Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A reminder

I had lunch yesterday with a good old man. He is in his mid-eighties. He was born in Romania and lived in the corner of it that touches Serbia and Hungary. A rough part of the world, made rougher by the rise of modern tyrannies and modern wars. It was a place where might made right. But he lived and made it through the war, just barely, he was just lucky, he said. Walked through Hungary to get to allied lines, finally came here, became an electrician. He worked, and this place let him keep the fruits of his labor. He prospered. He now thinks of his children (my age) and his grandchildren, plays some golf, talks with friends, and sometimes--as he did with me--talks with folks about the old days in the old place where where necessity ruled, and all men had reaching hands, and the only stories you could remember have to do with which marauding and creedless men raped and pillaged most. He is happy to be in a place that tries to reverse the maxim of the other place, happy to be in a place that says right makes might.

I then spent an hour or two reading Cormac McCarthy’s latest, The Road. It is about a man and his son walking in an America that has been burned to the ground--the country is a waste--where there is nothing else, just the two of them "each the other’s world entire." No other sign of life, but the lawless. "The frailty of everything revealed at last." This bleak painting forced me into another coffee and another stogie and I finally turned away from the horror to my love and hope and the upcoming seminar. The political crisis of the 1850’s, giving up the philosophical cause, the apparent hopelessness of it all, the march of logic toward war. But even my moist eyes finally saw Abe’s words rise up from the sorrow and the fear and they began to heal my cracking heart. Wise and firm words, clear and full of right, and always touched by charity. I was reminded that the agony had meaning and he understood it. A remarkable country this, even good for old men with memories. The seminar was good, although I forced myself to use only words that move and heal and lift. Not that hard to do in such a country, with such a man.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Peter: Your post was lyrical; the realities you revealed: graces.

I get goose bumps every time I read this, most recently posted in Power Line today. Now, I’ve got goose bumps on top of goose bumps.

Thank you...again...Peter S.

But Lincoln didn’t just "move and heal." He spoke harsh truths, though very intelligently and prudently, and he divided, because his vision of unity was unacceptable to the slavocrats and he knew it was.

Studying Lincoln is uplifting, but it always begs the question: Where is today’s Lincoln?

Well said sir!

The price we pay for an increasingly democratic society, Mr. Frisk. It seeps into our very bones.

I loaned my laptop to our hospital patient for a couple of days as a diversion from the weeks of suffering, now somewhat relieved, that she has endured. I come back to the blog and see this, which is lovely. Although, I confess, there are things in it I might misunderstand.


The life of that aged Romanian is such a contrast to that of my daughter-in-law, who has physically suffered all of her young life, having been born with ailments that are her own - Ami’s disease. Yet her experience of people is quite different from that Romanian gentleman’s, because she has grown up in America. To be correct, she grew up in American hospitals. "Reaching hands" for her have been full of kindness. She has lived with mostly friendly doctors, nurses and technicians, who do all they can to preserve and protect her frail life. When I, once, became practical and asked her ob. how all of this would be paid for, he looked at me as if I had said something rude. "Don’t worry about that." Which means we are the pillagers, inadvertently. But this is America and here we rescue lives, because we have an evident right to life.


I am glad I am late to comment here, because otherwise someone would comment on my comment and tell me I am wrong about America. I hear it all the time; but that’s not the America I know. Of course, where I live is not always comfortable, and lately, where I look to see hope I see "nothing." But that is just within me. Outside of me, the sun is shining on turning leaves, America prospers and people in a hospital do all they can, sparing no expense, to do whatever is necessary to keep alive a girl who would be long dead in some world where might makes right.

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