“There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” — Adam Smith, circa 1777
The Battle of Saratoga was a turning point in the American Revolutionary War, and a shock to the British who had expected to deal our nascent Republic a death blow.
British General John Burgoyne brought one large force down into New York from Canada, with hopes to meet up with two other armies, crush the rebel forces, and take effective control over the northern colonies. But General Sir Henry Clinton, moving up from New York City, arrived too late to relieve Burgoyne’s besieged army. Barry St. Leger’s third force was also supposed to link up with Burgoyne’s, moving eastward into the Hudson Valley from Lake Ontario. Leger, however, was forced back west after failing to take American-held Fort Stanwix along the way.
Outnumbered and surrounded, Burgoyne surrendered himself and his army following the loss of over 400 men in two battles. The American forces — led in part by Benedict Arnold — suffered only 90 killed.
The American victory wasn’t just unexpected. It was so overwhelming that upon hearing of it the new French King Louis XVI decided to enter the war on the side of the Revolutionaries.
A young friend of the great economist Adam Smith was so upset that he said to Smith, “This will be the ruin of the nation.”
“Young man,” said Smith, “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”
Britain didn’t just lose the battle, they lost the war.
And yet the British Empire went on to expand and prosper for another 150 years or longer.
Would that this country, under the Biden administration, were so “fortunate” as the British at Saratoga.
Presidentish Biden — or whoever is running this White House — seems to be in a rush, not just to change government policies, but to break the country.
Like Burgoyne’s best-laid plans, the Biden Democrats are coming at us from three directions: political, fiscal, and cultural.
On the political front, Biden has been signing executive orders faster than a long out-of-work actor at a Star Trek convention. He’s re-pledged us to Obama’s economy-killing Paris Accord even though it isn’t a real treaty and we’re reducing carbon emissions faster than the countries that never left it. He’s stopped construction on the border wall and rescinded sensible immigration policies — inviting a flood of illegal immigrants we’re unable to absorb. Not to mention the attendant health risks during a pandemic. He’s signed several orders mandating masks in various locations and to do various things, even though the CDC now says they haven’t done much — if any — good. He’s shut down Keystone XL and renewed Obama’s war on domestic energy production.
And Team Biden seems to be just getting started.
The cultural front has also seen tremendous action. The Woke Left has very rapidly progressed from doxxing anonymous bloggers to canceling beloved progressive icons like Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Giesel — with either silence or encouragement from the Biden administration. Just today Biden established a “Gender Policy Council” to put an official White House imprint on woke efforts to deny biological sex differences.
American popular culture has never been less cultured or less popular, and the few non-woke elements still standing are getting throttled by progressive social media platforms, or de-platformed out of Democrat-controlled Hollywood.
Not even the news media is immune. One of my Insanity Wrap columns from a few weeks ago got slapped with the Fake News label by Facebook. So the company throttled links to PJ Media sitewide, costing us untold numbers of page views — and revenue.
Needless to say, your VIP support has never been more needed.
On the fiscal front, Democrat just signed a $1,900,000,000,000 (that’s 1.9 trillion-with-a-T) “relief” package. Less than half the money (which we don’t have) is going to direct relief to American families. Much of the rest is either bailouts and handouts to Democrat causes, or to programs to be administered (presumably forever).
Soon to come: Tax hikes that won’t raise the promised revenue but that will shrink economic growth, the Revenge of the Regulatory State, and other Democrat pet causes that will do little but balloon our already unsustainable addiction to spending and debt.
We haven’t seen a rush of progressivism like this since Obama’s first two years, and the result was the worst race relations since the Civil Rights Era and the worst recovery since the Great Depression.
Nevertheless, Democrats are hurrying us along to fiscal, cultural, and political doom like Thelma and Louise holding hands and flooring the accelerator at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Democrats have the power, and even better than their (sometimes nominal) Republican opposition, understand that they might not have it for long.
So they’re in a very big rush, particularly on usurping the states’ constitutionally protected right to determine how to conduct their own elections. All so Democrats might never have to face the public, whose trust they’re breaking at breakneck speed.
Smith was correct when he said that there’s a great deal of ruin in a nation — but even a great deal is still a finite amount.
How much ruin we have remaining is the question.
Joe Biden and the Woke Left are hell-bent on finding the answer.