Yes we have reached another Memorial Day Celebration, and soon it will be time to Celebrate our nation’s independence. But, as I look around I must seriously question do we as Americans truly care about what is freedom? What makes our nation so exceptional and great? Or do many of us ever honestly and truly stop to comprehend and appreciate the significance of either.
We often hear the it said how it is the United States military that fights to defend our freedoms. But I believe that an argument can be made the it is the American people who have fought and daily fight to defend our freedoms and liberties individually. From the Revolutionary War to the present it has been each individual American who fights to protect their freedoms and liberties from all threats, both foreign and domestic.
But, here are some disturbing, and curious, recent poll results;
What may be even more telling of our extreme misplacement of national priorities according to Pew Research more Americans care more about the discovery of four Cleveland, Ohio women who were supposedly held captive for more than 10 yrs than about the economy [28%], or the Benghazi [23%] or I.R.S corruption hearings [20%]. While the Cleveland women story attracted a whopping 40% of the populace attention.
I’m confused, how can nearly half of Americans favor restricting Constitutional protected rights for some Americans, whether it be to forbid one’s ability to protect themselves, or stop one from speaking or doing something that you may not like, or the confiscation of one’s property to be given to another, and yet believe in the Constitution? And the fact that an astounding number of us do not know how America became America, particular regarding the next generation, is more concerning. But, it somewhat makes since when I see that more Americans care about the rescue of four women in Ohio whose lives will have absolutely no consequential effect on anyone elses lives but those directly connected to them then whether or not we are being governed by a U.S Administration who consciously left Americans to be slaughtered in Libya and uses the federal governments powers, via the I.R.S, to intimidate Americans based on their political preference, and that has developed a culture of extreme indifference to the American people and the Constitution.
If you were to ask a hundred people to defined what freedom is to them you will more likely to get a hundred different answers. More than likely it will center around their self-interest, not how it affects freedom and liberties as a whole. Its getting so that many of us say its ok to take someone else’s rights and liberties, but leave mines alone. It brings to mind a famous quote of World War 2 period German pastor Martin Niemöller when he said, “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
So too many of us today have a severely contorted notion that everything is a “right”- I have a “right” to healthcare, a “right” to education, a “right” to fresh air, or I have a “right” to be prosperous. This just clearly proves that there is a critical defect in the education and comprehension of the true principles of the Constitution for too many of us. Basically a true right is something that we already posses or can do without taking the same from another. Period. But, if we are someone who has a distorted or misunderstood view of freedom and rights than we may also not realize that the true threat to our rights, liberties, and freedoms comes from not without our nations borders, but from within, by us. Couple that with the insatiable thrust for power and control of the government, we have BIG problem. The biggest threat to our freedoms comes from us not knowing what they truly are and understanding that the confiscation or restriction of one American’s Constitutionally protected rights or liberties is a threat to those protections for us all. Lets remember, the Constitution places limits not on we the people, but the government.
Furthermore, if the government should ever become so brazenly careless and arrogantly dismissive with its constitutional relations and obligations, and even more so with its relations to the American people it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to know to check it and correct it. But, that task becomes most problematic when we are ignorant of what is the proper role and functions and the what limits of the government are. Frankly stated, if we do not know what the government is supposed to be doing, how can know when it is doing what it should not be doing? If we do not know our nation’s history of how we became what we are, what makes us what we are, or the reason why we are truly an exceptional nation, how can you be expected to effectively defend those values and principles? And if we do not know what our inalienable rights and liberties truly are, how can be we honestly boast or celebrate that we have them or know when they are being taken away? It becomes a deceitful and hollow charade if freedom and liberty is not grounded by truth, education, and moral principles. As Founder Samuel Adams prophetically stated, “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”