Band of Brothers: Game Feed Nostrums
By Richard Moss, M.D.
I went to a “game feed” recently, an event run annually by a local who goes by the name of “Chief.” He organizes this event every January, on a Saturday, in the middle of God’s country, on the outskirts of the town of Duff in Dubois County in southern Indiana.
It was a cold day with freezing temperatures. A rocky dirt road surrounded by dense forest led into the property where the hunters gathered. It included a rundown but functioning old cabin that dated back more than 100 years, with a fireplace that offered a great place to congregate and escape the cold.
Approximately 100 hunters and friends meet here every year. These were old friends, hunters, gun people, a Second Amendment crowd. Last year when I visited during my Congressional campaign, they recognized me as a fellow Second Amendment patriot. The group ranged in age from my son and his friends in their early 20s up to others in their 50s and 60s and beyond.
The theme here was game feed, and so the various meats were lean and fresh, free of chemicals or additives, as good as it gets. The hunters prepared the meats: cooking, sautéing, grilling, barbecuing, or frying on small gas stoves. There was turkey, moose, deer, squirrel and boar. They prepared it fresh, and the enticing aromas were everywhere. There was no shortage of spirits and other beverages accompanied often by cigars. There were numerous small fires around which the attendees huddled, drinking and eating, enjoying the camaraderie of old friendships and a shared passion for the spirits, freshly prepared meats, and hunting.
The discussions were lively, good-natured and friendly.
I spoke with some of my son’s friends who are in their early twenties. Most of them were very supportive of my prior political campaigns; they are a rarity it seems today, young conservatives. Together, in our somewhat inebriated conversations, we bemoaned the dangerous changes occurring in the country today, the breakdown of the family and culture, the loss of faith, the expanding welfare dependency, and the changing demographics happening without our consent. There is the ticking debt bomb to which short-term politicians from both parties have contributed. They expressed concern about their future, and I didn’t blame them.
Standing with these young people and the many others gathered there, patriotic Americans, independent types, workers, small businessmen, farmers, techies, marketers, salesmen, and so on, we were united by a love of the outdoors, guns and the hunting arts. I wondered if I was observing the passing of a culture, one that had always dominated the country but now seems to be waning or at least on the defensive.
These young people and I am sure the majority of those reading this, understand that America is unique in the world. Centralized government is the way of all history and of the world today. However, from its birth, the United States has upheld a belief in the sanctity of the individual, small government, private property rights, and the free market, along with the traditional values founded on Judeo-Christian principles.
Indeed, these were the magic ingredients that the founders cobbled together based on 2000 years of history beginning with the ancients and greats ranging from Aristotle and Cicero, the Stoics, Augustine, Aquinas and then up through the enlightenment with Thomas Locke, Charles Montesquieu and Edmund Burke. Add to these our own founding fathers who were well read in the classics and deeply influenced by the giants who preceded them.
Most important was the influence of the Bible, the belief in the individual created in the image of God. From these crucial strands, the founders forged a nation that ignored international precedents and tribal norms, embracing instead the belief that individuals possessed inalienable rights and liberty.
As I gathered with old friends in the middle of nowhere enjoying freshly cooked meats and some whiskey on a frigid winter day, I realized we were all lovers of liberty and the Second Amendment, and possessed an abiding respect for American culture and achievement. I pray this unprecedented achievement, the culmination of a most unlikely string of events: the upwelling of the influences of Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem through the centuries that inspired the founders; that this empire of liberty, America, will not go the way of Rome.
It is my prayer that we are not witnessing a nation in irreversible decline, torn asunder by illiberal forces, that will culminate in its inevitable demise, a once great nation and civilization that ultimately could not be sustained. It was providence that brought it into being; it is unlikely that it will be repeated.
On the other hand my young friends seem confident and hopeful even as they express their concerns. Perhaps they can continue the great dream and experiment known as America.