Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Since Cromwell Pushed us Westward, To Live Our Lowly Lives

Day two on the pistol range has come and gone. Every one seems to be doing well. More bullets in the targets than out of them so things are good so far. When I got home this afternoon, I poured myself a drink and flipped on the tube and check out the latest gnashing of teeth and rending of hair from Washington.

Folks, I have seen much more organization, leadership and sense of purpose in a shit fight in the monkey cage at the zoo than I have seen coming out of the Senate and Congress in the past little little bit.

What we need is someone to speak with the words of Oliver Cromwell to the nabobs in Washington.

Here's today's very short, Reader's Digest history lesson, boys and girls.

In the early 1640's Charles I, King of England and the English Parliament were at loggerheads over money and power. The King believed in absolute authority of the monarch since in his belief the King was appointed by God to rule over the nation. The King could do no wrong since each decision was ordained by the almighty. Parliament however didn't see life as being that simple. They wanted a control over the King as the elected representatives of the people of England. Of course, the two side never could see eye to eye and a long and bloody civil war resulted. There were of course other issues such as religion, personality and ego involved. The war resulted in the King being beheaded and Parliament wining absolute authority.

In the course of the war one man, burst forth like a meteor in a cloudy sky. Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell, a leader of a Parliamentary cavalry unit, showed aptitude in the leading as well as training of men for war. As the war progressed Cromwell continued to take on more responsibilities for the war effort until he because the unofficial commander of Parliament's army. When the war was over, Parliament took the reins of the government. They tried to disband the army as it was the only force that could contest with them for power. Basically they wanted to sit in Parliament for life. Cromwell heard that this war going on and that the members had refused to write a new constitution for England so he headed to London from Ireland where he had been bloodily putting down a rebellion among the Irish Catholics. After going to Parliament and listening to a few speeches Cromwell called in some troops and closed Parliament after allegedly giving this speech.

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!"

Could you imagine someone going to Washington and cutting loose with that? I would pay good money to see that. And with the bunch up there, it wouldn't be too far out of line.

However, no matter how cool the speech was, I don't think I would have liked Cromwell in person. After shutting down Parliament, Cromwell called himself the "Lord Protector" of England and ruled as a military dictator. He was a religious bigot and could be considered a war criminal for his killing of prisoners of war. He crushed freedom of the press and there was freedom of religion as long as he agreed with the religion. Not some things that would go over too well in this country. I know I wouldn't be able to deal with the lack of freedom the Lord Protector would bring.

But you know something? I wouldn't be surprised if the way things are going, that there aren't people out there who think that someone like Cromwell wouldn't come in handy today. After all Germany in 1933 was looking for a savior, wasn't it? We know how THAT turned out don't we?

I just hope that we as a people are not led down that path through our fear or anger.

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Cromwell was my great great (add some more in there) grandfather, so I'm sort of happy he was alive. Doesn't make me like him any more.

Fortunately there was enough marriages with some Scot and Irish women in there later on, so the gene pool was refined a bit. :-)

Mike W. said...

Brigid,

You family isn't the first (nor will be the last, thank goodness) that has been sweetened and`seasoned by it's ladies. My kinfolk no doubt would have still been hanging from tree branches (in many ways) without OUR ladies. -grin-