El Paso and Dayton

On August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old gunman opened fire in El Paso, Texas, killing at least 20 people and wounding at least 26 others.  Less than a day later, a 24-year-old gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing at least 9 people and wounding at least 27 others.

On August 4, 2019, Presidential candidates (Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg) grabbed the television spotlight and blamed President Trump and the NRA, and the House Minority Leader (Republican Kevin McCarthy) grabbed the television spotlight and blamed video games.

Without any basis in fact whatsoever, these numbskulls, these very dangerous people, in concert with all too many other anti-American critters, work full-time at undermining President Abraham Lincoln’s dream: “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.  They devote every ounce of their being to gathering personal wealth and power by filling our television screens and newspapers with hateful, divisive, moronic tirades.

They could have, instead, sought a way to offer comfort to the families and friends who lost loved ones in El Paso and Dayton.  They could have, instead, kept their traps shut until they had all the facts.  But they are our politicians and pundits, and they never take their eyes off the ball when there’s money to be made or power to be grabbed.

Please, let’s pause a moment.  Let’s remember that this is the Socratic Post.  Let’s find the right question to ask.  I think the right question is this: Shouldn’t we all read President George Washington’s Farewell Address of September 19, 1796, and pay particular attention to the following passage from the Father of our Country?

“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations.  Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.  But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.  The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Stephen B. Benisch, August 4, 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.