The United States of America: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
Thankfully, to the majority of Americans, that description of our country still resonates to our very core. It makes us stand tall and feel proud. It makes us feel proud because at our core, we know that liberty is good and tyranny is evil; and we fight for liberty. Our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” is a fight song. Read it. It’s four stanzas long and is from Francis Scott Key’s poem, “Defense of Fort McHenry.” A line in the fourth stanza reads, “Then conquer we must, when our cause is just.”
We fight for liberty because we know that liberty and tyranny are two opposite ends of a spectrum; the more you have of one, the less you have of the other. Yes, it is that simple; and no, anarchy is not liberty. Since men are not angels, we need a limited government to protect individuals’ liberty in a civil manner. Liberty, the classic American version of liberty, is the foundation of our country and from this core principle spring many great and noble things.
Prosperity, happiness, generosity and peace are among the time-proven and inevitable outcomes of functional liberty within a virtuous society. Liberty allows, and property rights encourage each and every individual to excel; to make the most of whatever talents and abilities he or she enjoys. For those with seemingly limited abilities, merely living in an affluent society allows for opportunities, or if necessary, makes possible voluntary charities, that would not be offered and could not be afforded in a society absent of individual liberty. Furthermore, conflicts are minimized when individuals are not forced to act contrary to their own legitimate pursuit of happiness.
The history of our country proves this beyond any slick, contrived, or smarmy arguments to the contrary. No, we are not a perfect society; no human condition is, but for most of our history, our adherence to the core value of liberty has allowed us to vastly outshine any rival ideology on the planet.
Why then are we now falling short in so many areas?
Employment is low; dependence upon government programs is high. The number of people dependant upon food stamps and subsidized housing is at an all-time high; while the number of children who can depend upon two married parents is at an all-time low.
We’ve been through a mortgage crisis and a banking crisis. Irresponsible investors and crony capitalists are bailed out, while prudent investors, legitimate job creators, and hardworking taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab and play the role of a chump.
We allow our government to openly and blatantly disregard clear Constitutional constraints with only pretence of oversight but no real accountability. The Justice Department is allowed to spy on innocent AP, Fox News, and other journalists. The NSA is allowed to monitor and warehouse all citizens’ private communications, regardless of suspicion. The IRS, with impunity, is allowed to target and harass those that it judges detrimental to the reelection of the current regime.
Healthcare is strategically and incrementally driven further from personal control and free-market controls. The number of health care administrators explodes while actual providers are laid off, retire early or decide not to enter the field at all. Health care costs skyrocket, while access and forecasted access to providers and facilities becomes alarmingly sparse. Employers are already reducing employee’s hours or laying employees off in droves in anticipation of the new laws kicking in. Keeping your personal medical information private is a thing of the past; all details must be submitted to unaccountable bureaucratic despots who are setting themselves up to be the final arbiters of who gets what treatment. Like the IRS, they promise to treat us fairly and safeguard this treasure trove of information from misuse. In fact, the IRS is the organization slated to police everyone’s health care under Obama-Care. I don’t recall the IRS being known for their compassion but I do know that they will soon know virtually everything about everyone, and recent history has shown that you most assuredly do not want to be on their bad side.
So again, what went wrong? Why do we have so many really big problems? Why are the “solutions” not working and why do we have so little faith that they will ever work? Rather than belief in a better tomorrow, why have so many reconciled themselves to a “new normal,” which is much inferior to our old normal, and hope against hope that at best, things will not get much worse?
I believe that most of our current problems can be traced back to a single cause, namely: we have allowed liberals to gradually and systematically transform the classic American meaning of liberty into its opposite.
Liberty, the classic American meaning of liberty that our forefathers held dear, is all about individual liberty and property rights. This conviction, that liberty is focused on an individual’s freedom, is a very positive and uplifting ideology in that it correctly asserts that individuals are capable; and if left to their own resources, free from an over-burdensome government, will prosper and be happy. A society in which individuals are prosperous and happy is a society that as a whole is likewise prosperous and happy.
In contrast, the ideology of modern-day liberals and so-called progressives is based on a very dark and pessimistic assessment of Americans’ abilities and character. They believe, or at least would like for us to believe, that individuals are not capable of adequately providing for themselves, making their own decisions, or voluntarily helping their neighbors when in need. Not only do they assert that many individuals need government-sanctioned looting to get what they need, the never-ending massive deficits illustrate that liberals also believe that we, as a society, cannot prosper without looting from future generations. This doctrine is the opposite of, and destructive to, the classic American version of liberty.
Modern-day liberals, as did the Communists of the Soviet Union, belittle our view of liberty and freedom as merely the freedom to starve and be homeless. To Communists, liberty means a guarantee that everyone should be provided with food and shelter. Modern day liberals have vastly expanded upon this view of liberty. To liberals, liberty is essentially a long list of things that people should have. If an individual doesn’t have everything on the list, then they have the “right” to make someone else buy it for them. Yes, cell phones are on the list, and no, it doesn’t matter how badly one behaves, everyone gets everything on the list.
Wow, free stuff; what’s not to like about that? It appeals to a superficial sense of compassion and generosity; and preys upon our fears of failure or incapacity. Of course it helps if you are able to ignore history; and yes, government schools are helping with that.
Government schools, news media, and Hollywood spew out this disgusting distortion of liberty more efficiently and effectively than any other propaganda organizations in history. Anyone that expresses opposition to these “compassionate” looters is viciously attacked and ridiculed. Those that disagree with liberals are typically too polite to voice their objections and risk the false accusation of being mean, greedy and uncompassionate. Too often the battle is lost by default and liberalism takes society on another step towards darkness.
This is not who we are. We are a people that have always believed that because we do what is right, because we do not take the easy path, but the path that requires courage and conviction, because we believe in liberty, because we are the land of the free and the home of the brave, because of this; the next generation will have even better lives than we had.
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” this is not a throwaway line in some smarmy vote-seeking glad-handing politician’s speech. This is serious business and the meaning is clear. It is ridiculous to believe that individuals can pursue happiness if they are first and foremost subjugated to the ruinous ideology of sacrificing oneself to some elusive “public good.”
Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." Turns out, it is a very strong tendency; a tendency that through our complacency has metastasized into a cancer that we must rid ourselves of if we are to survive as a free and prosperous people.
So what do we do? We fight. We fight with our ideas, our words, our convictions and our votes. We do not compromise. In elections, we no longer settle for the less objectionable of two unacceptable candidates; that is what got us here. We reject those that give lip service to true liberty but act contrary to its principles. In conversations, we are polite, but we do not cower from the evil, ignorant or misinformed individuals who disparage classic American liberty and attempt to replace it with their obscene liberal version. We do not fear ill-mannered assaults upon our character because our conviction in liberty is compassionate and their prattle is a deceptive scam that leads to sorrow for those who are lured down its dark path into dependence and subjugation.
But perhaps most importantly, we must never allow our actions or lack of action to betray our convictions. We must bravely look into ourselves, examine our current positions; examine programs, politicians and institutions that over time we may have come to accept, but upon reflection realize that they have been allowed to incrementally become destructive to liberty and prosperity.
Abigail Adams wrote in a letter to her husband, “Posterity who are to reap the blessings will scarcely be able to conceive the hardships and sufferings of their ancestors.” We are the posterity who reaps the blessings of which Abigail spoke. Let us not squander those blessings but honor them.
We need not face the extraordinary hardships that our forefathers endured. We need merely to muster up the courage to believe in ourselves, cast off the yoke of dependence upon government, and act in accordance with that same classic American liberty upon which our forefathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
This is not too much to ask of ourselves; after all, we are indeed the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Jack F. Huguelet
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Thank you so much for this Mr. Huguelet. This is about as well thought out and accurate as anything I’ve seen posted.
I just hope our current society has not already elevated the liberal American haters and American apologist to the majority. And those that disagree with liberals, and are typically too polite to voice their objections and risk the false accusation of being mean, greedy and uncompassionate, realize how important it is that they speak up now, before it is too late to reclaim the America we knew.
I hope that is a little bit of what we see happening now.
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Should I tell them that by definition, a conservative is a "classical liberal?" Should I tell them that all the Founding Fathers were "spit, spit" liberals? Should I tell them that the British loyalists during the American Revolution were "conservatives?"
Nah. I'll just let them continue in their ignorance. There is no doubt the education system has failed a lot of people.