Congressman Ron Paul during his farewell speech to the Congress made some very provocative points that should give anyone who truly loves this nation serious pause regarding the path that we now find ourselves as a nation that was established to be the model of individual freedom and liberty. Two statements he made that caught my eye were, “I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.” and, “The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. …Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans” Irregardless of what you may think of the messenger, the message itself is troubling.
First, why is the message of liberty today not solidly embraced in today’s America, while at the same time many of us stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, wave “Ol’ Glory, and give lip service to its ideals? Today there are more citizens receiving some form of assistance from the federal government, i.e., Social Security, Food Stamps, and Medicare. Too many people are more willing to take a hand out rather that a hand up. With Obamacare, the government is now able to regulate or control every aspect of a citizen’s life. During the past 12 plus years the government has expand to unprecedented scales and during this recession government jobs have greatly expanded, while those in the private sector have done so in the reverse. The citizens of the United States and America have chosen to elect the most liberally social and economic minded man to be president ever who espouses nothing other than greater government, less individual liberty, and give to those simply based on their need and to take from those based on their ability, twice. Group identity has surpassed individual identity in the consciousness of many Americans, whether it is based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, gender, or income. Such ideals are intellectually repugnant to the very principles of our nation’s founding. In fact, today to even be so bold as to claim one’s liberties recognized in the Constitution as superior to any claim by a group or quote any of the Founders risk being seen as a radical, extremist, anti-diversity, anti-government, or anything short of a child of God. The very concept of freedom and liberty has become an extreme psychological burden to many.
There was even actually an open conversation on The CBS Good Morning program last month by a so-called professor talking about honestly doing away with parts of the Constitution because they are not “inspiring” and equating the Founders with the U.N and France. Really? I have actually had heated discussions with people over the issue of gun control. They questioned the need for anyone to have military-styled weapons or any amount of guns that they deemed excessive. My response to them was it is the constitutionally protected right for any American to have as many guns as he wants. Period! Just as every American has the right to smoke as many cigarettes as her or she chooses, or anything else for that matter, gorge himself on fast foods, or spend all of his money on scratch-off lottery tickets, so long as it does not interfere with nor infringe upon my rights and liberties. That is the truest and should be the easiest concept of freedom to understand. Shouldn’t it?
America is no longer the freest nation economically, we’re 10th behind nations such as Chile, Hong Kong, and Mauritius, and we have more people in correctional institutions than Communist China or Russia. Both of these issues are symptomatic of an underlined debasement of our nation’s moral compass and refusal of too many of us to embrace the weight of the responsibility that comes with personal liberties and freedoms. To borrow a line from Spiderman, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”
America was to be the shining light of freedom on the hill for all those seeking such to be guided. There is no greater power than that of a free individual, a sovereign. But, yes too there is no greater responsibility than that which is applied to that individual. Ben Franklin prophetically stated, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”
But just as one may disclaim, so too can he reclaim. Many of us have forgotten or have never been introduced to the greatness of our nation’s Constitution and founding documents and principles, so we know not what it is that is to be our birthrite and that has made us uniquely exceptional to other nations. Thus we lack the true significance of our incrementally forsaking our birthrite of liberty. But, it is up to us to reclaim, to become reintroduced, or to become educated to what it is to be free. To question with stern boldness what direction those entrusted with the nation’s governance. And if it is not the Constitution and or the people that they receive their authority, it needs to be asked then by which do they? And then seek real change. Or else remember another statement made by Congressman Paul, “Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government.”