Meandering across the landscape of America is a metaphoric raging river that divides us unlike any time in our history. It is impossible to reside on both sides of a river simultaneously and the time has come when we must choose one side of the other. If we take an uncomplicated, common sense approach, we can easily discovery the reality of the state America is in today. There is only one bridge spanning the metaphoric river and for some, it is a mystery. I invite you to journey with me to explore that mystery.
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TWO SIDES OF THE RIVERA TIME TO CHOOSE
By HENRY EUGENE IVEY
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Henry Eugene Ivey
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTHE POLITICAL SIDE OF THE RIVER
On a cold February night in 1940, in the small cotton-mill town of Bladenboro, North Carolina, I was fortunate to take my first breath in the world's greatest country. Good fortune again smiled on me by allowing me to be reared in the company of America's Greatest Generation.
Bladenboro was one of many cotton mill towns that dotted the landscape of the rural South in those days. My first venture away from the place where I was born occurred at the age of twelve, my cousin invited me to join him on a train trip to Florida to visit relatives. It was the beginning of a lifelong quest to explore not only the country but also life itself.
During my formative years, there were never sufficient hours in a day to satisfy my cat-like curiosity and the adventuresome nature of a Huckleberry Finn. I am still pursuing that quest today, and I suppose writing this book is a manifestation of my love and respect for the heritage of this great country and what has happened to it.
Reality is what it is, and we must confront it. Many Americans are living in a fantasyland that, in large part, accounts for our troubles and will lead to our eventual downfall. To be born in the United States of America is a blessing that only a very few of the world's six billion inhabitants are privileged to enjoy. Sadly, many Americans fail to appreciate their good fortune and are about to forfeit what they have taken for granted far too long.
In those days, politics and materialistic pursuits were not an obsession as they are today. Financial gain was necessary for survival, but it was low on the list of priorities for most people. My parents taught me that there are far more important things in life than the pursuit of wealth and chasing rainbows. Strong faith in God, good moral principles, integrity, responsibility, respect for others, and honesty were universally understood to be the proper motivation for dwelling among other human beings. Many people my age long for the America we once knew, when selfishness and self-serving attitudes were not a way of life as they are today. America has gone through many hardships and struggles to maintain the legacy willed to us by our founders and ancestors, and old gravestones display the names of those who sacrificed their lives to protect and defend this great country. Our schoolchildren are denied the true history of America and are indoctrinated with American-bashing falsehoods that shelter them from the reality of what is about to be taken from them.
My earliest clear recognition occurred in May 1945, and it is still fresh in my memory. I was standing on the porch of our small, company-owned house with my mom and dad and being frightened by the commotion and noise taking place in our otherwise quiet neighborhood. People were scurrying about the streets, car horns were honking, police-car sirens were wailing, and whistles at the nearby cotton mill were blowing. I can easily recall the commotion sixty-five years later. After a time, when things quieted down, I asked my dad what was happening; being a man of very few words he simply patted me on head and said, "The war is over." I was not fully aware of what war was, but even at such a young age, I knew it was a very important development.
As time passed, and veterans began to return home and share their experiences, I knew that the military would be part of my future. Those experiences instilled in me a never-diminished respect for the sacrifices of those men and women who would never see their loved ones again. Even as a young child, I recognized how blessed I was to be born in America. Brave, selfless men, and women, continue to die every day to defend our freedoms, but the youth of today give little respect to their sacrifices. The best that America can produce make up our military, and the twenty-two years that I was part of the world's greatest organization are the proudest of my life.
It is impossible not to be sad by the knowledge that children and grandchildren are facing a country far removed from the America preserved by parents and grandparents of people my age. However, things being what they are today, those days are lost forever. America has sacrificed a great deal of wealth and lives to defend against those who wish to do us harm. The threat to our country, however, is not from foreign armies. Like most of the great societies of the past, we are self-destructing from within.
Lessons from History
Edward Gibbon's great historical book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, is a sort of blueprint for the destiny of all great societies, and the reason for America's downfall can be seen in that blueprint. The similarities are striking, beginning with Rome's failure to control the influx of foreigners that breached its borders and took advantage of what it had to offer. Rather than assimilate into the existing society, newcomers worked to change it, and change it they did. Rome's form of government and strong military made it the leader for hundreds of years, but the breakdown of morals; alcoholism, sexual deviancy, idolatry, and the erosion of a stable leadership and discipline in the military, contributed to the failure to defend itself against foreign influences that led to its downfall. As a pagan society, Romans had so many gods to worship, it was impossible to identify them all. To be sure, not to offend one, they would add another god and worship them all. Rome did not disappear; it just disintegrated. I am afraid that a similar fate awaits the United States of America. As Rome, America will not disappear, it will become a mere remnant of its once glory.
There have been many great empires in the past, including those of the Romans, Egyptians, Persians, and Babylonians, among others. Where are these countries now when at the height of their power they were considered too powerful to fail? The common thread that brought about their downfall was the concentration of power among the elite and the apathy of an affluent society that ignored the walls crumbling down around it.
The United States of America is not a young nation; 200 to 250 years seems to be all the time required to cycle a country through its birth, growth, and decline. History has shown that apathy, abundance, and ignorance by the populace—mixed with greed and corruption of the leadership—ensure the failure of a society to sustain itself with any measure of stability, and nations continue to repeat the same mistake, and have for thousands of years.
The Threat of Communism
The same internal threats that existed in this nation at its founding are still with us, but today we have a far different leadership. Rather than build upon the foundation our founders created, current leaders are determined to destroy it. Bigotry, distain, and yes, even racism directed toward the founders and builders of this great nation, has led to pure hatred of all things American by many of those in power today. The underlying theme of their agenda seems to be revenge against a society into which they are unwilling to assimilate. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson is given credit for speaking those words as a warning to both the government and the people—not only his generation but also all who would follow.
Freedom is the God-given right of every human being, and the government cannot suppress it from people forever. When democracy is introduced into a Communist country, it is like a dim light that grows brighter and brighter until it eventually overcomes the darkness of oppression. We can see that occurring in China today, although the light is growing slowly. When oppressed people experience freedom, it is difficult to take it away from them—unless of course, the people allow it to be taken away. People who live in a free country like the United States of America and take their freedom for granted and do nothing to preserve it, face the inevitability of losing it.
People do not leave America and go to a Communist country, because they realize Communism is a failed system; it always has been and always will be. Socialists, on the other hand, view Communism as a panacea, and for those in power in a Communist country, that is exactly what it is. We cannot exclude Communism from this discussion because it is possible, it could come to America. Socialism is the road that leads to Communism, and necessity is the material that paves the road. This current administration is going full steam to create the necessity by gaining control over every aspect of our lives. Most Americans do not yet realize the number of new laws the administration has clandestinely passed, but shock and awe are just ahead.
When one reads the words of some of our previous great leaders, especially our founders, Democrats and Republicans, it is a mystery where all the leaders have gone. It is almost embarrassing to watch some wimpy politicians sashaying around like a bunch of overgrown teenagers frightened by political jocks, afraid they will not be successful if they are not popular with the in-crowd. The majority of politicians from both parties are devoid of courage or conviction to do the right thing for our country. They just go along to get along to protect their own selfish interests to remain in power while our country is imploding. The powerful Socialist juggernaut that is in control of our country today ignores the few who are trying to do the right thing for our country.
There is nothing in the American lexicon that has affected our country more than political correctness, especially in politics. Long before President Obama came on the scene, America had already gone through a fundamental change by the validation of political correctness by the American people. It takes courage, integrity, self-respect, and character to stand against the implications of political correctness. While I am not a political groupie, I cannot think of more than one or two politicians who display those qualities.
Political correctness is a political tool Liberals use for intimidation. You may not know exactly what the term means, but you certainly understand its implications. Like the word "racism," political correctness often is a solid roadblock against freedom of expression. I suppose it is a harebrained idea instigated by the government to make us all equal; the question is, equal to what. There are no winners or losers; there are no criminals—only those who have been victimized by society. There is no evil—only a different way of expression. There is no self-imposed poverty—only people who have been trampled on by the rich. I could go on, but the point is that political correctness has destroyed self-motivation and goal setting, especially among the young.
The Failure of Our Leadership
One of my favorite Aesop fables is, "The Sick Man and the Doctor." and we can learn a lesson from it.
A Sick Man received a visit from his Doctor, who asked him how he was. "Fairly well, Doctor," said he, "but I find I sweat a great deal." "Ah," said the Doctor, "that's a good sign." On his next visit he asked the same question, and the patient replied, "I'm much as usual, but I've taken to having shivering fits, which leave me cold all over." "Ah", said the Doctor, "that's a good sign too." When he came the third time and inquired as before about the patient's health, the Sick Man said that he felt very feverish. "A very good sign," said the Doctor; "you are doing very nicely indeed." Afterwards a friend came to see the invalid, and on asking him how he did, received this reply: "My dear friend, I'm dying of good signs."
This fable has a message that is pertinent to us today. My dear friends, America is dying of good signs. Just as the doctor in this fable, our government is hiding the truth from us and deceiving us with false optimism. Death is the fate of any society that ignores reality in favor of more palpable lies and deceptions.
The actions of our present leadership show a slanderous disrespect toward our great leaders of the past like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and many others. Their love and sacrifices for this great republic made these men great leaders. Were their efforts all in vain, are we to discard and forget them like some old black-and-white movie?
I have great respect and admiration for the few in both parties who wish to do the right thing but are unable to make their way through the herd led around by the nose by the Speaker of the House. If you are among those who believe our leaders are trying to introduce Socialism to America, you need to get a clue; we are already deep into Socialism. Common sense dictates that the only motivation for attempting such a foolish thing is the accumulation of power over the people. I realize that politicians make every effort to avoid the term Communism or Socialism, but Communism is a reality, and it could come to America. It has been creeping its way into our society since before most of us were born.
The president has said he has a gift without explaining exactly what his gift is. Well, we all have gifts, but to what end do we use those gifts? A thief has the gift for breaking into our house and taking everything we own if we fail to protect what is rightly ours. President Obama appears to have a vision of being the president of the entire world, but his self-aggrandizing view of himself far exceeds his abilities to be even an effective leader of the United States of America.
The Failure of the American People
For many Americans, history is what happened two weeks ago, and the future is the next government handout; our focus has become so narrow that we are constantly groping around in the dark, looking for answers in all the wrong places. Politicians rarely plan anything beyond the next election, and most peoples' knowledge comes from the constant sound bites from people in the media, who are mostly America-hating radicals from the same generation as the leadership now driving us toward oblivion. Politicians do not operate in the sunlight but rather prefer to wheel and deal in the back rooms, shielded from the public, while orchestrating our demise. One by one, the elements of their agenda are being implemented in a slow process unnoticed by the majority of this apathetic generation. Of course, this type of political shenanigan is nothing new in American politics, but whether the media expose it or not, depends on what party is in power.
In the history of man, there never has been more hideous device to distract people from real life than television and the Internet. The world has become addicted to these devices and it is no surprise that it is puts a burden on our youth to survive in a world of fantasy and make-believe, leaving them poorly prepared to cope with the real world. Of course, it plays into the hands of government officials to create a society so uninformed and disconnected that it is unable to survive without their involvement, and that, my friends, is a building block in the creation of Communism.
In 2007, the National Institute of Mental Health, reported on their website —http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics and-prevention/index.shtml—that suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young Americans ages fifteen to twenty-four. Drug and alcohol use is destroying many young people before they have a chance to experience a productive life. It is true that I am cynical about our government; there are millions, maybe a majority of Americans, who share my concern about the decline of our nation. However, recognition or support from the liberal press or elected representatives is not forthcoming.
Conservatives will not tolerate being represented by radicals of any persuasion. Conservative protesters will continue to be peaceful and intelligent, and if it fails, which it probable will, it will be partly due to lack of participation and in-fighting. However, it is also likely clandestine Socialist operatives will infiltrate them and make trouble and disparage the peaceful protesters, while the despicable press will be there to put cameras in their faces. Even so, when others falter, those of us with the American spirit in our hearts will survive. Communism has a limited lifespan, and if it comes, it will eventually go, but most, if not all, of us will be long gone before it runs its course.
There are many, young and old, who are capable of rescuing our way of life from those determined to change it, but the power of the people has been lost by this generation. A foundation of sound moral principles is another of those American benchmarks that Socialists consider outdated nonsense, but they do not oppose America-hating radicals ruling them. In America today, political power rules whether it represents the majority or the minority. As usual, common sense will eventually overcome, but it will not return to America until this generation, or even the next generation, has passed on. When future generations, if there are any, look back at what this generation has done to America, they will certainly never let it happen again. No rational, intelligent person would ever accept Communism or Socialism as a desired way of life.
Excerpted from TWO SIDES OF THE RIVER by HENRY EUGENE IVEY Copyright © 2010 by Henry Eugene Ivey . Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
The Political Side of the River....................1
The Spiritual Side of the River....................63
A Final Word....................213
A Note to the Reader....................221