Monday, September 21, 2020

9-17 Society event was the motivating boost and shot of enthusiasm I needed.

by Rod Williams - I have been a little down recently.  Much of it is personal which I won't go into in detail but I am not getting to see my wife or touch and hold her due to her being isolated in a nursing home during this pandemic and she no longer knows who I am.  That hurts. I also miss my daughter and my young grandson and hated to see them go after a short visit, and I have family members with health problems and  some other personal things going on that bring me down.  Also, however, in addition to the personal, I have been feeling really down about the direction of our country and feeling anxiety over the upcoming election.  I have never let political circumstances affect me so. 

As I witness riots that have been going on for all across America for over 100 days, I at times feel like the America I knew is being lost before my very eyes.  We, "are going down hill like a snowball headed for hell, ..." Cities burn, innocent people are pulled from their car and beaten, police officers are assassinated, statues of our founders are pulled down, innocent people simply trying to enjoy a meal out  at an outdoor café are harassed, and senseless violence and harassments and destruction abounds and it appears people who identify as Democrats condone it or at least refused to condemn it. 

On top of that our youth embrace socialism and crazy unrealistic proposals such as defunding the police and the Green New Deal.  I don't think they know of the 100 million victims of Communism that was socialism in action.  I am appalled they they can argue real socialism has never been tried and think they are smart enough to get it right when we have the examples of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro  and countless others tyrants who resulted from others who experimented with socialism. They would willingly, joyously march themselves and us into the Gulag and the cattle cars. "We are going down hill like a snowball heading for hell." 

I am feeling a lot of anxiety about the upcoming election.  I plan to lay out a more detailed explanation of my hypotheses of what could go wrong and share the mechanics of what could happen, but in a nutshell, I see Trump apparently wining the electoral vote, Biden the popular vote and various complications resulting from mail-in ballots and other nefarious things that result in a contested election with the side that loses not accepting the outcome of the election and, perhaps, by inauguration day us still not knowing who won the election. In my worst-case scenario we descend into either a civil war or at least a period of intense uncertainty with a major increase in violence. On top of this, we could have another uptick in Cova-19 cases, a new lockdown,  and an economic collapse. 

On Thursday night September 17th my sprits were lifted.  I attended a celebration of the 9-17 Society.  It was good to see old friends and socialize but the program was inspirational and lifted my spirits. The mission of the 9-17 Society is to, "to empower every 8th grader with the knowledge of their individual freedoms and provide them with their very own lasting copy of the U.S. Constitution as a "rite of passage" into American Citizenship and celebrate Constitution Day each September 17th."'

The pocket constitutions are handed out and signed and dated and includes the citizenship pledge that immigrants take when becoming citizens.  Reports are that 8th graders take this very seriously and see it as a big event.  Remembering when my own child was an 8th grader, I think that is the perfect age to do this.  They are smart enough to grasp complicated concepts but have not yet become know-it-all resentful teenagers.

The 917 Society is the brain child of Joni Bryant.  She has a bubbly personality and her passion for what she is doing is contagious.  It is hard to be around Joni and not feel better.  She started the project just a few years ago with nothing but a conviction that is something she ought to do.  She started small with boxes of the constitution in her car and went county by county, school by school distributing copies of the constitution.  It has taken off and now has covered Tennessee and expanded to several neighboring states.  Her dream has grown and now she has a vision of spreading the project to encompass all 50 states. 

At Thursday night's event the program was exciting and motivational.  We heard from several luminaries.  Dr. Ming Wang told of his escape from China with $50 in his pocket and how he barely avoided being sent to the countryside for a life of poverty and hard labor during the cultural revolution. He has risen to being the premier Lasik ophthalmologist in America, maybe the world. He spoke of his love for this country and what America means to him. 

We heard from Carol Swain. She rose from being one of twelve children raised in a two room shack without running water by poorly educated parents to become a graduate of Yale Law School and went on to be a professor at Vanderbilt, an esteemed scholar whose work has been quoted in Supreme Court cases, an author and a political commentator. She spoke of the greatness of American that made such a transition possible. 

The highlight of the evening for me, was the speech by Rep. John DeBerry.  He is an orator! He has served in the House of Representatives since 1995 as a Democrat representing a district in Memphis.  This year, too late to qualify as either a Republican or an independent, the State Democratic Party stripped him of his status as Democrat candidate. He would have been unable to run, had not the House stepped in and changed the rules. He is now on the ballot as an independent.  The State Democrat Party kicked him out of the party because he has voted for pro-life policies and policies that favor school choice.

He gave a humble but motivational speech that left me standing and cheering when it was over.  He spoke about the how he was taught to love this country and the wisdom found in the Constitution. He warned of how America has turned its back the values that made up great. He spoke of the character of America and the courteous fights to overcome injustices and the struggle and challenges that brought up thus far. He left me with a message of hope that all is not lost.  America is still the beacon of liberty in the world. 

My view of the potential for a struggle over the outcome of the upcoming election and the potential for a disastrous outcome has not changed.  I still view the embrace of socialism by many in this county as troubling.  The future is in the balance and it could go either way. History is not laid out.  The outcome of history is up to those who push it one direction or the other.  We could be like Venezuela in a short period of time.  The threat is real and the future hangs in the balance. 

I left the meeting, not feeling like the challenges we face are less than I did when I went into the meeting, but with a new determination to face the challenges.  I felt hope.  I felt revived. 

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1 comment:

  1. What an inspiring article Rod. I was not able to stay for Rep. DeBerry's speech but so glad it was captured and was truly inspiring. Joni is a beacon of hope for our State and America. We need ore Joni's in the world! Hope is on the horizon! God Bless!