The statements I am making in this article to ring in 2021 have nothing to do with those who were disabled, or lost loved ones to the China Virus. This is more of an address and reflection upon those who whined that 2020 was the worst year in American history and other such overly dramatic declarations, especially those in the so-called “mainstream” media who are clueless as to how most of our nation lives on a daily basis.
America is not yet ready to fall nor fail, but once again it will be close. Our nation is not mourning the losses of thousands of troops in a war, the nation is economically injured but not crippled (yet), and our political leadership is no more or less incompetent than it was at other times in our nation’s history. I have listed a few brief examples of just how bad things have been in America’s past to give those whining about not being able to enjoy spring break something to reflect on.
The War of 1812, Torching of Washington, D.C.
The War of 1812 between a young United States and Great Britain had been a bloody stalemate with both sides trading body blows, but no decisive actions to determine a final outcome. After a series of raids however, it was thought America might lose the war, especially after the British landed in Maryland and defeated the small U.S. force at the Battle of Bladensburg. Yet despite this setback, Americans persevered, and eventually the war ended leading to a massive expansion of our nation.
The Battles of Manassas and Antietem
If anyone thought Abraham Lincoln slept well in 1862, they were gravely mistaken. After being misled as to the capabilities of the Confederate military leaders by his General staff at the start of the Civil War, the two disastrous battles at Manassas led up to the bloodiest confrontation of the war at Antietem.
Thousands of Americans were slaughtered on both sides of the battles and after Antietem it became abundantly clear to Lincoln that the incompetent General McClellan had to be removed from command because his hesitations and miscalculations could have cost the North any chance of winning the war. Despite the propaganda of the era that Antietem was a huge victory for the Union, Lincoln knew otherwise but pressed ahead with the Emancipation Proclamation to further weaken the support for the Confederacy and try to press the slight advantage the Union had to end the war.
Once again, despite massive hardship on the citizenry, our Republic survived, just barely.
The United States had just entered into World War II and it began on January 1, 1942 with a National Day of Prayer declared by President Roosevelt. He invited and was joined by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Christ Church in Alexandria, VA; the very same church that George Washington attended. It was an opportune time for the two nations which still believed that the Western version of economic and political freedom had to further unite to defeat a dark evil which was rapidly taking control of the world.
Sadly, the war would not go well for the U.S. and our allies that year and despite the teachings of history, the Axis powers could have won the war. Thankfully their own arrogance and incompetence opened the door for the Allied powers to recover and win the war, but now without hardship. Just imagine the whining of the millennial class if they had to purchase daily necessities with a book of rationing stamps and follow a rationing chart like the one below:
Or much, much, worse, be one of the survivors of the Bataan Death March in 1942 where approximately 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers were force marched 65 miles in the jungle heat while watching their friends being bayoneted, shot, and tortured the entire march.
Our society is different now, and not in a good way. The people as a generalization have become soft. One hundred years ago a much deadlier pandemic broke out in the world known as the Spanish Flu and instead of being used as a tool of oppression to restrict the freedoms and rights of our countrymen, it was dealt with and life went on. There was no movement to restrict capitalism nor destroy the Constitution as there is now by many in our nation’s political leadership.
So please, don’t whine to me about the year 2020, history will judge those that have quite poorly.
America has had tougher times where we have almost lost everything, including our freedoms and our nation. Individually, yes, some of our neighbors had a horrid year, losing loved ones, jobs, and fearing for their futures. But as a country, as a united people, we have overcome these bad times and helped each other through these grim eras in our past.
I pray there is still enough American spirit left in our souls to handle the challenges our nation now face in the years ahead.