“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” (Thomas Paine) At this juncture in time, we must also remember that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” (Benjamin Franklin). In this land of ours, with all the perils and assaults on our liberty we must understand the nuance of fear. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. (FDR). “It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear.” (Francis Bacon).
Yet, we watch our government constantly using fear as a weapon against their own people. They try to take our liberty to gives us temporary security. “No matter where or what, there are makers, takers, and fakers.” (Robert Heinlein). We are lulled into believing that our liberties are being taken away for our own welfare. This is abhorrent. “Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.” (Woodrow Wilson). “Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.” (Patrick Henry) Still, with all the knowledge of our forefathers, and all of their knowledge, we still succumb to fear and tyranny.
The essential core of America is liberty. “Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.” (James Madison). Can’t we as a nation see what too much power in the hands of too few has done to our liberties? “Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” (George Washington). If George Washington could see this nation now, he wouldn’t recognize it. We have been completely taken by the Military Industrialist Complex. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
It is not just one political party that has fallen under its influence; it is both major political parties. The people don’t realize that “whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America”. (Dwight D. Eisenhower) As sure as I live and breathe, I know that whatever carnage we visit on the world will eventually be brought back to this nation is spades. “Still a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.” (Robert E. Lee) We as Americans have the right and the duty to maintain our liberty. “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” (John F. Kennedy) Surrender and submission, I see it everyday in more and more ways. We only have one nation we can honestly call our own, and that is this nation. To allow ourselves to be intimidated by the people who would curtail our liberty or those that will not give us an honest choice of leaders is a travesty. Sometimes, no matter how difficult the choices are, we are obliged to show the people in power our utter contempt. “The secret of Happiness is Freedom and the secret of Freedom, Courage”. (Thucydides)
No matter what the personal consequences you may face, the restoration of our liberty and our expectation of privacy should be paramount in all you do. “There are only two choices: A police state in which all dissent is suppressed or rigidly controlled; or a society where law is responsive to human needs. If society is to be responsive to human needs, a vast restructuring of our laws is essential. Realization of this need means adults must awaken to the urgency of the young people’s unrest in other words there must be created an adult unrest against the inequities and injustices in the present system. If the government is in jeopardy, it is not because we are unable to cope with revolutionary situations. Jeopardy means that either the leaders or the people do not realize they have all the tools required to make the revolution come true. The tools and the opportunity exist. Only the moral imagination is missing.” (Justice William O Douglas) One must remember; “Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.” (Hubert H. Humphrey) We have laws in this country that are prohibiting lawful dissent and “Certainly one of the highest duties of the citizen is a scrupulous obedience to the laws of the nation. But it is not the highest duty”. (Thomas Jefferson) We find that in our country today; “The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent”. (Gore Vidal) So where is true dissent in the open consciousness of our nation? Is it gone forever? Have we succumbed to fear of our own servants in government? Has the corporate world so thoroughly supplanted the peoples will?
What is the answer? How will we return to a nation that respects liberty? “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure”. (Thomas Jefferson)
That’s the way I see it, with a little help from those that have come before.