The politics in an election year gets so overwrought that reading about history puts things into perspective.

Americans don’t realize that the lack of violence in our elections is not normal in world history, nor is the transfer of power from one person to another a common occurance in world history.

So last week’s UKTimes had an article about the Battle of Towton, during the War of the Roses. Did you study about it in school? Nope, neither did I. Apparantly the UK schools don’t study it anymore either, but perhaps they should because it gives a little insight into how the lust for power can descend into war and anarchy.

From the article:

By all contemporary accounts, allowing for medieval exaggeration, on this one Sunday between 20,000 and 30,000 men died. Just so that you grasp the magnitude, that’s a more grievous massacre of British men than on the first day of the Somme. Without machineguns or shells, young blokes hacked, bludgeoned and trampled, suffocated and drowned. An astonishing 1% of the English population died in this field.

Think of it: 20thousand men died in one battle.

The battle did allow Edward to dethrone the very incompetent King Henry VI; but the war smouldered on and off for a century, eventually the two sides stopped warring when Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, from the other side and won his own battle to become king.

Without recognizing the bloodbath that was Towton, it is harder for us to recognize why Henry VIII was so anxious for a son and heir,.  Too often his marriages are seen as sexual picadillos, the wish to discard  his wife for one bimbo after another until one of them managed to get a baby of the right sex.

But placed into the context of the time, his actions are more understandable: A weak, sickly Mary as his only heir would have allowed a greedy and competent Nobleman to restart the wars, and England would again descend into chaos and death.

When the Americans made their constitution, monarchy was considered and discarded. How many children in our politically correct schools learn about the greatest gift of George Washington: That he refused to be king, and when his eight years were up, he gave up power gracefully and retired back to Mt.Vernon.

So instead of wars of succession, America has it’s political arguments passionately but peacefully every four years. Those who lose are not arrested, their supporters are not beaten or threatened, and those who vote wrong are not visited by Greenbombers and beaten for putting their X in the wrong box, as is happening in Zimbabwe.

Yes, America had a civil war, you might say.

Ah yes, but it was not by one politician trying to get power from another, but about slavery and states rights, a philosophical idea. Yet even this might have been settled peacefully if the Supreme Court hadn’t intervened with Dred Scott, and if radical such as John Brown had not inflamed passions by  starting his own mini civil war by shooting people who disagreed with them to win the elections in Kansas…

That’s why most Americans dislike radical demonstrations of all sorts, because unleashing the genie of violence is a major threat to peaceful elections.

Luckily for Americans, few people enter into the political fray as if it were a life and death situation, hating their opponent and adoring their own candidate. Most people still have a life, and recognize that although the election is important, the American government does not elect a king, but a president with limitations on his or her power.

The United States has one of the oldest governments in the world. What makes this even more astounding is that the peoples of the United States are not the descendants of the well educated effete elites of Europe, but middle class and lower class people of all continents who fled to America for freedom to start their own businesses, not be obedient to the landlords and rich, and who desired to worship their own way.

So the next time you hear a candidate or a newspaper or some snotty Europhile bimbo singer complaining ain’t it awful about America, just remember history and put things into perspective.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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