We’ve Been Here Before | Beaufort County Now | History has a way of coming around again. | lifezette, history, Churchillian axiom, current events, january 15, 2021

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

We’ve Been Here Before

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette. The author of this post is David Kamioner.

    Those who read my columns tell me that I lay the historical stuff on a bit thick. Well, I'm a believer in the Churchillian axiom that by studying history we can learn all the secrets of statecraft. Mostly because it's all been done before one way or another.

    Looking at current events, it seems we can see some parallels to the past. Specifically, there are echoes of President Ulysses Grant in Trump, perhaps even some Richard III parallels. In the aspect of repeated history, a bit of the 17th century English Civil War, an event highly influential to our Founders, is apparent.

    Grant, as some may know, was a successful general in that he put down the southern rebellion. The man was a fighter, a bruiser. His victories weren't pretty. But he won. He wasn't a great general like Lee, but he got the job done and Lee did not. However, his presidency was not wholly successful because he was gullible. He trusted many around him who used their office to enrich themselves.

    Trump, it must be admitted, was, up until November, a very successful political general. First, in his brilliant 2016 campaign for president. His political expertise then shone bright for almost the remainder of his term. Those conservatives, like me, who abhor him now would be lying if we claimed that we didn't cheer his every policy victory and especially cheered his political pugilism.

    But where Grant had a gullible side, Trump lives by ego. He thrives on bombastic exaggerations and hyperbolic self-absorbed messaging. Like Grant and his cronies, it was bound to catch up with him. Two successful generals whose fatal flaws brought them low. Richard III? If you know the play the answer is obvious. Though granted, I don't think any Bush grandsons are stashed in a White House closet.

    The English Civil War comes to mind as we see the political forces arrayed against each other in today's America. In mid 17th century England it was an absolutist king, Charles I, versus the parliament and Oliver Cromwell. Yes, a simplification. But brevity is usually welcome in most situations. Parliament wanted limitations on royal power. The king would have none of it.

    Those loyal to the king, and HRM himself, were stubborn to the point of delusion and the whole thing ended, after the king was defeated in war, with HRM losing his crown and his head. Actually, in an interesting parallel with the recent assault on the Capitol, the king and his men entered parliament in an attempt to arrest parliamentary ringleaders. The king himself actually took part in the effort. But the birds had flown the coop.

    Two generals who came a cropper in the end. Two conflicts that pitted fanatical devotion to a strong leader versus parliamentary power. History moves in strange ebbs and flows. For one of those leaders the tide has ebbed. On this beach, it will likely never come back.


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

So, a year later, states like Florida that lifted their lockdowns quickly and eased other restrictions early have far better COVID-19 records than states of similar size, like New York, that stayed locked down longer and were slow to ease other restrictions.
Because of Biden weakness, they now have the opportunity to do it.
Marc Landy writes for the Federalist about the value of federalism during times of difficult politics.
It was not necessary and all the extra money did not matter. Somebody tell the Governor!
Public school systems in the Tar Heel State are experiencing the highest declines in student enrollment in decades.
Republican leaders in the N.C. General Assembly say they will consider overriding the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 37, the school reopening bill, as soon as Monday, March 1.


No significant difference in severity of pandemic between states that locked down and those that did not.
A group of Wake County parents has written Gov. Roy Cooper asking him to reopen schools for in-person instruction.
Approximately 18,000 Students to Participate in Career Awareness Programs Across North Carolina
James Antle of the Washington Examiner documents one noticeable impact of Donald Trump’s White House term.
Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed bipartisan legislation to reopen N.C. public schools statewide.


Back to Top