When America Went Crazy

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Dear sir,

You wrote a fine piece in LRC today and I applaud you for it. I disagree to
an extent, however. I am an amateur historian of early American history,
certainly not a professional by any stretch, but I detect a betrayal of the
ideals of the Revolution (not the War for Independence, but the Revolution
in thought and attitude away from the authoritarian system of elite rule
embodied by the British system) almost before the War was fairly underway.
As soon as George Washington arrived at Boston to assume control of the
nascent Continental Army, he began to take measures to
turn it from a citizens’ militia ideally suited to guerilla warfare, to the
European model of an army of “common people” commanded by the elite. Thus
his measures to make pay much higher for officers than enlisted, to
terminate the election of officers and substitute appointment by the offices
class, and to institute brutal corporal punishment to enforce discipline
(500 lashes, a measure that the Congress refused him).

Patrick Henry, that great champion of Liberty and a personal hero of mine,
assumed the role of dictator as Virginia’s first elected governor. He stole
(“confiscated” in Newspeak) food and other supplies from poor farmers in
Virginia to send to the Virginia Continentals at Valley Forge, putting the
poor Virginians in danger of starvation. Hardly actions in keeping with the
ideals of Liberty. During the War, Loyalists had their property confiscated
and many were reduced to destitution. Again, hardly in agreement with
Liberty. Poor farmboys were conscriopted into the army when enticements to
voluntary enlistment failed to prove sufficient. So the new power elite
resorted to kidnapping. The money was debased in the form of paper
Continentals, and the poor suffered, while war profiteers such as Robert
Morris prospered enormously.

I could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift. If you doubt the
authenticity of my statements, I urge you to check the facts yourself. Such
books as Harlow Unger’s “Lion of Liberty” and Murray Rothbard’s “Conceived
in Liberty” come to mind, and are heavily footnoted with original source

I’m afraid I must continue to refer back to my original thesis, that there
is no such thing as “limited government”, that is a contradiction and an
oxymoron. Let us not encourage our readers to look back fondly on a past
that never was, but in the words of the Gospel of Saint John, to “know the
truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

I appreciate the opportunity to write you, and hope you will continue to
grace us with more of your fine articles. And I, as a teacher of American
history, heritage, and rifle marksmanship, will continue to do what I can in
my limited way in weekend seminars all over the country, to advance the
cause of Liberty.

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