After reading a synopsis of the latest attempt by the GOP Congress to fortify the unchecked power of the executive branch (via Independent Country), I was reminded of a quote I once read on the subject of liberty.
It took some doing, but I finally found the quote in an old American History textbook:
We have always looked upon men as a set of beings naturally free: – And it is a truth, which the history of the ages and the common experience of mankind have fully confirmed, that a people can never be divested of those individual rights and liberties which are necessary to their happiness, to the well-being of communities or to a well regulated state, but by their own negligence, imprudence, timidity or rashness. They are seldom lost, but when foolishly forfeited or tamely resigned.
Pastor of Lexington Church
On the Eve of the American Revolution
Two things in this quote stand out: (1) Our ancestors understood the danger of liberty denied (or resigned) and (2) Men of the 18th Century knew how to write!
They were about to bring arms against the mightiest empire on earth in defense of their liberties and we tremble in the presence of a traffic cop…
Sadly, the men and women of Rev. Clarke’s generation probably would have preferred life under General Gage to life under Generalissimo Bush. (Gage, at least, ordered the British Regulars to respect private property rights. The Magna Carta not being a “living document” at that particular time.)
If you have plans to visit Imperial Washington for vacation this summer, cancel them. (It’s a dump) Instead, fly your family to Boston and drive the 16 miles, or so, to the hallowed ground of Lexington Common.
If, after that experience, you still believe that one man can be trusted with your rights and that liberty should be surrendered for “security” then, I dunno, move to Canada or something…