America’s Need for Normalcy

President Warren G. Harding, though obscure to most and known more for a scandal-ridden administration than anything else to others, took office just after World War I had engulfed the globe in a conflict the likes of which it had never seen to that point.

During the campaign of 1920, candidate Harding gave a speech in Boston entitled Return to Normalcy, in which he spoke about America’s need to heal after a devastating war. Granted, Harding was speaking to and about a nation reeling from a war, not one that had merely gone through over a decade of increasingly volatile politics, such as we have seen.

In the wake of events in Charlottesville, however, and with political tensions seemingly rising every day as we draw closer to elections in 2018 and 2020, Harding’s words find new relevance and meaning nearly a century later in terms of human nature, particularly the following passage:

“Poise has been disturbed, and nerves have been racked, and fever has rendered men irrational; sometimes there have been draughts upon the dangerous cup of barbarity, and men have wandered far from safe paths … America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise.”

What has the American political climate in the past decade or so been but irrational, agitated, and dramatic? In terms of electoral history, 2016 can easily be classified as a massive experiment in many ways.

Since 2008, we’ve seen increasingly absurd rhetoric and ideologies take hold in both major parties. It started with birtherism on the right, and preaching about “the 1% paying their fair share” on the left several years ago. The measure of one’s conservative and Republican bona fides has now become how unwavering their support for Trump is, and the Democratic Party is falling over itself trying to go further left, first with the help of Occupy Wall Street and now with Antifa. Both are guilty of playing with fire (literally, if you look at photos and video from Charlottesville) to win elections with the help of extremist elements and deploying identity politics in ways that are well known to us all.

Finding themselves in the midst of the disorder on the right are conservatives such as myself who are simply tired of the wannabe “heroics” of people who think their angry preaching to their choirs on Facebook live and other venues somehow make a difference. People who thrive on what can best be described as nostrums, agitation, and a flair for the dramatic are not what we need now. We’ve seen enough of this nonsense since 2008.

To quote Harding once again, My best judgment of America’s needs is to steady down, to get squarely on our feet, to make sure of the right path. Let’s get out of the fevered delirium of war, with the hallucination that all the money in the world is to be made in the madness of war and the wildness of its aftermath. Let us stop to consider that tranquility at home is more precious than peace abroad, and that both our good fortune and our eminence are dependent on the normal forward stride of all the American people.

To use the game of poker as an illustration, what we are witnessing is one side raising the stakes followed by the other re-raising, and the cycle continues. This simply cannot be sustained, though that doesn’t stop those with ratings and book sales to gain in the “hallucination that all the money in the world is to be made in the madness” from persisting in peddling perpetual outrage and panic.

Here’s hoping to a return to reflection, intelligent political discourse, and normalcy. In my estimation, the best way to do this is for people to turn off Fox News, InfoWars, CNN, MSNBC, and stop having their information spoon-fed by people with an agenda and a vested interest in keeping people angry. A dispassionate review of current events through reading from various (reputable) sources is a good first step.

Indeed, society must learn to disregard easily manipulated feelings and emotions. Instead, we must learn to rely only upon reason, logic, cold facts, and using our minds. I won’t hold my breath, though.

  • Jim Portugul

    While the Navy can no longer sail a ship without colliding with 600-700 ft. long merchant ships, or running aground, and $65 million dollar military planes crash almost weekly, dead sailors/dead pilots/dead passengers everywhere, the American people are arguing about where they should pee and antique statues. This is the new normal.

    Tattooed Queers, Lesbians, and Transvestites, have all been brought in to save the day. These Satanic freeks of nature are now going to save our sorry asses.

    Dumb ass Presidents and ass kissing dumb ass VP’s are now normal. They perfectly mirror the very dumb ass crooked and dysfunctional members of congress. This is now normal.

    100-200lb. overweight, obease, tattooed Americans, demand they be fed their fake news by fake blond chicks in red mini-skirts reading whatever comes up on a teleprompter. You see, the guys who also read the fake news from their teleprompter are just there to chase the red skirted-fake blond chics and send lewd text messages to them.

    A journalist is now just a dumb ass who reads from a teleprompter. Nothing more. These fake news men and fake news women now attain hero status if they can buy or steal classified info that damages our country, and put it up on a screen for the world to see. All normal.

    Years ago I was fascinated when told that a horse might eat itself to death if it was provided the means to do so. And now, I am fascinated to realize that human beings will also eat themselves to death if allowed to do so. Isn’t that funny?????

    Paying an elected politician a bribe to pass legislation that you or your company wrote to help them steal from the middle-class or taxpayer is now normal. Easier than buying a pack of cigs.

    Nut job, wack jobs, like Ryan, McConnell, Pelosi, Reid, are now normal.

    This country Is nothing but an oversized turd going down a toilet bowl. All normal.

    • old_redneck

      Take a deep breath.

      Now, go to YouTube and watch some cute kitten videos.

    • Warmac9999

      Your first two paragraphs are pretty much on target.

    • Mac Swinford

      Bigot says what?

      • Jim Portugul

        Seems you may have “bigot” mixed up with someone just telling the truth. Don’t sweat it, Mac. Yours is the normal reaction from someone who reads the truth, and knows that it’s true.

        You first grind your teeth wishing you could reach out and contain the truth. Deny it, blame it on somebody else. Somehow snack it down. Say to yourself, if only I could muzzle or encapsulate the truth so nobody else could find it. But you can’t do it.

        How long are you going to lie to yourself, Mac? Just keep telling yourself that everybody else is doing it, so you can sleep at night.

        • Mac Swinford

          “Tattooed Queers, Lesbians, and Transvestites, have all been brought in
          to save the day. These Satanic bred freeks of nature are now going to
          save our sorry asses.”

          Me? I find character more revealing than tattoos, gender issues, clothing and the like. But that’s just me, an old fart who won’t be lying to anyone including myself much longer.

          One thing I’ve learned during a long life: Those who claim the truth are dangerous and worthy of shunning.

          • Jim Portugul

            I would suggest that you purchase a dictionary and look up the definition of character and bigot. You comments indicate that you do not know their definition.

          • Mac Swinford

            Advice taken, standing by my words, spot on as they were. Bigots exhibit prejudice, character is unrelated to characteristics such as gender choice, skin tattoos, clothing, etc.

          • Jim Portugul

            So you do not believe in the Bible?

          • Mac Swinford

            “The” bible?

            I believe in bibles. I’ve seen and read many. What’s not to believe? They definitely exist.

          • Jim Portugul

            I’m just curious as to where your standard as to what’s right and what’s wrong, what is moral and what is in immoral, originate from?

          • Mac Swinford

            My life experiences.

          • Jim Portugul

            That’s interesting. It leaves the door open for everybody to use the same methodology, and thus have their on version of right and wrong.

            Tell me, two people of the same sex having sexual relations, is that considered moral or immoral?

          • Mac Swinford

            Without knowing more it is difficult to impose a definitive answer, but I will venture my feeling that to the extent morality reveals itself to anyone, it reveals itself to everyone, and to each in their own way. So there’s A, the answer that reveals itself to me, and B, the answer that one can/should morally impose upon others, and they are likely quite different. Not easy, but important, so it is good you ask.

          • Jim Portugul

            I think what you are saying is that there does not exist any natural order in nature. Regarding what is generally considered moral conduct, these freeks that I mentioned in my first comment want and are attempting a takeover, and forcing their lifestyle on the rest of society. They have somewhat captured control of media and use that as a weapon in order to change that which is natural and good into evil.

            Now, I am in no way trying to impose my lifestyle on them, that is hopeless. These freeks kept to themselves in the 60’s and 70’s, and were generally tolerated and most got along. Then they did as evil always does. Grow and destroy that which is good.

            This free for all in society you advocate, is prophesied in the Bible. It is called lawlessness, read Matthew 7:23. However, this is not confined by any means to those who advocate for immorality.

            One has to wonder if you are not one of those who advocate against morality, what is in this discussion for you personally? Why would you fight someone else’s battle?

          • Mac Swinford

            Attempts to put words in my mouth — “This free for all in society you advocate” — are just that, and it is inappropriate.

            I do not advocate against morality — quite the contrary. Please reread my remarks on the odd chance it helps to understand my POV: God is revealed to each of us in our own way.

            It cannot be put plainer than this. The only souls beyond reason are those who claim to hear God better than others. Is that you, Jim? If so, we have nothing to discuss. I am old but my hearing remains attuned.

          • Jim Portugul

            I do not hear God any better than anyone else. I make absolutely no claim to be better than anyone else. In fact, I am nearer to the bottom than the top of the ladder.

            Do you agree that when God reveals himself to someone, it will be 100% in agreement with his written word? Do you also agree that the Bible is the written word of God inspired by The Holy Spirit?

          • Mac Swinford

            It had seemed we covered this: There are many bibles.

            Having dispensed with the notion that you hear God better, have you moved on to the claim you read God better?

          • Jim Portugul

            Which of your Bibles advocates homosexuality as not being sinful?

          • Mac Swinford

            My bible collection is not the point. There are quite a few — and my collection is no where near definitive — but interpreting Leviticus as you do says you have quite the beard, and never undergo surgery. Respectfully, it depends upon the version, doesn’t it? Does God edit these works, or is it men with better hearing or writing?

            I envy your certainty. It must be joyful to feel you are right! A blessing for which you can feel eternally grateful.

            Me? I feel humble in the experience of life and unwilling to make pronouncements. God is not finished with me yet, but it seems you got advance notice. Lucky you.

          • Jim Portugul

            Regarding me going back to the Old Testament for instruction, 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 tackles your concerns about that.

            You are just grinding your teeth trying to deny the truth. The true is not about me.

          • Mac Swinford

            One truth? Heard that advocated before. Hundred million lives later we confront and do not tolerate it. Ministers, priests, rabbis et al — all get along and counsel against such dangerous thoughts. Goodbye, Jim. God speed to you, wherever it is you are headed (and I have my thoughts on your path). Bless your pointy little head.

          • Jim Portugul

            Character is related to morality. Tattoos are specifically addressed in the Bible, Leviticus 19:28.

  • Fist Rockbone

    Good advice. I keep abreast of things listening to a few podcasts, John Bachelor’s being the main one. I find this informational, rather than confrontational. My views are pretty well set at this point in my life. I don’t need them reinforced by conservative media, nor will liberal media change them. I’d also recommend listening to or watching something that has a positive focus. Love What Matters podcast is one of mine. We need to be reminded that as bad as things seem, there are positive things happening in our society. I can tell you that doing so has done a great deal to lower my blood-pressure.

  • JayD

    Thanks, Andrew Hull, for this ‘brief but spectacular’ moment of sanity.

    “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” – Walter Cronkite.

    For anyone serious to expand their knowledge base (on the subject of Confederate memorials in Charlottesville + …), University of Virginia published (early) a historical accounting “represent[ing] the research conducted by a team of student interns from Charlottesville-area high schools and undergraduates from the University of Virginia, along with the director and managing editor of the project.” Much of the accounting of events is from original source materials (newspaper reports) from the time.

    https://alumni.virginia.edu/learn/2017/08/16/in-the-aftermath/

    Working my way through the first paper, Illusion of Progress.
    http://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=a31f53ca6a54439087085d6c313758a5

  • Warmac9999

    From Boston Resist

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0480487b5469a23d23c3d7023416982bd745599603a88f8ac28ebdba0d70339e.jpg

    There is no room for capitalists, conservatives, libertarians, “classical liberals” or supporters of the US constitution in our city. You MUST leave.

    How do you suggest we deal with this?

    • JayD

      Link to source?

      • Warmac9999

        Townhall.com yesterday.

        • JayD

          You provided a website link, not a source link. Regardless, Andrew Hull’s 2nd to last paragraph answers your question.

          • Warmac9999

            I try to benefit from many sources. I can be fooled as can anybody that is why I look for independent sources if possible. Sometimes you go with what seems to make sense in a situation. As far as reputable sources, please advise as there don’t seem to be many, if any, who don’t have a serious bias.

            Here is an example of the difficulty even with multiple sources – and it is a logic test. If Mr. Fields intended to kill, why did he not drive his car into the people on either side of him. Jihadist terrorist drive onto the sidewalks to kill. Why not Fields?

          • JayD

            Independent doesn’t always mean trustworthy & reputable; variety doesn’t guarantee quality. I believe guidelines offered up in the beginning of this article are a good start. I also look for tone and volume level (TV news), for example Bret Baier & Brit Hume vs. Hannity. Former are news people and latter a propagandist.

          • Warmac9999

            A friend asked me if I had any magical solutions to prevent being fooled by a news story. He had bought into a story that had multiple supposedly reputable news sources and associated citations. I had no answer to give regarding certainty as I have been fooled even doing as much due diligence as I could. Now we find out that fake news is dominating even the most reputable organizations. You do the best you can – but what happens if sources contradict each other and both appear reputable? Now you have a decision to make – run, throw or punt.?

            I point out the Black Jack Pershing story about burying Muslim terrorists with dead pigs. Pershing in his memoirs says he did it. A number of historians say it never happened. I think I will go with Pershing – or should I punt or pass?

          • JayD

            See edit ^

          • JayD

            Recheck your facts.
            No pigs’ blood story in Pershing’s memoirs or biography.
            So yes, definitely go with Pershing on this one – not Trump.

          • Warmac9999

            Politifact notes that a Pershing memoir titled My Life Before The World War, 1860-1917 includes a story of Col. Frank West. Pershing wrote that West had Muslim insurgents “publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig. It was not pleasant to have to take such measures, but the prospect of going to hell instead of heaven sometimes deterred the would-be assassins.”

            The editor of the new edition of My Life Before The War, John T. Greenwood, added that Maj. Gen. J. Franklin Bell wrote to Pershing that he thought it was a “good plan, for if anything will discourage the (insurgents) it is the prospect of going to hell instead of to heaven.” Bell also wrote that he endorsed the custom “to discourage crazy fanatics.”

            The letters prove that the U.S. military did use pigs to threaten Muslim insurgents in the Philippines, but it doesn’t make Trump’s story true. There’s no evidence that Pershing oversaw this use of pigs (unless, of course, that Colonel West was under Pershings command and Pershing approved it – me_. It also fails to prove his point that these practices dissuaded violence from Muslims for over a quarter-century (and, of course, nobody knows the extent of such dissuasion as there would be not record of what didn’t happen in regards to changes the terrorists made).

          • JayD
          • Warmac9999

            You claimed there was no story. I provided evidence that you don’t like. So, if you are going to refute the story, then do your homework and provide the counter claim and who was counterclaiming.

          • Warmac9999

            A little story about the New York Times. The nephew of a friend of mine worked at the Times as a reporter. Apparently, an all hands meeting was convened by Pinch Sulzberger, CEO or owner. Sulzberger said it is no longer our job to just report the news, it is our job to influence the public through what we report. Said nephew quit the Times and went to work for the New Yorker. The Forbes article is suspect.

          • Mac Swinford

            Name of reporter, please, or it’s fake. Or would you prefer the same sort of rumor-mongering directed at you? It won’t be pretty.

          • Warmac9999

            Just yesterday as reported on Fox News, an NY Times editorial chasticized the paper for departing from factual reporting. My story goes back a couple of decades and I am not going to try to further embellish it. The NY Times has come under increasing criticism for left wing reporting and its own ombudsman agreed that the bias was affecting the reputation of the paper.

          • JayD

            Looks to me he went for highest density of unsuspecting people and fast enough to send bodies flying. If not intending to kill … then what? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/989aca8df254e9bfeba7154d552bf7c07bd6a37501d9a7019ecceb070c045e80.jpg

          • Warmac9999

            By the way, a perfectly reasonable conclusion on your part. It still leaves a lot of other questions but I suspect that his defense attorney will argue against premeditation and use the “straight down the road getaway” theory in arguments and in integiewing witnesses.

          • JayD

            Getting away from what?

          • Warmac9999

            That is the life or death sentence question.

          • Mac Swinford

            Admit to them you have social context challenges and are simply doing your best under the circumstances and they will be more sympathetic. Pretend you are entirely normal and the scrutiny will rise until you simply cannot handle it and are exposed.

            Your position appears to be that he could have killed more people, so the blame should somehow be mitigated. Please tell us this is not your position and that you simply made the mistake of believing and passing along fake news.

          • Warmac9999

            The discussion was about defense theories and that is all it is.

  • Mac Swinford

    TBE is coming apart at the seams with commenters like Warmac9999, challenged as he is, leading a pack of rumor and innuendo. God help the GOP! This BearingDrift appears to be an island of sanity in an ocean of hate. Well done!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.