The Outstater

February 27, 2019

An artist’s depiction of the Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket in full war paint prior to the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The red stripes on the lower part of his face represent successful raids on enemy camps.

IT IS BEING SAID more often that the great disadvantage of Republican incumbents vis-a-vis Democratic ones is that their political party lacks conviction.

Now, that is not meant to say Democrats have admirable convictions, merely that they have some — an adolescent sense of social justice, a willingness to kill the unwanted, wealth redistribution at gunpoint, climate hysteria, race baiting, etc. These are issues on which they gladly lose support at the margin.

Few Republicans are so unwavering. Witness the sorry voting records of GOP lions such as Richard Lugar and Dan Coats.

Last night, two veteran Republicans on my local city council could not summon the political courage to vote for designating a day to honor their own town’s namesake. In that, they joined a lone Democrat, an ill-informed racial poser, on the losing side of a 6-3 vote.

Before hearing what these men voted against, you need to know they both have mayoral ambition, one as an active candidate and the other as a candidate in waiting on the staff of the district congressman. Yes, that explains a lot, but not all. Listening to the weakness of their rationale, a better guess is they feared the social pressure, however petty, that they might face at their next dinner party.

Which brings us to the significance of that vote outside the virtue-signaling, white-wine set. The measure, a mere resolution, was to declare a day during the annual summer festival to honor Gen. Anthony Wayne, for which the city of Fort Wayne is named.

Not so fast, pounced our mayoral aspirants. It was General Wayne who killed “native” Americans, who killed “people of color,” as their Democrat colleague was eager to note.

As a matter of historical fact, color was incidental. The Indians, the people of color, were operating in alliance with the British, people of no color, in violation of a solemn treaty. Moreover, they lost less than 50 combatants (perhaps fewer than 20) in a battle that established military Fort Wayne and opened the West to settlement. That number stands in contrast to the more than a thousand American soldiers, people of no color, whom, along with their wives and children of no color, were tortured and killed and their bodies left on a nearby battlefield only two years before — yep, by those same much-aggrieved people of color.

You notice that we put quotation marks around “native” American. That is because Dinesh D’Souza, a prize-winning author and director, a longtime friend who helped found the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, reminds us of a critical historical point: At the time we won independence, the Right of Conquest was in effect not only in North America but throughout the world. That meant those fighting General Wayne were not native in any ultimate sense, they having taken the land and wiped out some earlier tribe, and so forth back through history everywhere.

“The American Indians may have been shocked that in defeat they were asked to sign treaties rather than be massacred to the last man, woman and child,” D’Souza observes. For the end of the cruelty that was the Right of Conquest would be a fast-evolving notion, epitomized in the Declaration of Independence for which Anthony Wayne fought, that all men are equal under the law.

A conviction, apparently, on which the typical Republican councilman dare not stand.

— Craig Ladwig


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