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Leipzig, Germany, July 7, 2013

Leipzig, Germany, July 7, 2013

For over a thousand years, Leipzig has been one of Europe’s leading trade and cultural centers.

St. Nicolas Church was first built in 1165.  Subsequently transformed into a giant Gothic Cathedral, it was where Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) had several first performances.  St. Thomas School, arguably the world’s oldest school in continuous operation since founding (1212), is where Bach taught and performed many of his masterpieces.

The famous Leipzig Opera was founded in 1693. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is one of the world’s oldest symphonic orchestras established in 1743.

Yet when I was first here in 1990 shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall,  all of these magnificent structures and every other in the city were encrusted with black sooty grime.  Everything was an ugly mess after 45 years of Soviet Communist rule.

The same was true for the enormous Central Stadium built for soccer games and such in 1956, now 35 years later in complete dilapidation.

What Leipzig has become today would have been unimaginable to the people I met in 1990, in a total daze after living most all their lives amidst the cultural wreckage of Soviet Communist tyranny.  It’s now the Boomtown (“boom-stadt”) of Germany.

This was far from inevitable.  There is no “Arc of History” bending towards progress or justice or anything else – that’s just Marxist invented claptrap.

Here’s what history really is:  history is stochastic.  That is, it’s an unrepeatable series of events – just like your own life.  No one, of all the billions and billions of people who ever lived or ever will, ever will have the same life as you’ve had.

Nor would you if you had a time machine and became a young child again starting from scratch with the memories of your adulthood erased.  As you moved through life, you’d make different decisions each taking your life in a different direction.

Same with history – for after all, there is no such entity as “history,” it’s merely an aggregate of what different collections of people (nations, cultures, tribes, on and on) do with their individual lives.

There are patterns, to be sure.  One pattern is a dualism between advance and retreat.

In the 1960s, Americans rose to the challenges of the Soviet Union, JFK’s assassination, the cultural/political degradation of LBJ’s presidency, the societal lunacy of the Hippie Left and more.  Americans did so by accomplishing the single greatest achievement in the history of humanity – landing a man on the Moon.  Two actually – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969.

And equally important, brought them and Mike Collins operating the command module in lunar orbit, back to earth safe and sound.

Yet afterwards, America had a failure of nerve.  We retreated, stopping our advance in its tracks.

Landing a man on the moon was epic heroism on a scale vastly beyond anything to which any other culture on earth could aspire. It was a pinnacle that left the rest of the human race too far below. Landing a man on the moon was too unbelievably astonishing. It was a feat that placed Americans too far beyond the rest of humanity.

So we gave up.  We gave up going to the moon after the inertia of scheduled Apollo landings ran out in 1972. We gave up in Vietnam. We gave up in the Arab Oil Embargo. We gave up against the Soviets, and let them colonize country after country from Angola to Afghanistan.

We gave up when the Communist Khmer Rouge committed genocide in Cambodia. We gave up and let Khomeini overthrow the Shah and gave up again when his thugs took American hostages at our embassy in Tehran. We gave up and let our economy collapse in a malaise of inflation and unemployment. We gave up and elected a pathetic nebbish for our president, Jimmy Carter.

The end of the 1970s saw a clueless President whining about an American “malaise” – never comprehending that he was elected as an expression of America’s prostrate self-image – and Henry Kissenger asserting that the Soviet Union was so close to winning the Cold War that the real question was how America could negotiate the best terms of surrender.

Finally, we rose to the challenge again, deciding to stop retreating and advance – by electing a man we recognized as capable of rescuing our country.  Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan’s fearless optimism pulled us out of retreat and despair.  He restored our pride in ourselves and our country. He resurrected America’s economy and won the Cold War. Ronald Reagan is America’s Homeric hero of the 20th century.

So what did we Americans do in response to our defeating the Evil Empire of the Soviet Superpower?   We retreated once more, and got  drunk instead.

To celebrate victory in the Cold War culminating in the disintegration of the Soviet Empire and the Soviet Union, America went on a bacchanalian bender of social, economic, and political irresponsibility.

The most memorable line of the 1980s was: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The most memorable line of the 1990s was: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

The Clinton Bacchanal ended as all frenzies do, morphing into the morning-after Clinton Hangover recession. The barest of electoral majorities voted to put the social wreckage of the Clintonistas behind us — but what finally sobered America up was the horror of September 11.

For a brief moment, we decided to advance against the forces of darkness.  The candle lighting up the dark soon flickered out and we retreated from the Left’s relentless praise of Islam while President Bush refused to fight back against the Left’s maniacal hate of him as “Bushitler.”

America’s ultimate retreat of the early 21st century was of course the masochistic election of Barack Obama in 2008 – compounded by even greater masochism of reelecting him in 2012.  It was the most purely racist election in our history – electing a man purely on the color of his skin, that he was “black.”

For if Obama were all-white instead of half-white/half-black, with everything else about him the same, no one would have paid any attention to him whatever.

But rather than getting rid of the Left’s constant accusation of Americans (meaning white ones) as racist by voting for Obama – the only reason whites voted for him en masse – the Left’s accusations got deafeningly louder.  Quickly, any criticism of Obama, no matter what, was denounced as de facto racist.

Once more, after eight years of retreat, Americans decided to advance yet again.  They chose someone as improbable as Ronald Reagan, uncannily recognizing him as the single individual who could come to our country’s rescue as did President Reagan.

What President Trump has accomplished in less than 20 months in office economically, politically, culturally, and in defense and foreign policy, is truly historic – especially given the psychotic depth of hatred and hysteria towards him 24/7 by the entire Left media, academia, bureaucracy, Democrat Party, and the perverts of Hollywood.

And now it’s all up for grabs still again.  Do we retreat into the abyss of darkness – or do we continue our advance into the sunlight?

This is a decision that, as usual, Providence leaves to us – for it is the timeless policy of Providence to help those who help themselves, leaving us with the responsibility and consequences of our choices, as it should be.

Prima facie, it would seem impossible for Americans to masochistically choose abolishing our borders instead of protecting them, destroying our electoral system with millions of illegal and illegal non-citizen votes rather than preserving it, wanting more government and taxes than less, more unemployment than less, less prosperity than more, putting politicians in office who hate America rather than those who love it.

Yet somehow at this bizarre moment, that masochistic impossibility is possible.  It is up to all of us to do whatever we can to ensure that possibility does not become reality on November 6.

History really is unrepeatable.  Nothing is written.  The future never exists until it becomes the present.  As Chuck Berry in his immortal song says:  C’est la vie, said the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.

It is a song of the most beautiful optimism, of optimism for the future of young people living in America, and of old people not being envious but happy for them.  And believe it or not, it was composed when Berry was in federal prison, railroaded by a Jim Crow jury and judge.  Here are the lyrics:

It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell
“C’est la vie”, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin’ worked out well
“C’est la vie”, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
“C’est la vie”, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, ’twas a cherry red ’53
They drove it down to New Orleans to celebrate their anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle
“C’est la vie”, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

On July 7, 2013,  Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performed in front of 50,000 fans filling the refurbished stadium in Leipzig.  As his custom, he selected suggestions for a song to sing from the audience – something he and the band hadn’t performed as a challenge to see if they could improvise it on the spot.

From the audience he plucked, “You Never Can Tell.”  You’re in for an extraordinary musical experience when you watch it.  But as you do, watch the audience.  They are as joyously happy as can be.

Frankly, it brings tears to my eyes to see these young people so joyous and optimistic, and think of the grim filth and despair of Leipzig when Soviet Communist not that long ago.

You never can tell what the future is going to be.  But we have it within our capacity to be as joyous and optimistic this November as the folks in Leipzig you’re about to see.  We must advance and not retreat.


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