By Paul Lehto
"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them . . ." -Patrick Henry
"Give me Liberty, or Give me Death." ---Patrick Henry
WILL AMERICANS ALLOW LIBERTY TO BE WRESTED FROM THEM WITHOUT A STRUGGLE?
Are Americans, in fact, too lazy or stupid to defend their own freedoms anymore? Some say that a few words about their own history will bore them to giving up their republic without so much as a fight, especially with an election law attorney writing like this as if he's Paul Revere. Will cynicism mean that Americans give up the fight for their rights on their own soil?
Nowadays, some say American attention spans are so short that they won't be able to finish an essay like this of just a few pages, even when told that Abe Lincoln's "government of the People, by the People and for the People" depends on it. I'm told regularly to use extremely few words, give a quick action request at the end, so that Americans can go back to their slumbers.
But I don't believe the pessimists. I choose to address all of those who read this as concerned citizens, instead of addled consumers. I believe that Americans respond when they know what's at stake. The USA did not become the world's richest country and sole military superpower for no reason. They will read a few more paragraphs of context that help explain why this is so important, before it's time to prove why your #1 Inalienable Right must be defended.
Americans by and large remember the sacrifices of citizens and soldiers over the generations -- millions of them who worked, fought, and died for the dream of American democracy – and they will not allow democracy to slip away during our generation -- on our watch -- if they understand clearly what's at stake.
WALKING THE WALK
So, to be clear, please let me explain. As an offer of my own seriousness about this, let me simply say I don't particularly need this fight: I've been in the hospital several times in the last year for as long as a week, and though medical bills and devotion to this cause have emptied the savings, and although fatigue follows me daily, and with two young children to worry about, I am nevertheless convinced of the need to give this my all.
In reaching this decision, I realized that the principles of our representative democracy are actually more important than life itself.
Otherwise, if this were not the case, how would you convince a man or woman to sacrifice their life for this principle of democratic self-government? By what other persuasion would we send our young to the front lines of war other than with some version of Patrick Henry's famous patriotic challenge: