To Know and Prize the Rights

To Know and Prize the Rights Image

I confess, that “Now what?” feeling is creeping back.  It is a two-fold feeling.  On the one side, I feel almost bored.  The initial adrenaline rush of the tea parties is over, and the November elections are still months away.  On the other side, the government is hammering away at mammoth social engineering projects and there seems to be nothing that we can do about it.  Every hot topic is currently on the table all at once.  You can’t blink, or else the government will have taken your wallet; spend a day with your kids, and by the time you get back they will have taken your freedom. 

This holding pattern of waiting until November is maddening.  However, there is one benefit that comes with the time.  This is the time for self-education.  We commonly remember the American Revolution as being something that happened quickly.  The British raised taxes and the American colonists rebelled.  Yet this process took years.  The French and Indian War ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763.  The Navigation Acts started up again during the war, and the Sugar, Quartering, and Currency Acts were all implemented in 1764.  These acts were the beginning of the British crown’s increasingly tight control over the American colonies.  Yet they began over a decade before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

What took so long?  First of all, we must acknowledge that news travelled slowly in the colonial period, particularly trans-Atlantic news.  So communication between the colonies and Britain wasn’t exactly internet fast.  However, much of the wait was the deliberate choice of the founders to be mindful in their actions.  When challenging the prevailing government (one of the freer governments in the world at the time), the patriots took measured steps.  They followed protocol in their protestations.  They did not rush to incite violence based on the fiery rhetoric of impassioned freedom fighters (that was the French Revolution, and freedom isn’t what they got in the end). 

The measured response is not a particularly thrilling one.  But it is the reasoned approach to liberty.  In the lulls between governmental dispatches, the patriots educated themselves on government, the rise and fall of great civilizations, the enlightenment ideas about liberty and the role of the individual in society, along with the weakness of man.  When the government today says that we are best fit to mold our government in our own image because the founders didn’t understand modern America, they are wrong.  The people who will say that are not half as educated as the founders were.  The patriots had years of learning leading up to the Revolution and writing of the Constitution.  Their understanding came not from their own time or their own self interests, but from the timeless wisdom handed down throughout the entirety of Western Civilization. 

So now we find ourselves in the time between the initial spark of liberty and the crescendo of fighting for freedom.  We see that the government is still leading us away from our unalienable rights, and we see that we have to wait for the elections until we can halt this break-neck race into socialism.  This is the time to increase our understanding.  This is the time to prepare our minds for what lies ahead.  Benjamin Franklin is attributed as saying:

“This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

We have so much to learn. 

I will give the leftists credit for one thing.  They prepared for their moment of power.  It is not a coincidence that Congress was taken over by Progressives and that the President is steeped in leftist ideology.  It is not a coincidence that they are firing off one massive, liberty-limiting, legislative usurpation after another.  It is not a coincidence that the language of Washington chastises and ridicules We the People; while the media sit neatly in the front pocket of the leftist politicians, feasting off the sensationalist crumbs.  This was organized and planned.  The Democratic Party has been working on this plan for the last ten years, and many Progressives have been working on the current agenda for decades.  They took their time to prepare.

We must do the same.  The problems with the Republican Party come from within.  The party lost its roots on the promise of wings.  It stopped focusing on liberty and educating the populace about conservative values, the values that most American hold.  We must educate ourselves so that when Republicans retake power in Washington, we do not slide backward into the slimy abyss of sleazy deal-making and selfish grabs for power and money.  Governance in the United States of America should be about the maintenance of liberty.  That can be an unpopular platform when the people are bellied up to the entitlement table.  But an educated citizenry will know better. 

Great things lie ahead for conservatives.  But we will not get there on shear will alone.  We must follow in the footsteps of the men we admire most.  This is a time for learning, and I don’t just mean listening to pundits or reading snippets that others have chosen for us.  This is the time to study the rights of man, to understand what builds nations, and what brings them to their knees.  It can be overwhelming when we hear the daily drumbeat of socialism.  There is so much to learn, but the words of our founders, and the sources that they turned to are an excellent place to start.  We must take the time to “know and prize the rights which God has given us,” for we shall never be enslaved.

**Katherine Goldberg is a Texas native who came back to the great state after 18 years away. She knows her history, and loves to talk politics.   Her goal is to help others understand their own citizenship and the history of the United States so that we can all better defend this country from the kind of change that is taking us away from our founding principles.  She also writes for The Sugar Land Magazine.  To read more of her writing, visit www.mindfulcitizen.blogspot.com.