Daniel Oliver

Welcome Happy Morning

We are not doomed if we ask for and accept the forgiveness offered to us by Him whose death and resurrection we remember, and celebrate, on Easter Sunday.

You have to smile, or weep, but certainly worry, when you hear people these days talking about slavery as America’s “original sin.” That’s because some of them, and probably most of them, have a different concept of sin from that of most Americans. The key aspect of this new kind of sin is that it can’t be forgiven. That is not, obviously, the Christian understanding. And because America is, still, at least in some sense, a Christian country, sin that can’t be forgiven is a foreign concept.

A normal American, giving a moment’s thought to the subject, might ask, what constitutes sin absent the Ten Commandments and the beatitudes? Actions can be illegal in a non-Christian society. But can they be sinful? What does “sinful” mean? Is everything that’s sinful illegal? Is everything that’s illegal a sin? 

Slavery, wherever in the world it existed and exists, was and is certainly wrong, at least by today’s lights. That much we can all (probably) agree on (now)—though it’s tempting to pose the question: would the blacks brought to America (and their descendants) have been better off if they’d stayed in the countries of their birth? Even if they would not have been better off in their native lands, does that absolve the slave traffickers and owners?

Ask the question this way: If A (a white supremacist) shoots B (a black person) in the leg sending him sprawling . . . and out of the path of a drunken taxi driver, thereby saving his life, how venomous should B’s descendants (unborn at the time) be toward A? Or A’s descendants? B’s survival doesn’t nullify A’s sin, but it should temper his descendants’ ire.

A second question is, how collective can guilt be? If an assembly of 100 people or more decide by majority vote (pursuant to their rules) to do something wrong, what guilt attaches to the people who voted no? Or who were absent that day. Or who weren’t eligible to vote?

Or, if, say, delegates to a convention are frantic to form a more perfect union and the only way to do it is to accept, if only temporarily, slavery, is their acceptance of slavery wrong? And if so, was it wrong for only them, or also for their descendants, and if also for their descendants (who did away with slavery), and for how many generations?

That, obviously, is the question for our time, or at least for this moment, as the woke seek to punish all those insufficiently aware of and contrite about their accusers’ designation of their hereditary participation in America’s “original sin.”

The woke Left is an angry lot: their vengeance is as unrelenting as their righteousness. But they’re an odd lot, too: they perceive motes in everyone else’s eyes, but nary a beam in their own can they see. You are guilty; they, for some reason, are not; the reason being, perhaps, that they have found you wanting and so you can be punished for the sins of . . . the world, and their punishment of you allows them to live guilt-free.

That is not the Christian message.

But neither is it the Christian message that we are not guilty. We are all guilty, in one way or another, of manifold sins and wickedness. That is why the Christian says, every night, “Forgive us our trespasses . . . .” 

The problem for the woke is that they have too narrow a concept of sin: it seems to be related only to slavery and blacks—and you. It is evidenced by the central slogan of wokeness, the slogan they would stamp on coins if they had their way: “Black Lives Matter.”

How small! How narrow a view of humanity and existence! How parochial!

And how dishonest! Slavery was a calamity, but in a way so were the badly written civil rights laws and the Great Society, which midwifed today’s 70 percent black illegitimacy rate and persistent black underachievement. And so has been the governance of the Democrats ever since 1965: nonstop killings, thousands of them, in inner cities; as well as this nonnegotiable policy of the Democrats: keep blacks uneducated by keeping them out of charter schools.

The non-woke need never feel inferior to woke leftists, whose “black lives matter” mantra is just so much cant, part claim of innocence, part accusation.

Even so, all people have an obligation to love their neighbors (whatever their sort and condition), and the failure to demonstrate that love—and not just by putting a sign on their lawns—is sin. We are all guilty, all of us, woke and non-woke alike of a myriad of sins, not just racism. Guilty and doomed.

Except that we are not doomed; we are not doomed if we ask for and accept the forgiveness offered to us by Him whose death and resurrection we remember, and celebrate, on Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter.


April 16, 2022
American Greatness

Biden Presidency Mimics ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’

The Democrats’ perfidy must be trumpeted about: they played with the management of the United States of America as if they were playing Monopoly. That’s bad enough in peacetime. Now we’re in a war, perhaps a nascent World War III. These people have no shame.

Something’s happening. “The game’s afoot,” as Sherlock Holmes would say. Why are all the lefty media outlets now suddenly covering the Hunter Biden laptop story as if it were just another news item—as if they hadn’t spent 20 months telling us it was “Russian disinformation”? A story they got woke ex-intelligence gurus (with the greatest of ease) to pronounce a Russian plot to get Donald Trump reelected? 

Now it’s ho-hum: cloudy, with patches of rain and gusty winds, followed by sun, and the laptop shows that Hunter Biden is a pervert and a crook, and his father probably is, too; but expect warmer weather tomorrow.

Roger Kimball, writing in American Greatness, suggested the shift in coverage was the opening gambit to purge Biden and Harris, by the Praetorian Guard in the deep state. In contrast, however, I argued that scenario was far-fetched: too complicated and too time-consuming. If it were done, then ’twere well it were done quickly, i.e., it would have to be done before the Republicans likely take back the House of Representatives. Otherwise, they would prevent the Democrats from approving even a left-leaning substitute for president and vice president. 

Readers disagreed, and my email was rife with plots and subplots showing how the Democrats will dispose of Biden and Harris—as so much unrecyclable trash. 

Harris has to go first because if they push Biden under the bus, she becomes president. There are two suggested methods: the buyout and the kick-out. In option one, “they” find a cushy job for her—president of a think tank or some other charity, at $700,000 a year, guaranteed for five years (so long as she behaves?—ha!), and an absurd $1 million book deal. 

Would she take it? She knows—everyone knows—she’s reached the end of her political career. She’s a loser’s loser. To resign would be humiliating, of course—and far worse than Nixon’s resignation: he had his supporters (and still does); he was incredibly intelligent (as anyone who knew him knows), and his “guilt” was only cooked up by a partisan mob, which never forgave him for nailing their darling, Alger Hiss. Harris, de l’autre côté, is widely thought to be too stupid not only to serve as vice president but even to know the meaning of de l’autre côté—or how to look it up. Resigning is better than the alternative.

And that alternative is, “they” release some dirt on Harris (a lateral pass to the New York Times). She’s been in Democratic politics for a long time, and it is fair to take “judicial notice” that there’s probably dirt aplenty just lying around to be used when necessary; in fact, a whole bag full: law school irregularities, grotesque incompetence as a prosecutor, etc. And if there isn’t enough, they’ll simply make it up. Harris is toast—even if it’s whole grain, made from flour grown organically on an nonmechanized sustainable farm, and warmed in a solar-powered toaster.

But what about Old Joe? Again, there are two ways out: the door and the window. Dr. Jill Biden must know he’s . . . gone. (Of course, she might not know: she’s not a medical doctor, remember.) Still, even though she’s woke, she may not be (actually, could not be!) as stupid as her husband. Biden can resign, with dignity—whatever smidgeon of dignity he has left. And perhaps get a deal for light treatment for his crooked son Hunter.

Or “they” can invoke the 25th Amendment and force him out. How humiliating!—but only to someone who can recognize that it’s humiliating.

Some details: When “they” force Harris out, they make a deal with the Democrats in Congress to install a moderate Democrat who might be successful at wooing back some Democratic voters who are scurrying away from the party like cockroaches in the kitchen when the lights go on. He (yes, it will be a man, and a white one, too—they can’t take any chances) will say he has no interest in running for president in 2024. Then he becomes president when Dr. Biden takes her husband on that last Amtrak ride to Wilmington. Then the Democrats pick another conventional low-key man or woman to be vice president. Cue the national anthem (in English).

Perhaps. And a scandal? Huge. 

But the real scandal (whether or not they dump Biden) is how the Democrats and the media got us into this mess. They knew, everyone knew, Biden was incompetent and stupid (this has been well-documented for decades), corrupt, and senile. That’s why they kept him largely out of the public eye during the campaign. They knew! There really is no arguing about what the Democrats who engineered the Biden candidacy knew. 

The Democrats’ perfidy must be trumpeted about: they played with the management of the United States of America as if they were playing Monopoly. That’s bad enough in peacetime. Now we’re in a war, perhaps a nascent World War III. These people have no shame. They care only about their own power. They saw “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and said, “We can do that!” And they did. They make us pine for simple corruption, simple backroom, cigar-smoking corruption: “I’ll pay you a million from my slush fund; you pay my wife a million from yours.” 

Yes, something’s happening. There’s another game afoot. The public seems to be waking up to the Democrats’ perfidy. Voters are coming to realize they’ve been had. The year-long dark night may be ending. Deo volente.


April 4, 2022
American Greatness