LBJ Shoulda Been a Bell Ringer Instead


Christmastime is here and that means my favorite pastime; ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Ha. Who woulda thunk it? A died-in-the-wool pro-lifer working for an army.

Actually, they fed and boarded me for a time when I arrived in Alaska too early for the logging season. I’ve felt indebted to them ever since and sent a check for years. Then the opportunity arose to beg for them here in Hampton. Tomorrow will be a special day as I’m privileged to ring again. It is unbelievable to me that bell ringers have to be paid in some places.

This special day we can be thankful for John Lennon, a walking dichotomy, who was gunned down 45 years ago (as I write this), on December 8. He was a powerful voice for peace and yet advocated for just the opposite in his communist ideals. Communists don’t ask nicely. They have murdered 100,000 non-compliant comrades in establishment of their brutal system worldwide.

There are a lot of people like John who campaigned against the Vietnam War and yet today root for that most brutal of economic systems, although they might call it social justice or equality. It puzzles me.

Even more of a special day was yesterday, Pearl Harbor Day. December 7, 1941 was the day Japan retaliated for the maritime blockade Franklin Roosevelt imposed, stopping all raw material imports to a country that had little of its own, and the confiscation of their assets in the United States. FDR was a true poster boy for the evils of big government.

Were his domestic programs any less destructive than his dragging us into World War II? A Great Depression that lasted 16 years can hardly be called benevolent domestic policy. Warren Harding’s hands-off approach reversed a worse downturn within a year in 1921.

FDR’s toughest competition for most evil president would have to be Lyndon Baines Johnson. Lauded as a compassionate advocate for civil rights, further investigation reveals a swath of destruction from which our country may not recover.

It would be dishonest to deny the association between LBJ’s Great Society programs and the generational welfare state that has become as much a quagmire as Vietnam. The idea that our property was our own to control, was lost due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and his other social programs.

It might be politically incorrect to say it, but government programs are more profitable today than private business, all the way from government funded homeless shelters to huge alternative energy scams run by seemingly respectable people. The cost to the average working person cannot be estimated in such a complex web of deceit.

Did Lyndon Johnson know that replacing family and charity with government would destroy the self esteem of millions of Americans? Did he know that sending my classmates off to die in a war he knew was unwinnable would devalue life to the point where the destruction of the Middle East would hardly bring a sigh?

Without government there is us, helping neighbors in need. And using The Salvation Army as a charity, where gratitude takes the place of pride in cheating the system. We lift each other up through tough times. We appreciate each other.

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