A History of My Political Journey

by Dave Batcheller, written in 2004.

At the approach of my fiftieth birthday, I reflect back in amazement that for most of my life I have either been ignorant of or disconnected from politics. Growing up, my parents spoke very little of politics, and school did not do very much to encourage or engage me in the subject. Becoming a teenager at the height of the turmoil and confusion of the Vietnam War and Watergate resulted in my adopting a rather dismal, cynical view of our government. Then when I became a Christian at the age of sixteen, I was ushered me into a long period of believing that I was supposed to be uninvolved in political issues. Only in the last four or five years did I finally realize that I needed to become educated and involved.

This process began rather harmlessly with an interest in the American Civil War. In addition to movies, television, and games over the years, I was also able to visit several Civil War battleground sites and read some of its history. Then several years ago I began learning about what some have labeled as the “Constitutional Revival Movement.” I discovered that there is a growing number of Americans who are deeply committed to restoring our government to its historical roots and Constitutional foundation. I became deeply disturbed to learn about the history and fallacies of personal income taxes, the IRS, the Federal Reserve, our monetary system, and the creation of many socialistic government programs which have now been completely accepted as normal by the vast majority of Americans.

I revisited my initial studies of the Civil War period and realized how critical this time was in the development of our country. I also learned that our nation, which had begun as 13 colonies voluntarily joining together to create an alliance and a federal government with built-in limitations, had become, in less than a hundred years, a highly controlled and centralized government. This took place as a result of the southern states being invaded, conquered and subjugated at the end of the Civil War. I felt both anger and enlightenment throughout this process, yet strangely compelled to learn more. Along the way, I found an entire body of literature and views on these subjects which have been for the most part successfully shielded from the American population.

I then proceeded to study more about the American Revolution and the early patriots and founders of our country. For the first time I read the actual documents they created with my brain engaged. I reviewed the principal issues and contentions leading up to the Revolutionary War. Most of all I wondered to myself why we now call these people “patriots,” when at the time they were most assuredly called “rebels” by the British. I read about the early struggles between people who had divergent views about the nature and purpose of government, and I realized how deeply Judeo-Christian beliefs and values affected the formation of our country. Debate raged on for years, yet the pressure to centralize the government and the banking system was averted until Abraham Lincoln used the terrible schism of the War Between the States to finally bring in a new era of a centralized federal government.

Historical renditions typically offer only one principal cause for the Civil War– the issue of slavery; and one primary hero – Lincoln, elevated through martyrdom and a slanted rewriting of history. Most of us do not realize the other issues in question – States’ Rights, centralized government, political power, economic tensions between the North and South, etc. In every country except the U.S.A., where slavery had been permitted, this unjust practice was phased out with relative peacefulness over a period of time. Only in America did it result in the complete division of a nation and warfare which claimed the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined. During Lincoln’s rise to power, his election campaign and for over a year into the Civil War, the issue of slavery was not at the heart of the conflict. Lincoln was definitely no friend of the African-American. These facts can be easily read by any American. The Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for the slaves, actually did so only in the states which were in “rebellion.”  In reality, this tactic was employed as a measure to bolster support and rally the North to a unified cause which, up to that point, had been sorely missing.

The South was struggling for independence, the same as the colonies had done with England 90 years before. Seriously outnumbered and under-supplied, the Confederate States were basically doomed from the beginning. What is amazing is that the war lasted over four years, which indicates the depth of conviction and commitment on both sides to their respective causes. As a “Union boy” from Iowa, I write these things now with a measure of both guilt and shame.

From this point, I began to learn about where this path took our nation. By the early 20th century, centralized government and control were firmly established. I was shocked to learn the actual history of the creation of personal income taxes, the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, Social Security, Medicare, and other programs leading our country gradually into socialism. And during this same time frame we were fighting two world wars and a cold war to supposedly combat the same thing!

Well into the 50s and early 60s our nation’s values and moral compass were still basically intact, even though we had strayed far away from the intent of our founding fathers. Then, with the counter-cultural and sexual revolutions of the 60s, the Vietnam War, the banning of prayer in school, the movement for women’s rights, and the legalization of abortion, cultural tides began to shift dramatically in our country. While Christian values have been increasingly assaulted on many fronts, our society has been transformed in one generation to something far different and nearly unrecognizable from what existed before. And sadly, most Americans are completely unaware of or apathetic about the forces at work pulling our nation toward involvement in a secular, globalist economy and government.

As these latest developments have taken place during my lifetime, I have now realized that I, like many other well-intentioned Christians, have contributed to this downward spiral through my absence and by separating myself from interaction and involvement. Of course I justified this with spiritual-sounding arguments, and believed that the only course of action I was supposed to take was to help evangelize the “pagans” around me while waiting for the return of Christ. Now we find ourselves in the midst of serious struggle to survive in a culture which is deeply divided over many issues. These continuing trends do not bode well for the Church or for many of the freedoms which we have enjoyed as Americans in the past.

As a result of a serious reevaluation in my own life, I have made a renewed commitment to pursue real change within both the church and political arenas. The church has been a part of the problem, and I am therefore part of the problem. I believe the times we live in require a wholehearted response and a radical new direction. I will continue to give my life in faith and obedience to God to help transform the life, reputation and effectiveness of His church, and at the same time, I will engage myself in the process of restoring our nation’s heritage and values. In both arenas I will dedicate myself to touching people’s lives, to help effect a reversal of this downhill trend. I will no longer remain silent, passive and detached. I will speak out to help others embrace this same purpose and find the courage to follow the same path. In the face of criticism, accusation and political incorrectness, I will take a stand for the truth, for liberty, and for Christ in the midst of a perverse generation. I invite you to consider doing the same.

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