Americans Must First Want Freedom
by Colonel Dan
“Yes, we did
produce a near perfect republic, but will they keep it, or will they, in the
enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom?” ~ Thomas Jefferson
I saw some polling results the other day that supports a long held theory of mine-not all Americans really want freedom or even know what it is! To ardently demand and preserve freedom, you must know what it is, be dedicated to its principles and willing to accept the individual responsibility that comes with it-simply put, you must first want freedom before you'll fight to keep it. If you don't really want freedom, or even recognize it when you see it, you don't deserve it and you'll never miss it when it's gone-you just can't miss something you never knew you were entitled to.
I see indicators that many Americans would rather let “someone” else make
the decisions in life and are very willing to surrender liberty in exchange for
the illusion of“security”. As we all know, Ben Franklin said:
that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety."
A poll conducted prior to 9/11 by the First Amendment Center indicates that the Americans they spoke to don't know what freedom is nor realize the proper role of government based on our heritage of colonial traditionalism and thus naturally think government should be involved in most everything. Some examples:
- " 20% said the US government should approve what newspapers publish.
(The Patriot Act might satisfy this wish expanded to email monitoring too)
- " 54% said the government should rate entertainment programs shown on TV. (Can't they tell what they like and don't like all by themselves?)
- " 36% would support a law that banned public remarks offensive to racial groups. (Given today's victim syndrome, courts would be overwhelmed)
- " 37% could not name even one of the five freedoms guaranteed
in the First Amendment -- the freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances. (They probably don't know where to go to find out either)
In a similar poll conducted
by the Portrait of America and published on WorldNetDaily, we find that:
- " Only 36% believe Congress should follow the Constitution. (Does that means the other 64% believe it's OK for Congress to circumvent it? I guess so and as we've seen, that 64% have gotten their wish with Bush and crew-Campaign Finance Reform being just one example.
- " 22% of respondents would vote against the Constitution while another 27% said they were not sure whether they would support it. (That's probably because they've never read it)
- " 35% said dropping the Second Amendment from the Constitution and making personal firearms ownership unlawful would make the U.S. a safer country, while 42% said the nation would become more dangerous. Another 16% said eliminating the Second Amendment would have no impact on safety. (It's sad when only 42% can separate the truth from liberal dribble)
This attitude of expecting government to tackle all life's problems and provide the solution to our challenges or even thinking that government has a role in any of this whatsoever is not the way we started out some 225 years ago. This concept however is now actively perpetuated by the government itself and willingly accepted by many of the governed who can't see the inherent dangers that were so clear just a few generations ago. This situation tells me that many Americans in the year 2003 don't have the same solid rock of principle this country was founded on and so cherished by Americans of prior generations-and in a post 9/11 America, the eagerness for government to control more has reached epidemic proportions.
At our country's birth, we were much more willing to accept the concept of self-sufficiency and had a healthy distrust of centralized authority rather than looking for government solutions to everything. The founders knew that whatever government touched, entangling strings were attached that jerk the bricks out of freedoms' foundation.
Many victims of the last 50 years of American education and success have lost that sense of traditional America. My instincts tell me they have become too lethargic in the enjoyment of their plenty as Jefferson said and don't want to be distracted or bothered by anything that doesn't immediately entertain or provide more money and comfort…"let government handle that, I can't be bothered with that right now" and "Why doesn't the government do something?" seems to be the prevailing and underlying attitude reflective of why many are so willing to trade liberty for the deceptive promise of security.
Another reason I think many Americans feel this way is that they just don't know any better. Their education of our history, our rights, our original form of government and the precious gifts that were created for us over 200 years ago have been lost in a curriculum that focuses on perpetuating politically correct illusion over truth and substance. When the three S's of sex, self, and socialism began to replace the traditional 4 R's of readin' 'ritin' and 'rithmatic and rights in American education, we were on a pathway to hell.
About 50 years ago, we began to turn over much of our educational system to big government. Gone were the little community schools and in their place came the government subsidized mega-school districts…and firmly attached to the dollars needed to build those monstrosities were the strings of government and the dictates regarding curriculum that went along with the deal. As big government became the money provider for all this, they set the rules for what could or should be taught…and that's when America's children began to lose their sense of the restrictions placed on government by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The government began to portray itself as the father provider of all. "Big Government was good and would take care of you and your every need! Teach this or you'll lose your federal funding!"
Many Americans of the last 50 years are now very ill educated in their own culture. They know precious little about such things as both Revolutions and their true causes, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as our concept of "limited government." The liberal system of education that started in earnest just about a half century ago is now firmly established as a way of life. We no longer teach kids to think, we teach them to feel good. We don't teach history, we teach revisionism and we don't teach the Constitution or the Bill of Rights we teach the "how to" and appreciation of some "alternate life style" we used to call sodomy!
The undereducated and ill-informed are always more apt to be dependent than independent by nature and this is exactly what these big government liberals want-more people dependent on them for just about everything-regardless of personal potential.
American potential for success has always been great. We have indeed become very successful over the past two centuries because we started out on the traditional path bolstered by the principles of self-reliance and freedom. As a nation, we are now enjoying the fruits of our plenty that originally came to us because of those founding principles but we are losing the memory of true freedom in the process. The recipients of the real fruit of all that prior sacrifice have become exceedingly complacent and are willing to trade traditional values for the easier, "more enlightened level of existence and the more modern way." In so doing we have sewn the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind. We are reaping fruit that the concept of government dependence has sewn and losing the greatest fruit of all along the way-Freedom.
The time is quickly coming when we will have lost ALL memory of true freedom, replacing it with government-subsidized lethargy. But that course won't last long nor bode well for any long-term future for this country. History has shown all too clearly that when a country becomes too lazy and wrapped up pursuing only pleasure, losing its moral fiber and values, it quickly disintegrates-in other words, it self-destructs, as did Rome. When that happens, the American row will be a hard one to hoe indeed-slavery always is. My friend Charley Reese put it this way:
“The Smiley Folk
in Washington are preparing a future in which the lethargic are going to have
a hard time enjoying their lethargy.”
My guess is that just a few generations ago, American answers to the type of questions asked above regarding the role of government in people's lives would have been more like 100% of the respondents telling the survey that government should butt out of all of this. Until Americans once again want true freedom badly enough to harshly tell government to butt out, it will continue to butt-in…with one huge and imposing butt marked, Property of the U.S. Government. Trouble is, that if people want to choose big government socialism or fascism and over freedom and independence, they are free to do that in America-all they have to do is simply vote for it and then pay the price later.
One last thought. I would
love to have seen how men like Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Franklin would have responded to such polling questions… wouldn’t you?
Just the view from my saddle…
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