On Freedom and Liberty


Much has changed in our country and in our world.  Many of our fellow citizens have been forcefully awakened from the peaceful slumber of blissful ignorance they enjoyed.   There is a new awareness in our great land and a new appreciation of not only our rights and freedoms but the awful price that can be exacted for those freedoms.  Yes, we are free but we are under the obligations of a sacred trust to protect and defend that freedom.

In contrast to our recent history when people could easily refer to me and others as alarmists or war mongers the whole country, whether they admit it or not, are now aware of the threats that exist in our world.  We are despised around the world for our freedoms, our principles and our prosperity.  In no other country on this planet are people as free to live their lives or speak their minds as they are here.

“What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?  The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.”
Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 12, Julian P. Boyd(1955)
“Referring to Daniel Shays’s Rebellion of poor farmers in Massachusetts; Jefferson, writing from Paris, was the only one of the American leaders not alarmed by news of the revolt”.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Historical Review of Pennsylvania (Benjamin Franklin)

“This sentence was much used in the Revolutionary period.  It occurs even so early as November, 1755, in an answer by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Governor, and forms the motto of Franklin’s ‘Historical Review’, 1759, appearing also in the body of the work.
Frothingham: Rise of the Republic of the United States, p. 413

I include these quotes as a way of making a point regarding our obligations as citizens of this Republic and Patriots of this cause.  We are none of us exempt from the duties or burdens of building, protecting and perpetuating the freedoms and way of life handed down to us.   I feel it is important to delineate, however, that it is acts of commission as well as acts of omission that we must undertake.  It is just as important that we “do not” surrender freedoms to the government or the court of public opinion as it is to defend those freedoms and liberties with our lives if necessary.  While we must be proud of our heritage we must never be arrogant or dismissive regarding it’s perpetuation or our obligation to keep and honor it.  We must cease to take for granted the liberties secured by others at the expense of their own lives for our benefit.  We must not continue to twist that freedom into a depraved license to do and say anything in a virtual anarchist orgy of false rights while laying the blame for society’s ills at the sacrificial alter of public responsibility as we seek to avoid responsibility for our actions or lack of them.

Freedom is costly and it is incumbent upon this and successive generations as it was upon our forebearers to pay that price regardless of what it may be.  It does not matter the personal cost or the sacrifice in terms of fortune, sweat, tears or blood but only that in the end the liberties and freedoms we received  from the previous generation pass intact to the generation that succeeds us.  If in the course of our utilizing the freedoms entrusted to us we twist them into something other than what they are we will be held accountable by those who come after us and we will answer for our desecration of that sacred trust.  Do not think in your avoidance of action on the part of the Republic that you will be blameless in it’s downfall or transition to some bastardized form of oppressive, elitist rule.  Inaction and ignorance are the definitive mechanism by which tyrants have always enslaved a populace and absconded with the freedoms of mankind.   We can and must be instrumental in preventing that from happening for it is only human nature that those in power will always seek to expand that power and limit the power and/or opinions of those who oppose them.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active.  The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790. (Speeches.  Dublin, 1808)