ELDER PATRIOT – As the reflections from the July Fourth holiday pass and our grateful thanks to the brave revolutionary idealists who “…pledge[d] to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” in order to establish a nation conceived in liberty, we would do well to pause and ask ourselves how many Americans today possess the same level of commitment to preserving freedom for each other?
In the interests of equality and safety we have allowed our freedoms to be stolen from us by politicians better suited for prison jumpsuits than for the position of statesmen.
On the issue of equality, Thomas Jefferson advised:
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
Any conscientious reading of Jefferson’s words means that equality among people refers only to their access to opportunities and not to any desired outcome lest the rights of another be abrogated in that process whether by taking (as with debt and taxation,) by an unjust loss of opportunity of the individual, or by judicial fiat. Yet in the interest of equalizing outcomes we have indebted future generations beyond any ability to repay and have stood by idly while the courts have ruled that discrimination is legal in some cases (Grutter v. Bollinger deciding constitutionality of affirmative action) and not in others (Christian bakers versus homosexual activists.)
In an orderly society debt is an instrument that, in the least, costs a modicum of freedom to the individual and, at the most brings with it a form of slavery. Indebting future generations with the bill for our excesses and mistakes is an immoral taking of their future financial rights. Could nothing more violate the principle of no taxation without representation (the underlying reason for the revolution against England) than this? Worse, the inability to repay debt is accompanied by other consequences that extend the loss of rights to other innocent individuals as Jefferson warned:
“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1820. FE 10:175
On the issue of safety James Madison’s words are perhaps more prescient today than when he first spoke them:
“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
Whether the events of 9/11 were an act of terrorism by an enemy, a false flag operation conducted by our government, or a combination of both is insignificant when compared to our reaction to it.
Shame on us for having re-elected over 90% of those senators and representatives responsible for having stripped many of our fundamental freedoms, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, from us. With the passage of such high-sounding legislative achievements as the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act our First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights have been limited, violated, or curtailed altogether.
There were 10,623 casualties as a result of our war for independence or one death for every 235 Americans. On 9/11 2,977 lost their lives that represented one death for every 110,850 Americans. It appears that our forefathers made a much greater sacrifice to give us freedom than we have been willing to sacrifice in order to preserve it.
On this matter the words of Ben Franklin ring loudly;
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”