America Must First Want Freedom

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

March 2007


“Yes, we did produce a near perfect republic, but will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.  Thomas Jefferson

I once got an email from a highly placed Libertarian Party official that supported a long-held theory of mine—not all Americans want freedom or even know what it is!  To demand and preserve freedom, you at least have to know what it is, be dedicated to its principles, be willing to accept the individual responsibility that comes with it and ultimately be willing to aggressively defend it when threatened—simply put; you must first want freedom before you’ll fight for it.  If you don’t really want freedom, or even recognize it, you don’t deserve it and you’ll never miss it when it’s gone.

Everyday I see indicators that many would rather let someone else make the decisions in life surrendering liberty in exchange for the illusion of security—even if that means surrendering America herself.

A poll conducted by the First Amendment Center awhile back tells me that those questioned don’t know what freedom is nor realize the proper role of government based on our heritage and think government should be involved in most everything.

* 20% said the US government should approve what newspapers publish.

* 54% said the government should rate entertainment programs shown on TV.

* 36% would support a law that banned public remarks offensive to racial groups.

* 37% could not name even one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment –the freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

In a similar poll conducted by the Portrait of America:

* Only 36% believe Congress should follow the Constitution.  [Does that mean the other 64% believe it’s OK for Congress to circumvent it?]

* 22% of respondents would vote against the Constitution while another 27% said they were not sure whether they would support it. [That’s probably because they’ve never read it]

* 35% said dropping the Second Amendment from the Constitution and making personal firearms ownership unlawful would make the U.S. a safer country, while 42% said the nation would become more dangerous. Another 16% said eliminating the Second Amendment would have no impact on safety. [It’s sad when only 42% can separate the truth from dribble]

Expecting government to provide solutions to life or even thinking that government has the major role in it is not the way we started out in 1776.  This concept however is now perpetuated by government and willingly accepted by many of the governed who can’t see the dangers so clear just a few generations ago.  This tells me that many modern Americans don’t have the same solid principles this country was founded on and cherished by Americans of yesteryear.

At our country’s birth, we were much more willing to accept the idea of self-sufficiency and had a very healthy distrust of centralized authority.  The founders knew that whatever government touched, entangling strings were attached which jerked the bricks from freedoms’ foundation. 

Many victims of American education and prosperity have lost that sense of colonial traditionalism.  They’ve become too lethargic enjoying their plenty as Jefferson said and don’t want to be distracted or bothered by anything that doesn’t immediately entertain or provide more money and comfort…“let government handle that, I can’t be bothered” and “Why doesn’t the government do something?” seems to be the attitude of many who are so willing to trade liberty for a mere campaign promise of security. 

Another reason I think many feel this way is that they just don’t know any better.  Their education of our history, rights, and our original form of government has been lost in a curriculum focused on perpetuating politically correct illusion over truth and substance.  When the modern S’s of sex, self, security and socialism replaced the traditional R’s of readin’ ‘ritin’ ‘rithmatic’, responsibility and rights in American education we started down a very slippery slope.

Many Americans are now ill-educated in their own culture.  They know precious little about such things as both Revolutions, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as our concept of limited government.  Educational liberalism is now firmly established as a way of life.  In general, we no longer teach kids to think, we teach them to feel good. We don’t teach history, we teach PC-based revisionism and we don’t REALLY teach the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the responsibility every American has to defend our homeland at all!  Sadly, we also teach that pride in things uniquely American, even Old Glory, is to be shunned—after all, such displays of pride might offend a few foreigners. 

The undereducated and ill-informed are always more apt to be dependent and that’s exactly what big government types want—more people dependent on them for everything regardless of personal potential. 

American potential for success has always been great.  We’ve become very successful over the past two centuries because of our traditional values of self-reliance, freedom and the willingness to stand up for and unapologetically defend our American culture.  As a nation, we’ve been enjoying the fruits of our plenty that originally came to us because of those founding principles. However, we’re losing the memory of true freedom in the process and many are afraid to hold our political leaders accountable even in defending our borders, language and culture.  This attitude stems from the disease of political cowardice that’s running rampant these days.  Many so-called leaders would rather give up our country than risk “offending” potential voters—even those that would eventually destroy us.

Many recipients of the real fruit of all that prior sacrifice of past generations have become exceedingly complacent and are willing to trade traditional values for the easier, “more enlightened level of existence.”  In so doing we’ve sewn the wind and will inevitably reap the whirlwind.  We’re reaping fruit that the concept of government dependence has sewn and losing the greatest fruit of all along the way…Freedom. 

I’m afraid the time is quickly coming when young Americans will have lost ALL memory of real freedom, replacing it with government-subsidized lethargy.  But that course won’t last long nor bode well for any long-term future for this country. History has repeatedly shown that when a nation becomes too lazy and wrapped up pursuing pleasure, losing its moral fiber, values, steeled willingness to defend itself and tenacity in holding their political leaders accountable, it quickly disintegrates…it self-destructs, as did Rome.  When that happens, the American life will be a hard one…subservience to big government always is. 

My guess is that just a few generations ago, answers to those same poll questions regarding the role of government would have been to tell the feds to take a hike. Until Americans again want freedom badly enough to strongly tell government to butt out, it will continue to butt-in…with one huge and imposing butt stamped, Property of the U.S. Government.  Trouble is, if people want to choose big government over liberty and independence, they are free to do that in America, all they have to do is vote for it…and pay the price later of course.

One final thought.  I’d love to see how our founders would have responded to that same poll wouldn’t you?

Just the view from my saddle…

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