One of the positive aspects to blogging on InTheOldCorps and its predecessor OPFOR is the intelligence and how well read the blog’s readers are. Many of my recent blogs stemmed from a conversation with my co-bloggers. The topic of the conversation was “What is VMI’s value proposition?” For those who, like me, aren’t well-versed in business buzzwords, a value proposition is “an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.” In short: what makes VMI distinctive enough to invest time, money, and self?
If you’re looking for a liberal arts degree, a young man or woman can go to UVA or Tech. For science or engineering there’s Johns Hopkins, MIT or Cal Poly (made popular by the characters of “Big Bang Theory”). If you want to make flag officer in our military then the national service academies are the way to go. For athletics, there’s OU and the real OSU in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In each category there is always a better school. For the category of ‘well-rounded’ there are the service academies: great academics, athletics, and career prep. Where is VMI in this milieu? Hovering somewhere above the level of strip-mall universities and online medical schools if US News and World Report is to be believed.
For myself, VMI’s value is not in the subjects that are taught, but in it’s Honor Code. It is what is lived.
Knowing what is true and what is not true is lost knowledge. Truth was declared dead in the 1800s by the four bearded gods of modernity: Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud. Displacing truth as the anchor of society and philosophy ended up not freeing mankind, but destroying societies and countries dedicated to freedom.
Welcome back! So which article is true?
If you said ‘they both are’ you are definitely not alone. That is the answer stemming from the education promoted by the post-modernists. Your opinion is as good as anyone else’s, right? But, there is only one correct article.
For those who chose the biography posted by the National Park Service, what we see is essentially a highlight reel of Captain Joshua LeFlore’s life as a Choctaw Lighthorseman. Some villains captured, some crimes resolved. And Captain LeFlore passed from life in 1920. Rather straightforward and gives the reader no indication of the kind of man Captain LeFlore was as father, son, brother, uncle, husband, co-worker, and dude taking the best seat near the door in the last pew at church.
For those who chose the story of the fight between Captain Leflore and the group of Sasquatch in the Choctaw National Forest (it wasn’t a National Forest then), northwest of Texarkana, Captain LeFlore died magnificently in 1855 saving his people from the ravages of child-eaters. The story comes second, third and fourth-hand – meaning it is quite removed from a neutral eyewitness account. For many folks, that Captain LeFlore’s biography appears ON A GOVERNMENT SITE, and makes no mention of the Sasquatch fight, and gives Captain LeFlore’s death as 85 years in the future means: 1) a government conspiracy!; 2) which therefor proves a) Bigfoot exists; b) reincarnation is real; c) alien technology reattached Captain LeFlore’s head to his body.
Sounds silly, right? Not to true believers. Government conspiracies, Sasquatch, and alien technology are received truth. The Bible, and the teachings arising from the visitations at Fatima are also received truth.
So too are the current teachings that Donald Trump is a sexual deviant who yearns for urinary humiliation, that all Caucasians are racist, that all white male combat veterans are a greater threat of committing terrorist acts than young military-age men from the Mideast who’ve sworn allegiance to ISIS, and every single Republican public servant and politician is Hitler-reborn.
The sources we turn to for truth are disappearing. Science has been corrupted. Libraries are getting rid of books and we may have to return to the pre-Franklin era of private libraries. So many authors were slaves to their personal Ism. And speaking of writers, we have been cursed with Journalists when we need News Reporters. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s failed fabulist and national security advisor accurately pegged today’s Journalists.
“…All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
Imagine a world in which news was reported, not used as a plot device. Should we blame Journalists? In truth, they may never have heard a contrary opinion outside of the Big Mac versus Whopper barn fire. They are told what to write by editors and producers who are selected for their political loyalty. For overseas news they expect UPI/AP/Reuters to give them the news. That’s a triple consolidation. And if that’s not enough, there’s the ideological consolidation.
What do you get? A truth. Like Bigfoot. Like Ted Cruz’s father on the Grassy Knoll. Like Queen Elizabeth being a Reptilian.
After decades of shading the truth, Americans no longer believe those who proclaim they are Truthsayers. If Trump personally gunned down the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, no one will believe the Journalists. That relationship to truth, that knowledge of that which is fact – living the truth may be VMI’s sole distinction – it’s only value proposition in a country which fears the truth more than anything else. Does this distinction have any value to tomorrow’s Keydets and their parents?