Thursday, May 28, 2009


"Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men..." -- James Madison (June 20, 1788)

The statements you are about to read will be considered highly unpopular by many who dare to read it. The truth of the matter is that I am not currently concerned with winning popularity contests. When one sees the truth, and sees that others are either unaware of it or refuse to acknowledge it, then that person feels compelled to shout it from every podium, porch, and personal computer made available until all ears can hear and all eyes can see. You may agree wholeheartedly or disagree and shrug it off as nonsense, but I have no choice other than to say it.

Part I: The Problem

We are speeding down a dangerous path in this country which, though many still refuse to acknowledge this fact, will end in tyranny. Over a century ago, our government began usurping our liberties and instituting upon us legislation that chipped away at everything that made this country the destination for every oppressed and overburdened individual in the world. Now we are in a downward spiral in which with every passing day our freedoms are greatly diminished. Further gun restrictions, reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, full body imaging scans in airports, the Patriot Act, government takeovers of private businesses and corporations, and increased taxes passed against the will of the people are all current examples. The United States of America is a republic and a capitalist society. But Cap and Trade and National Health Care legislation would transform this country into a socialist state in which the citizens are no longer free peoples, but beggars standing in line for inferior and penurious rations. Our country is quickly returning to exactly what our Founding Fathers fought against.

Part II: The Cause

America, we are corrupt. We, through the course of the last 200 years, have degraded and demoralized ourselves to the point that we have become selfish, unprincipled, spoiled, depraved, and dishonest as a society. We have renounced our concern for the good of the community as a whole. Our interest lies only in the self: we are self-centered and self-obsessed. And as a society, we tend to display disinterest in anything that does not personally affect our own lives, regardless of what effect it will have on our country and our fellow citizens. What we lack is public and private virtue.

We have allowed ourselves to become distracted by wants: want of fame, want of wealth, want of entertainment, and want of personal security. And we have done so at the cost of our liberties and our very souls. We have spent far too much time distracted by all the splendiferous benefits granted to us by our free society to the point that we are now wholly at risk of letting these benefits slip right through our fingers. We have neglected to preserve the perfect union established by our Founding Fathers, who through the painful sacrifice of their own wealth and blood made available to us and all future generations. And this, my fellow Americans, is a sin not only against our forefathers but against our descendants as well.

Benjamin Franklin once stated that only a people of morals and virtue are capable of freedom, and that as societies become more corrupt, they will have greater need of masters. And so we have. Over the course of only two centuries we have permitted our taxes to increase and our liberties to decrease, and all while enjoying enchanting music, delightful food and drink, the romantic affections of partners, the accumulation of prized objects, and other certain animal comforts.

How did we get where we are (e.g. on the very brink of the socialist progressive overtaking of America)? Because no one kept their eyes on the road for all the signs along the way that pointed to exactly where we were heading. We didn't want to be bothered with the time-consuming challenges of politics, liberty, and reason, as they so interfered with the enjoyment of our beloved vices. And even now, as we stand at the edge of a revolution, still there are far too many who will not depart from their social engagements, accumulation, and love of gossip long enough to contact legislators about pending bills or to organize grassroots movements to restore our liberties.

Part III: The Solution

So here we stand at a critical juncture where we must determine how best to take back our nation and restore it to the state of grandeur that our Founders established. As I see it, we are confronted with three roads:

The first road is the road of public interest and action. Along this road we are required to become politically active and educated. We must speak out against that which is contrary to our Constitution and collectively vote in ways that preserve justice and liberty. We must organize at both local and national levels to raise awareness. We must move people to action and send a clear, united message to Washington DC indicating that if they do not reform their ways, their days in office are numbered. This road involves gathering in large numbers and speaking out. This road was embarked upon by hundreds of thousands of Americans on April 15, 2009. This is the road of the voters.

A second road that lay before us, and a road that nearly all of us hope we never need tread upon, is the road of social uprising. This road mandates that we must stand up and fight with force against an oppressive and tyrannical government that has refused to hear the voice of the people. This road is violent. And it has long been washed in the blood of the victor and the defeated. This road is (historically) a last resort to be used when all other roads have been barricaded or destroyed. Americans in the thirteen colonies had hoped to avoid this path until the abuses of government determined they had no alternative. Our Founding Fathers foresaw that a day may come in which their descendants would be required to again take up arms and fight for their rights to justice, liberty, and freedom from tyranny. That train of thought gave birth to our second amendment: the right to bear arms. This, therefore, would be the road of revolution and reclamation of the birthright of every American citizen. This is the road of rebels.

And the third road that stands before us is perhaps the most painstaking and effort-filled road of all. This particular path requires sacrifice, duty, courage, and conviction--perhaps even more so than the other two roads mentioned above. This road dictates that we must reinstate both public and personal virtue, establish morality both within the home and surrounding society, and that we must ourselves be just. This is not the course of the Puritan, where all physical and social comforts must be sacrificed under the banner of holy doctrine. This is the road of balance: comforts balanced with duty, entertainment balanced with knowledge and education, wealth balanced with responsibility. This is the road of virtue.

Samuel Adams once wrote: "The sum of it all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves."

Now, if virtue is critical to ensure that our republican government is maintained, then pursuing either of the other two roads without it would be vain. Under that line of thought, we would only be running in circles without ever truly achieving our goals. We can organize and unify as a body of voters, but without a moral foundation to guide us, we will only succeed in electing more corrupt leaders who will continue the work of breaking promises and usurping freedoms. Or we can take up arms and physically fight to regain our independence from our oppressors, but it is most likely that we will only achieve a bloody and violent end in which we are crushed and dismissed. Neither option appeals much to me.

However, were we all as a nation of free citizens to take up the banner of moral reform, beginning first and foremost with ourselves, then likely we would be as equally guided by Divine Providence as our Founding Fathers believed they were. Virtue, though seeming small and insignificant, can change everything for the betterment of our society.

Therefore, ere we put out a call to arms or a call to the polls, I would issue a call to virtue.

"It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles." -- Patrick Henry

Let Liberty be our Goal and Virtue be our Guide. And Divine Providence shall defend us even in the face of great opposition.

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