1776 – their vision is alive and well in 2012

I know what the current times look like. I know, brother, I know. I am firmly ensconced in the “the glass is 95% empty” camp, when it comes to the present and future of this 50-state Republic. Yet there is reason for great hope in this dark hour in history.

The vision of the Founding Fathers of 1776? The heart and the movement are alive and well, thriving, growing, gaining daily in population, intensity, intellectual breadth, and boldness. It is embodied in the Tea Party movement – relatively leaderless, loosely organized at best, not particularly focused on one issue or another. The official Tea Party movement began as a force in opposition to profligate government spending and taxation. The national movement seems to be coalescing around freedom and the rule of law, which is, after all, where it began in the 1760’s.

The Democrats and their allies in statist institutions like the press and academia are convinced that they can successfully subjugate America, bend her citizens to their will, and once and for all bury the Constitution beneath a mountain of regulations, paperwork, and bureaucracy. The Republicans and their allies in profitable business institutions are convinced that they can manage the status quo, not let it get (much) worse, stay on the gravy train, and take on the mantle of leadership of opposition without actually opposing anything.

They are all wrong about what they think they can control. The American spirit of self-determination and justice is a flame, burning hot and in danger of going out of control. It seemingly rose as it were out of the ground in 2009, out of nothing, but that is not true. This spirit has always been there, has always gone white-hot and big when called upon. In recent history, just to name a few:

  • the Greatest Generation was called up, and answered the call in 1941-1945. America, for all intents alone and from a dead stop, demolished two large and powerful empires simultaneously in under 4 years.
  • In 1979 when Iranian terrorists took hostages of US Embassy personnel, our government sat on its hands while the American people burned with rage. Fortunately, the people had an avenue to throw out the current regime, and they did.
  • in 2001, terrorists struck U.S. soil in a brazen and dastardly attack that promised more of the same in the service of an evil, conquering religion. For a few weeks the country was united in grief and anger, but the statists and Democrats quickly reverted to form. However, the government (for once) took up the mantle of righteous wrath and retribution, and went after the terrorists in their homeland and safe havens. With opposition from Democrats (and frequently Republicans too) the nation’s heartland people supported the war not only with their hearts. As if out of the ground, a generation of brave and patriotic young men joined the military to take up that cause and to defend the United States from enemies foreign. Who taught them to do that? Think about that now.
  • starting in 2007, the spirit of 1776 has been really, seriously called on. I’ll just leave it at that. And brother, has that call been answered.

We don’t have a majority, but then they didn’t in 1776 either. On the other hand, we do have large numbers. The 2010 election happened because of us. The Democrats and the GOP Establishment both have learned to fear us. The Democrats attempt to shut off every avenue of the popular expression of will. The Republicans try to quell us with lip service. Both appear to succeed, but it will not last.

Something big will happen in pretty short order, because this movement and this heart will never bow down, never be silenced, and never be conquered. Either we will take them out of power through the democratic channels provided, or their insatiable lust for power will lead them to take one step too far, and the times will demand a new Declaration of Independence.

Either way, the spirit of James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patric Henry, Nathan Hale, Alexander Hamilton, and others too numerous to mention is alive and well. God Bless the United States of America, and honor and glory be to the God under whom we serve. The only King, I might add, that we will ever serve.

I leave you with the famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech of Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775. It could not possibly be more relevant than it is today. He, like we, dealt with tyranny from the rulers on the one hand; and on the other hand, feckless, gutless meandering from the designated leaders of the opposition, who continually sought compromise and concession, and who flat out refused to go into an offensive posture. Read the whole thing. Let it simmer, let it slow burn. Because you see, in 1775, we were exactly where we are today. [Bold highlights are mine]

MR. PRESIDENT: 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 question 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 fulfil 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 offence, 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.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

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