The Waning Republic

TimeWatch Editorial
March 09, 2017

According to the Free Encyclopedia, John Thomas Flynn was born on October 25, 1882, in Bladensburg, Maryland.  He died on April 13, 1964. He was an American journalist best known for his opposition to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and to American entry into World War II. In September 1940, Flynn helped establish the America First Committee which was the foremost non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II. He was also the first to advance the Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory. The Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory is the argument that U.S. Government officials had advance knowledge of Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed it to occur so that they might enter into the war. Flynn even published a booklet about it entitled “The Truth about Pearl Harbor.” In 1955, he published a book entitled “The Decline of The American Republic.” Flynn writes a Foreword to the book, in which he expresses a level concern. Here is what he says:

“As I have watched the course of events in America these last 25 years I have noted with growing apprehension a disturbing phenomenon. During a century and a half, despite endless differences about policy at any given time, certain principles of organized life were accepted by practically our whole population. These principles involved a collection of moral, social and political concepts. Leaders and groups differed about the means of putting these ideas to work in our society, but there was no important repudiation of the great fundamental concepts themselves. Then, pressing on the heels of the depression, a new generation was offered a wholly new society-not just a series of reforms of the old. A vision was conjured before the eyes of our younger citizens of a wholly new and better world-the "Good Society" –that would ensure to all the material essentials of the "good life," along with leisure and a new kind of freedom, freedom from want.” John Thomas Flynn, “The Decline of The American Republic.” 1955, page viii

It is clear, from just this opening statement, that the vision conjured before the eyes of the young of a new and better world, was to him a mirage. As Flynn continued to evaluate the surrounding circumstances, he found that the majority of those around him had bought into the vision of prosperity. Listen to him as he continues.

“This radiant vision was held up against the dark background of the Great Depression. The promise was benevolent, the hope was bright, and those who doubted it or called attention to its frailties were cast as enemies of the Free World and champions of the wicked world of Wall Street and the Simon Legrees of the big corporations. It was my lot to tour most of the leading cities of America discussing on the lecture platform these grave problems. Everywhere it was easy to note a growing element in audiences which sought to make me realize that I was defending a dark and ugly world dissolving before the onset of a new and bright dawn of freedom and security for all whose light was just breaking over the Potomac.” John Thomas Flynn, “The Decline of The American Republic.” 1955, page viii

John Flynn was encountering something that we today also experience. We are always willing to accept the promises of a better world, a greater comfort, from those who claim to have the answers to all the problems that we might face. We often never even stop to consider how these promises would be fulfilled, but are drawn into the malicious persuasion by those who have only their personal interests at heart. Flynn tried to enlighten those around him with careful warnings. But, in many cases to no avail.

“This baffled me no little, because I had been one of those who had not condoned the evils of certain sections of big business, the banks and Wall Street. I had spent endless hours and acres of pages talking and writing of the disasters that were sure to follow in the wake of the sins of business and politics in those years. The consequences that followed the grave crisis of 1929 were much worse than even I had supposed they would be. I criticized these evils because I believed they were inflicting a serious wound on the free world.” John Thomas Flynn, “The Decline of The American Republic.” 1955, page viii

We always seem to prefer to believe that things will be better, so we trust the voices of those who promise lower taxes, higher pay with better jobs. We begin to spend before the promises are fulfilled because we enter into a corridor of blind trust. But all the while the country is changing drastically. In the years of which Flynn wrote, things did indeed change, but as it is now, many did not pay attention.

“It is difficult to escape the feeling that most of the young men and women who passed through our colleges in the years from 1933 to the present time do not have the faintest conception of the type of government which Americans for a century and a half knew as the American Republic. For this reason I have felt it of the first importance that some effort be made to bring to their attention what I believe to be the greatest disaster of the depression and the wars that followed-the assault upon the American Republic here in America. This assault has progressed so far that, unless arrested now, it will end soon in the complete renunciation of our great constitutional system.” John Thomas Flynn, “The Decline of The American Republic.” 1955, page ix

What is truly amazing is how history tends to repeat itself! Not always with the same detail, but frequently with the same result. At present, there is a serious assault upon the American Republic here in America; and unless arrested now, it will end soon on the complete renunciation of our great Constitutional System. To quote the President’s advisor, it will end soon in the Deconstruction of the Administrative State.

Cameron A. Bowen

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