by Michael Peroutka
“We have met the enemy…and he is us.”
This is, perhaps, the most remembered phrase attributed to the cartoon character Pogo in a syndicated cartoon strip of the same name.
Pogo was the invention of cartoonist Walt Kelly and first appeared 66 years ago, this week, on October 4th, 1948.
The phrase “We have met the enemy, and he is us” pretty well sums up the Kelly’s attitude toward the foibles of mankind and the nature of the human condition. Indeed, our fallen nature, if unaffected by God’s grace, leads us to harm ourselves. We become our own enemy when we act in ways that are contrary to the immutable laws of the universe.
And just as this is true for persons, it is also true for nations.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Back in January, 1944, just four years before Pogo first appeared, President Franklin Roosevelt, in his annual address to Congress, set the nation on a path that would destroy America as the founders envisioned it. The plan he declared to the nation in that speech was destined, if not designed, to make America its own enemy.
Here’s what FDR said in that speech:
“This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable rights – among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.”
Now, up to this point, Roosevelt has said nothing amiss. He is describing the God-given rights that are the subject of the first ten amendments – the Bill of Rights. But listen to what he says next:
“As our nation has grown in size and stature, however, -- as our industrial economy expanded – these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness… So to speak, [we need] a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all…Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job…
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation…
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care…
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All these rights spell security.”
Please note that Roosevelt’s so called second bill of rights is not based on the same premise as the original. In the American view, the purpose of government is to secure, to protect and defend God-given rights. But God didn’t grant anyone the right to a decent home at the expense of others, nor to a remunerative job at the expense of others, nor to an education at the expense of others, nor to food and clothing and recreation paid for by others. Likewise, the right to not be afraid of old age is nowhere granted by God.
So Roosevelt’s second “bill of rights” is really the enemy of the real Bill of Rights.
You see, in order for government to provide what the second bill of rights guarantees, it must necessarily violate the real Bill of Rights by stealing the money it needs to make the phony guarantees.
This second “bill of rights” is a fraud.
The second “bill of rights”, says that government force must be brought to bear to obtain equality of economic outcome.
The second “bill of rights” reflects the premise and philosophy of the Communist Manifesto.
The second “bill of rights” has led to Obamacare and Common Core.
The second “bill of rights” has destroyed the First Bill of Rights.
Isn’t it time to abandon this dangerous course?
Isn’t it time to return to the real Bill of Rights?
As a nation, when we abandon what our Declaration of Independence refers to as “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, then we have met the enemy, and he is us.”
This is MAP for IOTC bringing you TAV.
Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly(1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animalcharacters.
Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels by both young children and savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951.
The New York Star
In his 1954 autobiography for the Hall Syndicate, Kelly said he "fooled around with the Foreign Language Unit of the Army during the war, illustrating grunts and groans, and made friends in the newspaper and publishing business." In 1948 he was hired to draw political cartoons for the editorial page of the short-lived New York Star; he decided to do a daily comic strip featuring the characters from Animal Comics. The first comic series to make the permanent transition to newspapers, Pogo debuted on October 4, 1948 and ran continuously until the paper folded on January 28, 1949.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Probably the most famous Pogo quotation is "We have met the enemy and he is us." Perhaps more than any other words written by Kelly, it perfectly sums up his attitude towards the foibles of mankind and the nature of the human condition.
The quote was a parody of a message sent in 1813 from U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to Army General William Henry Harrison after his victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, stating, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." It first appeared in a lengthier form in "A Word to the Fore", the foreword of the book The Pogo Papers, first published in 1953. Since the strips reprinted in Papers included the first appearances of Mole and Simple J. Malarkey, beginning Kelly's attacks on McCarthyism, Kelly used the foreword to defend his actions: