What If: Episode 2

“Ben, you may be on to something here that could make a huge difference. Is it, perchance, the world-wide-web that you are using as a resource? It can’t be regulated by a government, modified by censors, or biased by big-time editors or publishers. It is really by the people — All the people. I’m getting excited now!”

“Well said, Sally! Yes, the world-wide-web is an amazing resource, for all the reasons you mentioned. Plus, it is readily searchable, on any subject, 24/7, and keeps growing exponentially every day. And you can instantly read what someone wrote, no publishing delays. Some call it ‘the cloud’ because it has infinite capacity and is available to everyone, like puffy summer clouds that get you day-dreaming, seeing things you didn’t see before. Imagine trying to find out if there was a book that talked about a subject you were researching, buying the book, waiting days or weeks for it to arrive, reading it, only to find that it simply had a footnote referring to your subject. The Cloud is a quantum leap beyond that plodding method of searching for information. And I have found tons of information that was not available to the historians of the 1800’s and 1900’s. Most historians used to read mostly, other historians.”

“All right, Ben, you got me scratchin’ my head here,” said Chuck. “Tell me some things you found up in that Cloud there.”

“Well for starters, Chuck, the US intention to ‘annex’ Texas was not very popular, either in Texas or the US, despite what you may have read. Those early settlers from the US who settled in Texas, were leaving the US for some strong reasons. Increasing taxation, bad treatment of friendly Indians, and a top-heavy Federal government that was trampling on State’s rights. And the US Congress was harshly divided over the issue of Slavery. Cotton growers from Mississippi and Alabama had moved to Texas because cotton grows a whole lot better here than where they came from. And they had to bring their slaves with them. Growing and picking cotton was a very labor-intensive form of agriculture, and there would not be machines to do it for 90 years or more. The US Congress did not want a slave state to join the Union. In fact, in 1844 the Texian senate drafted a Treaty to join the Union and sent it to the US Senate. After several sharply divisive debates, the US senate voted against that Treaty by more than 3 to 1.”

“Pardon me for butting in here,” said Don, “but are you saying you want to allow slavery again, Ben?”

A huge smile blossomed on Ben’s face as he turned to Don. “That is a perfect segue to what we need to talk about next, Don my friend. Because those who strive to run the show, always use hot-button issues to create divisions between us, the people! So while we are arguing with each other, they can get away with murder. Slavery has not been relevant for over a hundred years due to technology developments. Nobody would use slaves when it is so much cheaper to drive a big cotton-picker machine down the rows. Yet politicians still beat on that old drum if they think it can help them get re-elected. Instead of being suspicious of each other, we need to suspect every politician of trying to deceive us, The Texian People.”

“Now, who has the next question about all this?”

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