If the study of world history teaches one anything it is that there will always be those who seek to gain, and expand power over others. All of the conquests and the various empires that have sought to rule the world ought to be sufficient evidence to support that claim. Sometimes those being oppressed sought to shake off the shackles that bound them to unjust rulers, and sometimes they were successful, while other times those uprisings were beaten down.
I often wonder if my fellow countrymen think that America is immune to the same tyranny and oppression that has plagued mankind since its earliest time on planet Earth. all those who believe such nonsense have to do is to look back to the American Revolution to dispel that myth; after all, what were our Founders fighting for if it was not freedom from the tyranny of King George III? It’s almost as if people think that our Founders waved some magic wand, scribbled a few magic words on a piece of paper, and banished tyranny from the shores of America forever.
If only it were that simple…
As Judge Billings Learned Hand said way back in 1944, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.” Our Founders fought a war against their government in the hope of retrieving what was rightfully theirs, and which NO GOVERNMENT had the right to deprive the governed of – LIBERTY.
Taxation without representation is what we are taught was the cause which led to the American Revolution, but that was merely a symptom of the illness that was beginning to infect America; that illness being that government had a right to bind the governed in all cases whatsoever.
In 1785 James Madison laid that principle out as follows, “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon 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 freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.” (Source: A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, 1785)
It was not the taxation per se that caused the patriots of Boston, and to a lesser degree the other Colonies, to rise up and rebel against them, it was the principle that government had the authority to enact such taxes; the first step towards a government of unlimited power over the lives and liberty of the governed. The patriots saw where that was leading, and they resisted it from the very beginning; ending in a war in which victory was never a sure thing. But they believed that it was better to resist tyranny, and die in the process, than to live as slaves under a government that had no limits as to what laws it could impose upon them; you know, the whole “Give me liberty or give me death” attitude.
Those we call our Founding Fathers halted the progress of tyranny before it could get a stronghold in America by resisting every instance in which their rights were being threatened. They vandalized things, they hung certain people in effigy, they tarred and feathered tax collectors, and they opened fire upon those who would take their guns.
Where is that spirit of resistance today?
Today they have effectively indoctrinated most people into the two political camps; Republicans vs. Democrats; effectively dividing and conquering America by making us fight one another rather than uniting against them. Sure, the economy may do better under one administration compared to the other, taxes may go up or down depending upon who is in office, and we may fight more wars when one party is in control compared to the other, but how many of your rights have been restored to you when YOUR party is in control?
That is the key question you should be asking yourself, not whether or not you get to keep more of your paycheck or if there are more jobs for you to find.
America began as 13 independent States/Countries, each founded upon the principle of individual liberty. It all began going downhill with the ratification of the Constitution, a document designed to do away with State sovereignty and independence, creating the beginnings of a federal empire. It has been downhill ever since as the people have grown accustomed to, and accepting of, a government that intrudes into almost every aspect of their lives.
I don’t know if the liberty our founders fought for, and obtained, can ever be restored to this country. I don’t know if that same level of love for, and determination to obtain liberty will ever be felt amongst the people of this country. Was what happened in 1776 a fluke; when time, circumstances, and people coalesced in perfect alignment to create a climate in which a people shook off the yokes of a tyrant and became truly free; even if it was for the briefest of moments?
Can those same circumstances be found in a nation where sporting events, Facebooking, and comfort and security take precedence over the ability to determine how you will live your life without any outside interference? Can those same circumstances ever occur again where the loyalty of the people is to a political party and not the principles that our Founders fought for so many years ago?
I truly have no answers to those questions; I only know what I see with my own two eyes and hear with my own ears; and what I see and hear isn’t very promising. I know I am not alone in feeling this despair, but I also know that those of us who do love liberty above all else will not go silently into bondage. If that is not the path you will take, then I leave you with the immortal words of Samuel Adams, “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 the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”