“I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”
“Live free or die.”
~Colonel John Stark~
(Also the New Hampshire State Motto)
“To us and those like us…so damned few left.”
~Unknown author ~
We’re already 5 months into 2019 and before you know it we’ll be celebrating Independence Day, or the Fourth of July. What that typically entails is a day off work, relaxing around the home, barbecues, fireworks, and big savings on a new car or appliance. I would be willing to bet that, out of the 250 some odd million people living in this country, less than a million people actually give any thought to why we celebrate this day as a holiday.
If I were to ask you what we commemorate on July 4th, how would you answer? Would you say we are celebrating the American Revolution? If that is what you truly believe, you’re wrong, the American Revolution began long before July 4, 1776; but I’ll get into that momentarily.
Would you say that July 4th is the celebration of America declaring its independence from Great Britain? If you were to say that you’re getting warm, but July 4th is simply the day that the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence formalized what they had voted upon two days earlier. In a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
So technically speaking, July 4 is simply the day we celebrate 56 men signing their names on a piece of parchment; for it was actually July 2 that they voted to separate themselves from Great Britain. But, was that the beginning of the American Revolution?
Some say that the American Revolution was already underway when the delegates to the Second Continental Congress finally voted to declare their independence; that it had begun a year earlier at Lexington and Concord. If you believe that the revolution began that moment in time when the actions of the Colonists transitioned from protests and petitions to their government for a redress of grievances to armed conflict, then yes, the American Revolution could be said to have begun on April 19, 1775.
I suppose to fully answer that question one must decide what is meant by the word revolution. I suppose some think that the word revolution describes a violent attempt to overthrow a system of government. While that is not an incorrect definition, it is not the ONLY definition for revolution. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary a revolution can also be: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something.
I’m inclined to believe that particular definition more accurately describes the American Revolution than the one we are taught in history class. I say I’m inclined to believe that definition more aptly fits what occurred because after the Revolution was over, and American had gained its independence, John Adams wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, stating, “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.”
I think the War for Independence was only the end result of a revolution that was around 15 years in the making. Some say that the resistance to British authority began with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765. I think it began prior to that, back in 1760 when the Crown began issuing Writs of Assistance to combat smuggling in the Colonies.
Writs of Assistance date back to the mid 1600’s when they were first authorized by Parliament to deal with smuggling. These writs were issued by British courts and gave the holder the authority to search anywhere, anytime, for smuggled goods. They became controversial when British Courts in the Colonies began issuing them.
A Writ of Assistance is basically a general search warrant that does not expire and gives the holder the authority to search for any smuggled or contraband material. In 1861 a young attorney named James Otis argued against these Writs of Assistance in court; and although he technically lost the case, his arguments that they violated the fundamental rights of all freemen may have been one of the first instances that the Colonies questioned the idea that their government had unlimited authority over them. They also are the reason why we have the 4th Amendment today; to ensure that our government never has the power to unilaterally and arbitrarily search and seize the property and belongings of the people.
So what exactly was the American Revolution if it was not the war itself? My thoughts may be singular on this, but I believe the American Revolution was a slow and gradual change in the mindset of the people from the belief that government had a right to bind them in all cases whatsoever to one in which they had certain inherent and unalienable rights, and that when government violated those rights it was their duty to resist.
James Madison hinted at that belief when he wrote the following in 1785, “Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
That, at least in my opinion, is what the American Revolution was all about; it was about the Colonists denying the principle that their government could infringe upon their liberty and violate their rights; that it was their right and their duty as free men to resist all such invasions upon their freedom. They understood the consequences of allowing their government to violate just one small right; even when it came to a small tax upon tea; they knew that if they let their government violate one right, then it would go on to violate another, and another, until all their rights had been restricted or taken away entirely. They denied the principle that their government could limit even one right; and it was upon that principle that they founded America.
However, throughout history no government has willingly surrendered their control and authority over a people; it has always taken force and violence to wrest power from the hands of tyrants. That is/was the War for Independence, a distinctly separate event from the American Revolution; at least in my opinion. The two may forever be interlocked, but the war is/was just a consequence of the resistance of the Colonists to tyranny and the tyrant upping the ante until the pot boiled over into violence and bloodshed.
While the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence all played their roles in shaping the events that led to America becoming an independent country, they did not fight or win the war for independence all by themselves. They also did not commence and engage in the Revolution all by themselves. They may have given voice to, been the leaders of, the Revolution, but the Revolution and the War for Independence were fought by free men who understood that no government could violate their rights without the gravest of injustices being done. They knew that they didn’t need permission to be free, and that whenever anyone attempted to limit that freedom they could, and should, resist.
They were the Sons of Liberty. They were those who smashed in the windows of tax collectors; who gathered in angry mobs and ransacked the homes of their governor and his chosen tax collector. They were the ones who dumped that tea into Boston Harbor. They were the ones who stood their ground at Lexington and Concord; and they were the ones who stood their ground at Bunker Hill; repulsing two British attacks before being overtaken.
They were farmers, merchants, craftsmen, lawyers, doctors, and yes, even pastors. They were common folk who knew what their rights were and that it was their duty to defend those rights against any and all attacks. Their hearts were of steel when they rallied behind Patrick Henry’s call to, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Today we call them the Patriots of 1776, but back then they were considered treasonous; both by their government and those loyal to that government; of which there were many. It wasn’t like the entire population of all 13 Colonies had united together behind their cause; far from it in fact. But that did not deter them from seeking the liberty that so fervently burned in their bosoms.
They were willing to risk their all for liberty. They were men like Nathan Hale, who upon being led to the noose for spying upon the British, is said to have spoken the following words, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” That is the nature, courage, and mettle of those who established America as a free and independent country; and it is what I think about when July 4th rolls around every year.
I also think about the severe lack of such men…and women…in America today. Sure, there is a remnant of them living here; but we are vastly outnumbered by those who either don’t care one way or the other that they are slaves, and those who would rather bow down and lick the boots of the tyrants who trample their rights than they would show an ounce of courage to resist them.
By no means am I saying I have even a fraction of the courage of those brave and honorable men who established America’s independence; but at least I am courageous and honest enough to embrace the facts and realize that I am a slave to a government that betrayed its purpose and intent a very long time ago. I realize that voting only perpetuates the fraud that any amount of investigation and critical thought would vanquish; that no matter which side of the political spectrum is in control your government remains steady in its unflinching violation upon your rights and your liberty.
You are human cattle to be herded around to keep the economy running so that you can pay your taxes; while being allowed a few paltry privileges to give you the illusion that you are free. But you aren’t free; not by any description of the word. There is hardly a thing you can do that doesn’t require a license or permit, which is heavily taxed, which is heavily regulated, or which is downright illegal. You want to get into your car and go visit a friend? You car is taxed and its operation regulated. Your ability to operate that motor vehicle is dependent upon you having an operator’s license. Violate any of these and the jack booted thugs who enforce the laws passed by tyrants will fine, arrest, imprison, or shoot you if you try exerting your freedom by resisting their authority.
You want to put organic and natural meats on your table to feed your family? Well not without a permit or license from the government. You want to grow fruits, vegetables, and maybe even marijuana to sell to earn a living? Not without violating some law, or having to deal with government inspectors and paying all kinds of fees. You want to build a house? Sure, fine, just be ready to have every step of the construction process monitored and inspected by some flunky working out of an office.
You’re free alright; free to choose from between Levi’s, Wranglers or Dockers. You’re free to choose between chicken and beef for supper tonight. You’re free to go to Disneyland or a ball game for entertainment. But try exercising any real freedom and you’ll quickly learn how un-free you actually are.
Listen, I’m not asking you to pick up your gun and join some militia and begin plotting to overthrow the government. All I’m asking is that you use your brains for the purpose God gave them to you for…to think! Stop supporting the entity that has taken away your freedom just because it is being managed by people of your choice. It doesn’t matter who runs it, the entity is still evil. Let me repeat that; It doesn’t matter who runs your government, your government is still evil and has destroyed the liberty it was supposedly established to safeguard and protect.
Why, in God’s name, anyone would support such an entity is beyond my ability to comprehend; unless the people themselves have become corrupted; evil and have forsaken liberty altogether for the promises of safety, comfort and entertainment.
If that’s what it means to be an American today, then please, don’t call me an American. If blind obedience to, and reverent worship for the authority of government is what passes for patriotism today, please do not call me a patriot.
But if you truly believe that our government was established to be one of limited power, to be one which protected and secured the blessing of liberty for all the people in this country, then join me in revoking your consent to, and participation in selecting the criminals who get to run this tyrannical cabal of terrorists and jack booted thugs.
If enough of us join together in this then maybe the government will take notice. But as I said, no tyrant ever willingly surrender their control and authority over those they tyrannize, it will take force and violence to restore liberty to America. And that is why I fear liberty may never return to this country, for I fear that few have the balls to defend it. As Mark Twain once said, “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
I truly believe that there is an unseen pendulum that swings back and forth from tyranny and oppression to freedom and liberty. That pendulum began its swing towards liberty in the late 1600’s and reached its apex when the Colonies became free and independent States. At that precise moment it began its swing back towards tyranny and oppression.
The Scotsman Alexander Fraser Tytler described the travel of this pendulum as follows: The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
I would say, from having witnessed how people panic over a real, or imagined government shutdown, they are in the dependence stage of that progression…soon to be followed by bondage. It may take a great spiritual awakening, and the courage of a great many to restore liberty to this country; if that is at all even possible. It may take a great many lives lost to restore liberty to America; but as Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The last time patriots stood up to tyrants in America over 600,000 Americans lost their lives; and yes I’m talking about the not so Civil War. I fear the next time the numbers might go even higher if liberty is to ever be felt again.
But liberty, as Thomas Paine wrote, is worth the price. For as Paine said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
So, you can either join the fight for liberty or remain a slave to a system in which you get to choose who will rule over you. I honestly could care less which side you choose, as I’ve made my choice. But, if you have chosen to side with tyrants, know this, you are part of the problem and therefore if the time comes that violence becomes necessary, you will be the sworn enemy of those who seek to wrest their freedom from the arms of the tyrants you elect and support.
And, as Samuel Adams said, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick that hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
So America, you have a choice to make, just as you’ve always had a choice to make. You can become an informed patriot, you can remain an ignorant slave, or you can also choose to be a willing participant in your own enslavement. Choose well, for posterity will judge you based upon the choice you make.
That being said, I hope that when July 4th finally rolls around this year, that you at least recall the words I have spoken today, and maybe feel a twinge of guilt over how you are letting freedom slip from your grasp.