AUTHORS NOTE: Everything I discuss in this article is not intended to support nor condone that acts which I discuss. I am merely trying to get people to THINK about their views and perspectives on the subjects discussed.
For years now the internet has been filled with Patriot Movement websites, and now with the rising popularity of Congressman Ron Paul, the ranks of Patriot Movements such as the Tea Party, these numbers have increased exponentially. Is this evidence of the people of this country finally waking up and learning about the principle of liberty and individual rights, or is it a phase brought about by the pitiful economic state in which our nation finds itself? Only time will tell I suppose. However, if you will permit, I would like to take a few moments to discuss the difference between what I see going on right now, and the Patriot movement that brought about our nation in 1776.
In his farewell address, George Washington warned that we should “…guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism…” Adlai Stevenson, Jr. once said, “Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”
So what exactly is patriotism? American historian Howard Zinn once said, “If patriotism were defined, not as blind obedience to government, nor as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one’s country, one’s fellow citizens (all over the world), as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy, then patriotism would require us to disobey our government, when it violated those principles.”
This nation came into existence upon the concept of civil disobedience, and resistance to government. Our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ”
Yet those words alone were not enough; MEN had to leave their families… fight…and die to defend that belief. THAT is patriotism; the willingness to lay down your life for the principles to which you hold dear. The question then begs to be asked, to what do Americans today hold dear? Is it comfort and entertainment, or is it individual liberty and the unrestricted enjoyment of your rights?
I think other peoples of the world understand us better than we understand ourselves; especially the leaders of the former Communist state of Russia. Nikita Khrushchev once said, “America will fall without a shot being fired. It will fall from within.” Furthermore, Joseph Stalin declared; “America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: it’s patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”
I have been told that I rely too heavily upon the writings of a bunch of old dead guys in my articles. Let me ask you something, if you buy an extremely technical book and, while reading it, have problems understanding it, do you go to the book store and ask the pimply faced kid behind the counter for help? Or, do you go to the source, or other books which cover the same subject matter for help in understanding the material?
So, are you going to trust your government to tell YOU what the limitations of ITS power is? That is akin to letting the fox guard the chicken shack. James Madison warned that “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”
In a letter written in 1821, Thomas Jefferson stated, “Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.”
That is what Stalin and Khrushchev were talking about; the fact that time changes manners and notions. They knew that over time Americans would forget what patriotism entailed.
Noted French philosopher Voltaire once said, “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” Quite often I am asked if I am not afraid that the government is going to “come after me.” Jefferson is attributed with saying, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
I honestly don’t think they are going to come after me, at least not until our system completely collapses and they institute martial law. The reason I say this is because I am but a simple scribbler of political rants with no following. Go to my blog or any of the webpages were my articles are posted and count the number of comments to them. You’ll see that I am less a threat to them than a single mosquito buzzing around their head.
I am sure I am not alone in that respect though. I am certain that there an untold others out there, just like me, who are fed up with our government trampling upon our rights. We all have our line in the sand, which when the government crosses, it better be prepared for a fight. And that is the whole reason for writing this article, that mentality of being ready…and willing…to fight your government if need be.
I do not intend to denigrate those who participate in the Tea Party protests, but I find it somewhat insulting to the original members of the Tea Party that this modern day incarnation has assumed their name. You see, the original Boston Tea Party was an act of vandalism, and open act, committed by a select group of PATRIOTS, in which they vented their frustration by dumping cases of tea into Boston Harbor. Yet these modern day Tea Partiers attend meetings and protest rallies. At what point in time will they say, enough is enough, it’s time to go burn down some buildings, or let them know how we really feel? (At this point, please read my initial disclaimer at the top of this article)
Right now the Tea Party and the Ron Paul Revolution are working hard to get Ron Paul elected as president. I am not going to go into how I personally feel about Ron Paul at this point, I only wish to ask what are people going to do if he DOES NOT get elected? How much further are these people, these groups, going to allow their rights to be restricted before they decide that they will no longer stand for any further infringements?
Philosopher and political theorist John Locke writes, “Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.”
In 1805 Mercy Warren wrote History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the Revolution. From that I quote, “It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government.”
If you think back to what Stalin said, it is the undermining of our patriotism which I am addressing now. Do you define patriotism as loyalty to a system which has time and time again shown it is destructive towards its intended purpose, that being the preservation of your rights? Or do you define it as being ready to stand up and say I will no longer stand for any further violations of my rights?
In 1775 Patrick Henry gave his famous Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech in Virginia. The reasons for writing this article, for posing the questions that I have, can be summed up in Mr. Henry’s opening statement, “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”
As Thomas Paine once wrote, “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…” When will the patriots of this country stand up and tell their government that they’ve had enough. Will it be AFTER the Super Bowl, after their kid graduates from high school and gone off to college, or will it be when the military comes down their street herding them off to FEMA camps?
Everything which we call a law is nothing more than words on a piece of paper, or agreements between men. Unless there is a force, or power to ENFORCE them, they are easily broken. Our Constitution is the law which governs the operation of our government. If, even after notifying our elected representatives of our displeasure over their continued violations of this law they continue to do so, then what recourse do we have but to, as Thomas Jefferson said, “And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
It is the same with the laws that these corrupt men and women pass; without some means of enforcement they too are nothing more than words on pieces of paper as well. Those whose job it is to enforce the law, be they members of the Justice Department, the military, or down to the local police, all need to think long and hard about these LAWS they are enforcing, and whether they are constitutional, or not. I understand that these people, for the most part, are only following orders, but they have to realize that there will come a time when people no longer care; that they have had enough with government telling them how to live and they will fight back against the enforcers of unjust laws. In the Revolutionary War I am sure there were many young British Redcoats who died only because they were following orders from the crown…but they died nonetheless. Something for anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution ought to consider seriously.
I’m not the hugest fan of Ronald Reagan, but something he said seems to be an appropriate sentiment to close with, “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.”
Well, our government continues to grow, and it is beginning to get scared as well. People are waking up, but it is a slow process and people may not yet realize how perilously little time we have left.
There may not be a revolution so to speak, but there will be a collapse; and when it comes I hope people will be ready for it, both mentally and physically. I hope that they will have stocked up on essential items, and guns and ammo; for if they haven’t, they won’t stand a fighting chance of surviving what looms on the horizon.