Restoration or Revolution?
"...with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." --Declaration of Independence
With those words, our Founders codified by signature their intent to establish liberty over tyranny at the great cost of their fortunes and, indeed, their lives. Since that July day in 1776, generations of Patriots have, likewise, committed by oath to Support and Defend the Constitution to which that Declaration gave rise.
As we approach the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the opening salvo of the American Revolution, I am acutely aware that today, too many Americans have grown complacent in comfort; too many are loath to defend the legacy of liberty bequeathed to us by the giants on whose shoulders we rest.
Consequently, we find ourselves in a situation not unlike our Founders, where the equivalent of kings and potentates in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our central government have treaded willfully upon the most fundamental of rights endowed by our Creator, foremost among these being Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Years before signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin wrote, "They that can give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Today, many Americans either unwittingly or even willingly trade Essential Liberty for some measure of safety and comfort. (Note that Franklin, that most erudite of sages, also added the word "temporary" when referring to safety.)
As a nation, as a people, we are at a crossroads, where we must endure a lack of safety to ensure Liberty.
Five decades ago, at another historic intersection, a young conservative who had recently departed the once-noble Democratic Party, issued an enduring challenge to his countrymen.
In his famous 1964 speech, A Time for Choosing, Ronald Reagan declared, "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ash heap of totalitarianism."
I submit to you that we are now at a far more critical juncture in our nation's history, a juncture that calls for another Patriot Declaration (sign it here), whereby we once again pledge to each other our lives and our fortunes in order to extend Liberty to the next generation.
President Reagan also left us an excellent template for restoring Liberty through the political process -- one based on First Principles.
Upon signing the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin proclaimed, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
That is equally true today.
If we are to restore Liberty and the integrity of our Constitution, we must do so from the bottom up, a groundswell from the grassroots. Indeed, nothing great and enduring has ever been built from the top down. We must therefore start at the foundation, speaking with one disciplined, determined and unified voice toward one primary objective: the re-establishment of the Rule of Law.
When debating the role of government, we must begin with the First Principles of Liberty.
If we are to succeed, we must understand the principles of Essential Liberty.
I have spent my adult life in defense of, and in humble service to, the cause of freedom, and I have gained a great appreciation for Liberty, primarily as a result of having been in many places where there was no acknowledgement of basic rights to self-determination.
Perhaps the experience that imprinted the greatest appreciation upon me was being arrested in the Soviet Union -- twice. (Call me a slow learner.) There is something about walking through seven heavy doors on the way to a deep pit in the bowels of the Evil Empire that heightens one's love for Liberty.
Of course, that experience pales in comparison to the enormous and moreover, sometimes ultimate sacrifices of other Patriots, but it influenced my perspective nonetheless.
In 2008, Barack Hussein Obama promised his constituents, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
Obama has clearly delivered on this promise.
If we are to turn back this tide of tyranny, it is important that every American Patriot, every American citizen committed to preserving our constitutional heritage and extending our legacy of Liberty to future generations, understand the difference between Rule of Law and rule of men, and be able to articulate that difference.
Today, I take the unusual step of asking you to support the best means of fostering that understanding for millions of grassroots Patriots.
I ask you first to become part of the Essential Liberty Project and support The Patriot Foundation Trust and its mission to distribute Essential Liberty Guides to millions of American Patriots across the nation.
Today, in addition to the many ways you already support liberty, please make a tax-deductible contribution to:
Patriot Foundation Trust
PO Box 407
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401-0407
Or you can support Essential Liberty online: Click Here
(Note: The PFT pays no salaries or wages. Every dime of donor revenue is used to further its mission -- the production and distribution of Essential Liberty Guides.)
Second, I ask you to join the 11,000 Patriots who have already signed The Patriot Declaration in the last week.
Fellow Patriots, the time is now for us to restore constitutional integrity and re-secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
Thomas Jefferson once declared, "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."
Indeed, but too many Americans have become complacent in comfort, unable or unwilling to comprehend that the consequences of foregoing Liberty for refuge are dire.
Jefferson asserted, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Absent a unified front to restore constitutional Rule of Law, that outcome may be inevitable, perhaps through measures of civil disobedience.
Such inevitability is just over the horizon so its form is not clear, but it may be reminiscent of the first tax protest, the Boston Tea Party back in 1773. Given that the central government in this day has no constitutional authority to spend most of the revenue it taxes from us, perhaps a unified peaceful protest would include millions of tax forms being dumped into the nearest harbor -- refusal to pay taxes on constitutional principle.
Those who find the notion of civil disobedience disquieting have already traded Essential Liberty for a little temporary safety, and will most certainly end up with neither. Of such capitulation, one of the original Sons of Liberty, Samuel Adams, had this to say: "Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'what should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"
Of course, if you are reading this message, you are not likely among the latter.
The seeds of a new American Revolution are sprouting, but, in the words of John Adams, "What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution."
And so it is, today.