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John Livingston

Character of a People

My wife and I have spent the last 10 days on Chesapeake Bay. We are staying in a cottage on Mobjack Bay. Before I married my wife, I spent 20 years in Tidewater Virginia during my surgical training and then my service in the Navy. I truly love Virginia. When we got away from the big cities—Norfolk, DC. and Richmond, it seemed that time was standing still. The tussle and bustle of the city are replaced by the tides and slow easy movements of the York and Rappahannock Rivers. But what I have noticed the most—and maybe I have forgotten, is the respect that people show each other: Black and White and “down easterners”. Rich and poor FFVs (First Families of Virginia) and descendants of slaves all exhibit exquisite and meticulous manners. “Yes, sir and yes mam”, “please and thank you”, and when they are really upset at something you have said or done “why bless your heart”.

Something happened that was extraordinary while we were eating lunch at a small hole in the wall diner in Mathew’s Court House. A heavy-set white man was sitting at a table for two by himself. He was about 45-50 and was wearing a shirt with the logo of a company that I later learned was his own company that employed about 100 people. A young Black man about twenty passed him, looked him in the eye, and said—“I am sorry I let you down and thank you for the opportunity” I was seated two tables away but was getting some insight into the dynamics of SOUTHERN MANNERS that reflect the mutual respect that is the lubricant that allows the wheels of society and civilization to move. On the spot the older man offered to give the younger a second chance—not only that he paid for his lunch. Forgiveness and redemption at the diner. The predicate was mutual respect. The predicate for mutual respect—self-respect.

We then traveled to Gwyn Island where many still speak the King’s English—Black and White. Same thing. Mutual respect based on a common heritage. Today we went to a fishing village and on the docks, we saw the same thing. Good manners, mutual respect, working with a common goal—harvesting fish and processing them. At the docks it occurred to me that isn’t this what Critical Race Theory (CRT) is all about? A common goal, shared work, even a common heritage that has nothing to do with race, gender or sexual orientation, or what country your forefathers came from is what leads to “earned respect”, not something learned in a classroom by role-playing or reading sociology or psychology books.

The news crew that produced a report in the national news that painted a picture of people at loggerheads with each other, wasn’t serious about reporting on the great majority of Idahoans. The great majority of Idahoans just like Virginians, care about each other, help each other and even love each other. This is very different than the “virtue signaling” suburban snowflakes who believe they alone own the moral high ground. Those in the mainstream media, and the social elites have little understanding of good manners and how to treat their fellow man. They don’t respect themselves and because of that they can’t respect others. They purposefully try to find chinks in the armor of civilization. They don’t see the “logs in their own eyes”.

Stories about volunteers working at the Rescue Mission or Food Bank, or those making visits to the VA or a nursing home aren’t reported on? What about parents that volunteer for Little League? What about parents whose primary focus in life is their family and who teach their children good manners? That is really what Idaho is all about.

The good stories outnumber the bad many times to one. The reason they aren’t reported on is because they don’t support a narrative. The narrative is that the government alone can fix the problems of the world. Totalitarian governance and command economies have never worked in the fifteen thousand years of modern man. The family, good families teaching their children the simple Christian virtues, teaching individual accountability and responsibility, and teaching the value of work, and finally teaching “good manners”, are what allow a society and an economy to grow. They grow together. You can’t have one without the other. Despite what Milton Freidman thinks liberty is the predicate for free markets.

As far as that “News Crew” that reported on us “Idaho honkies” is concerned—“Why Bless your (very) little hearts” MIGA (Make Idaho Great Again”) “Fight Like Hell”

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