Essential Liberty

As I write this there is bloodshed in the streets of Cairo, Egypt. The military has or is about to suspend the constitution and dismiss President Mursi. The turmoil there forces me to think of the scandals here that plague the Obama administration. With this in mind, I have reflected on some of the speeches of the Founding Fathers, and the words of Reagan.

It was Jefferson who declared: “Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.”

And, Benjamin Franklin warned: “They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.”

Finally some words to challenge us from Ronald Reagan: “I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers. … Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves . . . You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down — up to a man’s age-old dream; the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

Perhaps what we need is the spirit of Thomas Paine who wrote: “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

May we rise up in a patriot spirit to right the wrongs of our day.

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