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GetLiberty.org >> These Are The Times That Try Our Souls
The words of Thomas Paine ring as true today as they did in 1776. These are indeed the times that try men’s souls. The American people have been forced to swallow legislation from a government that believes that it can mandate rights and steal from the fruits of one’s labor.
But all is not lost. This is the time for the modern day patriot to rise up and stand on principle—before it is too late to reverse the alarming trend of the expansion of the entitlement state.
Too often, politicians have gone to Washington, D.C. after promising to provide relief from the growth of government. And too often they have let us down—as with the Republican Revolution in 1994. These are the modern day sunshine patriots that Paine referred to in 1776.
They talked a good game, but it was not long before they were expanding Medicare with prescription drug benefits and education with new federal mandates, enacting campaign speech restrictions, and, eventually enacting the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), nationalizing Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and expanding the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to cope with a crisis that they had helped to create.
As Barry Goldwater once said, “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Goldwater made that statement in 1964. Just 46 years ago, Goldwater could see the slippery slope that the country was slowly sliding down in his era, and has since continued sliding down to this day. We have never experienced a relenting in the growth of government in most of our lifetimes.
To be certain, the national debt has grown every year since 1958.
After health care legislation was signed into law by Barack Obama, one wonders whether this growth and slide to complete government control will ever end. As reports of alleged acts of violence, from both sides of the political spectrum, are coming from across the nation in the wake of the signing of the health care legislation, one must wonder, are we once again inching closer towards revolution as our government heads towards complete control?
Daniel Deudney once wrote, “Security from political violence is the first freedom.” Without it, the rule of law cannot exist. There are indeed dark times.
The Founding Fathers in 1776 separated the colonies from the British government for many reasons that would not even warrant a change in electoral direction in the modern era. The core reasons for leaving the British behind was over taxes on tea, paint, paper, glass and a few other items. Coupled with the quartering of troops and the closing of harbors, along with the siege of Boston, the seeds of revolution were planted.
Today, in contrast, we are taxed on everything we consume, use, or touch. Industry after industry is being nationalized as the concept of private property is rapidly being eliminated.
In short, there is no escaping the ever-growing behemoth that is the Federal Government.
Thomas Jefferson said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” We are now in a state of being controlled by those that suggest they are providing care, mortgage subsidies, unemployment, insurance, you name it, for those who they allege cannot provide for themselves. We must not be forced to provide the fruit of our labors for those that are unwilling to produce fruits of their own.
Rights are not handed down from government. But in this day and age, politicians are doing just that. We have a Congress and an Administration that are mandating “rights” on the premise of social justice—a cloaked term that they employ instead of simply saying socialism.
What we have witnessed with the passage of the health care bill is just another step down Hayek’s long road to serfdom. However, this is far from over, and there is still time to reverse the course that we are on.
As Thomas Paine wrote, this is not the time for the sunshine patriot. Politically, and peacefully, we need people to stand up today that are willing to do whatever it takes to defend the liberties that we are guaranteed by virtue of our existence, and indeed are the purpose for our existence. We need to stop accepting government-granted rights. We must to stand firm in our convictions and either enforce the laws of the republic, or be forced into the bonds of slavery by the hand of government.
If we sit back and allow the government to continue pushing us closer and closer to their dreams of a “perfect” society, we will soon find that we have nothing left of our liberty. And that is a day that we must make sure never happens—by discarding the modern day sunshine patriots of late, and replace them with principled leaders that understand the dangers of a government that grows unrestrained.
Adam Bitely is the Executive Editor of the Liberty Features Syndicate for Americans for Limited Government.
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