What Studying History Tells Me

I’ve studied American history in depth now for decades, and I am convinced of one thing for sure: human nature is the same throughout all of history. Now, that shouldn’t be an epiphany for Christians, since we believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yet the study of history only emphasizes that poignant truth.

I don’t claim that politicians are some special kind of sinner, but when one lusts for political power, one can cross barriers not normally crossed. Let’s take Joe Biden’s recent claim:

Not to be outdone by his potential opponent in 2020, Donald Trump assured his loyal followers that he would cure not only cancer, but lots of other diseases as well, including the eradication of AIDS.

After a while, one can become numb to the promises of politicians and discount almost anything they say, particularly during an election campaign. Currently, Bernie Sanders is proposing wiping out all student college debt—yes, the taxpayers will cover the cost for all who took out loans. That appeals especially to those who have a lifestyle of avoiding personal responsibility (a lifestyle that seems to be on the rise).

Democrats have always taken the lead in espousing great governmental authority over people’s lives, but some Republicans aren’t far behind. Mainstream Republicans, ever since the New Deal, have been primarily Democrat-lite. Josh Hawley, Republican senator from Missouri, is so upset over social media’s control over their own privately owned platforms (normally something Republicans would defend) that he is proposing a bill to give the government more control over them. Who cares about the First Amendment?

Meanwhile, I sit in my study, contemplating what I ought to do next on behalf of the Constitution and limited government.

I agree—that probably won’t work. The general public isn’t interested in something so boring as understanding constitutional authority. Ever since the Great Depression, the cry has been, “What is the government going to do to solve this problem?” Yet if we were to study our history with greater attention to detail, we might realize that a whole truckload of our problems began when that cry began.

I will continue to do what I can in my university courses and in this blog to help shed some light on the proper limits of civil government. The Christian belief is that we are to be faithful to our calling whether we are successful or not. God will reward our faithfulness. I believe that.

But it would also be nice to help convince a few people, at least, that what I’m saying is true.