Freedom’s Torchbearers

Free SpeechOn this 238th anniversary of the birth of the national experiment in freedom we call “The United States of America”, I propose we peruse the primary principals, principles and processes which produced our “Proclamation de la Liberté”, or, Declaration of Independence.  Of the principled principal political players of the period who parlayed power, 9 prominent Pennsylvanians signed the Declaration of Independence, putting pen to paper to provide proof of their proclivity for freedom.   This is the terminus of my tenuous alliteration.

Words on old paper are labeled “archaic”, “irrelevant” and “inapplicable” by today’s cultural, educational and political leaders.  We are, after all, no longer struggling to extricate ourselves from the tyrannical governance of Great Britain.  The United Kingdom of Great Britain is no longer united; it’s now a “Queendom” and it’s not all that great anymore.  There aren’t 13 colonies anymore.  There are now 37 more plots of land on the map where the residents try to self govern – just another reason why the Declaration of Independence is said to be irrelevant.  Anti-Constitutionalists claim the need for us to self govern has passed.  Washington has created regulatory agencies to do that for us today. They make laws and we follow them.  No independence necessary for that.  We’re all just districts of the District.

I guess as long as we’re all getting everything that’s coming to us – even if it’s forced upon us – then everything should be hunky-dory, right?  Or is it?  I guess that depends on who’s getting and who’s giving.  There’s a quote floating around that surfaced in the 1950’s and is attributed to many different people – “Any government powerful enough to give the people all that they want is also powerful enough to take from the people all that they have.”  This quote may be based on an earlier quote spoken to Edward Carrington by Thomas Jefferson in Paris, France on May 27, 1788 “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild, and government to gain ground”.  How much ground can the government possibly gain?  The signers of the Declaration had a pretty good idea.  In our form of government, the Constitutional Republic created by our founders and attacked by revisionists ever since, governmental gains over liberty are regulated by the people – the liberty of the people is not regulated by the government.  However, that would imply that the people are involved in the process.  Voter registration percentages and even lower voter turn-outs show that you can appease or frustrate people into a state of apathy.  We’ve surrendered liberties, compromised our morals and given concessions to our elected leaders in exchange for promises of personal gain.  Is this the low value we’ve placed on freedom?

The framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution knew the true value of freedom.  They also knew the value of good governments, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, for the securing of those “unalienable rights” such as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  They believed in this process enough to “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor”.    Maybe on this Independence Day, while you’re happily pursuing your lives, you’ll also take time to renew your knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and recommit to being torch bearers for freedom.

© 2014 Curt Savage Media

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