Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Old Way and the New Way

by The Windjammer

Having just returned from a much-needed vacation from the perpetual temptations, trials, tribulations and troubles of permanent retirement, I decided to engage in one of my favorite pastimes. I went back and read what Wesley Pruden had written while my back was turned.

Wes is the managing editor of The Washington Times. I know him well enough that I can call him "Wes," although he has never met me and very likely has never heard of me. Such are the burdens of notoriety.

Wes made reference to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in a recent column. He didn’t go into much detail except to correctly say that it didn’t free anyone. I would like to expand on the theme and another for a couple of paragraphs so the uninitiated among us will understand more fully what Wes was saying.

The original version, written in Lincoln’s hand on September 22, 1862, is somewhat longer and uses more flowery speech than the adopted version. The "Official Version" was submitted on January 1, 1863.

It states that those slaves held in the "states in rebellion" shall be free. It clearly exempts those states and parts of states not considered to be in rebellion from the effect of the proclamation. Let me cite the paragraph for you, just in case you have been overwhelmed with hearsay..

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princes, Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

The other point I wish to make is that those who want immediate democracy in Iraq haven’t a clue as to how long it takes to establish a democratic form of government.

Our own efforts in this country didn’t start on July 3, 1776. The talk was in the making long before that date. I’m not absolutely sure just when it started, but the tea tax, the tobacco tax, the stamp act, the molasses tax (raw rum) and others probably drew a few comments from the disgruntled. The Declaration was signed on July 4, 1776, but it was drafted long before it was presented the day before it was signed.

The next step (there may have been one or two others somewhere between) toward a democratic government was the War for Independence. That one wasn’t over in a fortnight or two. It wasn’t even over in a year or two. The tally of those who gave there lives that the rest of us might bellyache all we want probably falls short of the total fallen.

There are those among us who want to push the date backward and declare the Battle of Point Pleasant the first land battle of the war.

The new republic didn’t actually become a nation until 13 years after the signing of the Declaration when the last of the required nine states ratified the Constitution in 1789.

I have one serious question. Well, maybe two.

Why do the critics want Iraq to shortcut the process? Do they have some ulterior motive?

Could they be driven by a fantasy called "Bush Bashing?"

Or could it just be that they enjoy destroying our country bit by bit?

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