The Great Man Theory

A lot of people discount the “Great Man” theory of history. To cheapen it somewhat with a short explanation, the theory is that great men can change the course of history. Sometimes there exists no great man and history shifts with the winds. But, along comes a great man who can sieze history and drive it forward.

There was Ceasar, Augustus, Charlemagne, Bismark, Napoleon, Washington, and then there was World War II.

This morning Christy and I watched “The Five Star Generals” on the History Channel. It is amazing how many people grew up to be in the right place at the right time with the right mindset and training.

Now, you can argue that the training was the key, not the person. But, there were lots of people with the same training, but these five stars, and a few lesser stars, e.g. Patton, drove history. Eisenhower, Nimitz, MacArthur, Bradley, Montgomery, etc.

I believe in divine providence. I believe everyone is placed on earth with a purpose. I think they were put here with the purpose they so valiantly served. And, they prevailed for the sake of humanity.

Beneath these giants were men and women who sacrificed their all for all of us. Heroes themselves — ordinary people who stood across the earth to fight evil in our time. And, for you leftists, it was evil and not evil because they were the bad guy. Let’s not forget the evils of Naziism. We can call each other devils, evil, and Nazis, but that takes away from the horror that was.

Now a new evil raises its head. We need great men again. Sadly, I don’t yet see them in our military. We have a President who recognizes the evil, but a military leadership too timid to fight like our lives depended on it.

On this Memorial Day, we should remember the last verse of our national anthem — the un-P.C. verse:


Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


Maybe we should sing this last verse instead of the first, given the times we live in. It’s time for another great man on our side.

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Erick Erickson

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3 Comments

  • I don’t kow if Bush is one of these men but I do believe we will need “Great Men.” Heroes such as Lincoln, Washington, and even the smaller ones to face the coming tides the future is going to bring. Whoever these men and women are I certainly wish them luck.

  • Hmmm…about two weeks ago I also discussed that un-PC last verse. Whenever I think of the Nick Berg killing it comes to mind.

    And Isn’tAPundit actually has recorded his rendition of all four verses and has it up on his website: IsntaPundit is singing!

  • um… so you assert that Bush is one of these great men, perhaps hamstrung by those in the military who can’t see his greatness?