind of thing will make insurance for gun makers inordinately expensive and may cause some gun manufacturing companies to close.”

We don’t need Gun Control.  We need Bad Guy Control.

Another anonymous friend wrote:  “What do Vaxxers and Anti-Vaxxers have in common?  Neither of them will ever be fully vaccinated.”

The above concerns can be summarized as a mixed-up society, a society that contradicts itself constantly.  Where are we as a nation and where is it going? 

First we have to examine what a nation is.  The internet presents a reasonable definition:  “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.”  Has the United States any of these attributes any longer or are we drifting from traditionalism owing to our push toward diversity?  It would appear that our national identity is dissipating.

There’s something to be said of the Philosophy of The Borg from Star Trek.

Accept Assimilation…Resistance is Futile!  😊 

The chaos we have been encountering seems to be based on a conflict between those who are comfortable with traditional values and those who are inspired to change things. 

Among the issues that divide Americans are staggering inflation, food prices and supply chain challenges; oil and other energy factors; views on illegal immigration, CRT, cancel culture, and wokeness; world instability with Russia, China, The Taliban, North Korea, Iran, and international terrorism; increased heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl deaths; lack of respect for law and order elements that are presumably increasing crime rates.  These are just some of the factors that separate us as Americans, and this list is not to be limiting.

Many of these challenges are exacerbated, if not caused, by our politicians.

We need to vote them out of office in favor of someone who gets it right.

Experience has proven that change for the sake of change has many pitfalls and that changes without a great deal of forethought and deep examination of consequences of the details of these modifications can be disastrous.

This may be a good time for a national debate to be televised where round-table discussions are covered and focus groups follow.  The debaters can be from many walks of life but must earnestly be seeking a solution to our national divide.

The concern here is for unity to mitigate the gulf of thought in this nation.  Currently it seems that citizens are following different styles of media which is doing their thinking for them and that if the people would get together without the partitions, solutions and accord could be realized.

In closing, someone most of us admire made the following statement; may it remain a guideline for us all. The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln, later President of the United States, on June 16, 1858, at what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois stated:  “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.

“I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

“I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”


James M. Hoover, CACM, Captain, USAF (Retired)                  

James R. Willhoft

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