I Am Glad I Was Alive to See It

It is my very firm belief that when America is strong, the world is safer and more stable.  Observe then, that it has taken less than seven months for our installed (*) government to diminish America’s strength and our standing in the world, with the predictable consequence of strengthening the enemies of Freedom.

My father had several small desk-top plaques or picture frames in his office that displayed either witty sayings or motivational wisdom.  As a salesman and small business owner, I think he wanted to generate conversation with the folks who visited his office so he could learn what “made ‘em tick” and how his company could best meet their needs.  Those visitors would also learn more about his values and experience.

Recent events remind me of one specific saying he memorialized on a plaque, which he apparently learned while growing up in rural northwest Guilford County, North Carolina:

I’d druther see it than hear tell of it”

“(Old Summerfield saying)”

The meaning is relatively easy to decipher, even though it is not conveyed in the “King’s English.” In its own way, it summed up what one would expect to hear in the common-sense wisdom of rural Americans who worked from before sun-up to after sundown, and who had the hardened, rough, muscular hands that offered a quick and vice-like handshake.

This wisdom came from the folks who then, as now, make the country work and who along with many millions of other Americans, want all Americans to succeed and thrive. These were then and now, also among the first Americans to send their sons and daughters to defend America and the Freedom we want to see take hold in every corner of the world.

I just can’t imagine what they would be thinking today, seeing our fellow Americans (and those we have elected) throw away our hard-won birthright of Freedom, deny their fellow citizens their constitutional rights, and deny America her rightful place of leadership in a dangerous and unstable world.

Well, I am glad I am alive to see this current mess.  I am not sure I could have believed it otherwise if I had “heard tell of it.”  There are a number of ways in which we are in the process of destroying all that American leadership means in a dangerous world.  It is quite unbelievable, but it offers an incredible opportunity as a teachable moment.  Let’s use this opportunity to review the impact that American energy independence has not only on every American but on the world. 

Beginning in 2017 and continuing to January 19, 2021, the business and political climate enabled America to attain energy independence for the first time in my lifetime, and we were a net exporter of petroleum.  I am glad I was alive to see it because I always knew we could do it!

That America has this capability is extremely important, because not only can we meet our own needs for fuel and natural gas, but we can also provide a stable source of these products to the world (hmm… blessed to be a blessing, maybe?). For example, in September 2019, two major Saudi Arabian oil installations (ahem, excuse me, that’s OPEC) were attacked by drones. Iran was a prime suspect.

The result was to be expected, which was that the price of oil rose dramatically overnight. But the markets quickly calmed, and oil prices returned to normative market levels as quickly as they did because American oil producers never missed a beat and there was no meaningful reduction in supply.

I am old enough to remember the 1970s, the “fuel shortages” and “oil crisis,” sky-high gasoline prices, gas lines, higher home heating oil prices (you may also remember, and you get the picture). OPEC made it clear then its member nations were not our friends.

America’s energy sector also got a punch in the gut from OPEC in 2014 when, in response to America’s rising oil production and potential market dominance, OPEC boosted production to drive down oil prices, and prepared to endure what they expected to be a short-term loss. Meanwhile, oil prices were below what American companies needed to be profitable.

It was quite the bust, and many of the folks I know here in Texas were severely impacted. Thankfully, that turned around in 2017 and a leaner, smarter U.S. oil sector bounced back and made America energy independent for the first time in over 70 years.

Today, that has all been thrown away. Flushed. Gone, at least for the foreseeable future. The current American government installed (*) as it were on January 20, 2021, immediately hamstrung our domestic oil production and halted pipeline construction, all of which affects our allies as well as each and every American. Hard-working, skilled American workers have lost their jobs. In fact, the poor, the single-parent families, and those who depend on hourly-wage jobs are the hardest hit.

To offset the loss of supply to our European allies (I’m guessing, because it makes no sense whatsoever), Joe Biden has waived economic sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s entourage of supportive oligarchs, enabling Russia to build their own Nordstream 2 pipeline, sell their oil and natural gas to our allies in Europe (effectively holding them hostage to Russian supply), which ensures Russia will have hundreds of billions of dollars in future revenue.

Given Russia’s historical position as an adversary to Freedom, don’t expect those Russian oligarchs to be “rushin’” to any reforms that would increase freedom, individual liberty, and prosperity for their own citizens. Those revenues will be used against America and our allies.

Sarcastically, but in very real terms, the Russians are using the leverage they have gained by stealing Hunter Biden’s laptop to great effect against America. I haven’t seen yet how this might be affecting the Biden crime family, but I can tell you it is affecting my family. How about yours?

This week Joe Biden asked – some reports say he begged – OPEC to increase oil production…because we need their oil…and we will pay them for their oil before we pay Americans to explore, produce, ship, store, and refine our own oil….

If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t believe it if I’d heard tell of it. Hell, now that I have seen it, I still can’t believe it! An elected (*) president, having sworn an oath before God to all Americans that he would, “… faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” has relinquished a hugely significant part of America’s strength and national security to those who have been our historical adversaries -- in Russia’s case, our mortal enemy (remember Nikita Khrushchev, “We will bury you!”). Yeah, my friends don’t talk to me like that, either.

Ironically, Russia and OPEC probably see this whole situation as I do. If they hadn’t seen it, they wouldn’t believe it to hear tell of it.

Jeff M. Lewis is a Christian, a husband and father, a Veteran, and a small-business owner in South Texas.

Image: The Lucas Gusher at Spindletop, Texas (1901). Public domain.

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