Kimball Shinkoskey: A warning from an American-style Moses

What will happen if we follow the Constitution. And what will happen if we don’t.

Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune Piece of papyrus containing fragments of text from Exodus where Moses and Aaron gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.

Maybe it is time for a biblical-style warning about the direction America has been heading. We will imagine that an American-style Moses wrote this warning, put it in a time capsule, and we just opened it today.

The first part of the warning reminds about all of the good things that will happen if the nation respects the democratic law of the founders, and the second part states all the bad things that will happen if it doesn’t.

In the case of the 245-year history of the United States since 1776, all of the good things have already come to pass (except for parity in treatment of minorities), and all of the bad are now cascading down over our heads like a torrent.

The American Moses writes that if the citizenry follows the Constitution and teaches it to the rising generations, newborns will have a happy childhood. Later on they will be blessed with successful and prosperous marriages and abundant land and other property. Their fields, orchards, flocks and marriages will be fruitful, and all the people will have means to hand down assistance to their offspring in the form of an inheritance. They will live healthy and long lives and take care of the land and its water supplies.

The nation’s population will grow. There will be abundant consumer goods, and people will be free to work, travel, live, vote and worship as they wish. There will be stable and faithful leaders in education, government, churches, industry and finance and the military. The people will finance improvements in their lives with savings rather than debt.

There will be stable elections and transfers of power. There will be homes for all in every hamlet, a chicken in every pot, humane law enforcement for every citizen and equitable civil and criminal justice available to all in the courts of law. In due time the nation will earn the respect and admiration of the world.

If the people should either gradually, or precipitously, turn away from the requirements of the foundational law, their families will fall apart as quickly as they were formed and their ability to provide for their own needs will evaporate. They will fight amongst each other politically rather than compromise and cooperate.

Leaders in all sectors of life will become corrupt and self-interested rather than interested in the public weal. Crops and water supplies will dwindle. Consumer goods will have to be purchased abroad rather than at home.

The people will become engorged in stylish ways of dressing and eating, and excessive ways of spending, and will become addicted to unhealthy consumption patterns and dubious patterns of behavior. The uneducated will begin to take violent action against both newcomers and their own neighbors.

Children will become depressed, alienated and rebellious against parents, schools and society. The health and longevity of the people will turn backward like the tide, and intractable pestilences will take lives and fortunes. Sons and daughters will die in purposeless foreign wars. Courts will make money a requirement for justice.

There will come fire, and rain, tides and winds that wreak havoc and heretofore unseen and intolerable destruction. Homes will be taken away; unemployment will run rampant; care of children will be abandoned. Mental sickness will rival physical illness for dominance.

Public speech, press and association will be limited; religion subject to inquisition; tyrants rise like a tsunami. The elderly will be disrespected and marginalized, and the youth treated like chaff. Best friends will become foes, spouses like enemies to each other.

Sound like anything you know from your own experience today?

Kimball Shinkoskey

Robert Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, is a retired state government worker who writes about current affairs from a historical perspective.

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