US Constitution Project, Inc.

Our goal:
Inform every American of the threat of progressivism to our Constitution and sovereignty.

 


 

Fifty Years of Drama

by Norris S. Goff

A mind-set called progressivism erupted in Germany after our Civil War, and like a Trojan horse invaded the US with the help of American students seeking advanced degrees in Germany.  It began as a theory holding that governments improve, or ‘progress’, over time.  It was never subjected to the scientific method or any other test of its validity other than time.  It failed the test of time when Germany’s Third Reich came into power.  It had already been re-energized by Woodrow Wilson and others, and had become entrenched in our education system.

I did not learn about progressivism and its threat to our Constitution until recently.   I surely didn’t learn it as a child.  My dad was a Socialist and named his first son Eugene Victor (after Debs).  I learned in grade school that America is the Land of Opportunity, and I believe that compensated for my dad’s influence.

That sums up my political knowledge until Barry Goldwater taught me to be a conservative.  I supported Ronald Reagan, and somebody on his staff sent me the flag.  It waved at our home where it is shown until it was destroyed by a bear.   

My four oldest brothers were drafted into the Army between 1942 and ‘45.  I was not yet 10 years old and well remember listening to Mom reading their censored letters, which invariably commenced with “Dear Mom, Dad and all”.  I leafed through magazines and saw advertisements picturing tanks and landing craft that manufacturers were producing instead of civilian cars and planes.  Some included the slogan “There’s a Ford in your future!”  During school recess, we played Army.  We were expected to fall down when an older kid called our name.  Eventually the war ended, and some months afterward my brothers were coming home.

The Cold War was already underway and quickly replaced WW II as the national obsession.  In 1948, the Soviets blocked land routes to Berlin to preclude our access.  They hoped to absorb all of Berlin into their sector.  The Berlin Airlift followed.  When it ended, North Korea invaded South Korea.  The United Nations, led by the US, came to the defense of the South.  China got involved; McArthur disobeyed Truman’s wishes and was sacked.  Ike became President in 1953.  The Korean War ended in a stale-mate, to be succeeded almost immediately by the Vietnam War.  We heard about the domino theory, Agent Orange and Vietnam Syndrome, now called PTSD.  Kennedy was elected and assassinated, and was succeeded by Lyndon Johnson.  Johnson defeated Goldwater but declined to run for re-election.  Robert Kennedy was assassinated.  The Nixon-Agnew ticket was elected and re-elected.  There was a long debate over the shape of the conference table to be used at the Paris Peace Talks in ‘68.  Henry Kissinger announced that “Peace is at hand”, signed a ceasefire agreement in ‘73 and accepted a Nobel Peace Prize.  His Vietnam counter-part declined it.  Agnew was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and resigned.  Nixon chose Gerald Ford as the new VP.  Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz told dirty jokes and made crude remarks, and resigned.  Watergate happened, Nixon resigned, and Ford became President.  Saigon fell in ’75 amid photographs of over-loaded helicopters taking off from the US Embassy, bringing the 20-year Vietnam saga to a close.

Other events occurred during the Vietnam War.  In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev promised to bury us.  The Space Race began with the launch of Sputnik 1 in October ’57; perhaps Khrushchev’s cockiness resulted from his knowledge of the Sputnik program.  We joined the race and followed every launch, including those that ended in disaster, and each moon landing.  We won. In ‘59, Castro led a successful guerrilla war against Batista, turning Cuba into a satellite of the Soviet Union.  My most vivid memory is the slogan “To The Wall!”, shouted each time Castro arrested another perceived enemy, took him to The Wall and shot him.  (Obama’s attitude toward the Castro brothers might be different if he had been an adult during this period.) The Bay of Pigs fiasco followed in ’61 and the blockade of Cuba the next year, turning back Soviet ships bringing missiles to Cuba.  Also in ’61 the Berlin Wall was constructed, and in ‘87 Reagan implored Gorbachev to tear it down.  The Germans themselves tore it down two years later.  The Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979.  Our embassy was stormed and 60+ hostages were held for 444 days.  Carter ordered Operation Eagle Claw to rescue them, leading to our helicopters being stranded in the desert.  

The hostages were released the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in, in ’81.  Reagan initiated an arms build-up that effectively challenged the Soviet Union, and we buried them.  A decade later, there was a failed coup d’état in the Soviet Union, Yeltsin was pictured standing on a Soviet tank, their Parliament Building was shelled and the Soviet Union collapsed.  The Cold War and fifty years of drama ended, at least temporarily.