How Did We Come To This?
June 19, 2008
Recently, a friend sent me an article entitled "Tyranny of the Atheist Minority” by William Federer, who wrote:
1776, we sought freedom from the
tyranny of a political autocracy
– from the 18th century
royalists who held special privileges from the crown.
It was to perpetuate their privilege that
they governed without the consent of the
I wrote back to her that if we substitute the word "royalists” for "elitists,” we see that we have come almost full circle. We are now under the tyranny not only of atheists, but also of a political autocracy of judges, politicians, some media and other assorted leftists. There truly is nothing new under the sun.
My e-mailer wrote back:
summed up perfectly the dire state of what has happened to
our country, thanks to those who hate it. How did we come to
Without even having to ponder the question, I responded:
We have "come to this” because we ceased to be our brothers' keeper, meaning we ceased being involved in our society. While we’ve been busy making a living, we were not hit by a tsunami of subversive behavior, ideas and rulings, but rather by incremental cuts. We so want to believe that folks are "good" that we’ve closed our eyes to their evil.
So, to amplify my statement above: We have "come to this” because too often the constant news cycle becomes unbearable. We hear of yet another robbery, murder, rape, weather disaster, political scandal or corporate malfeasance and we simply glaze over, too numb to commiserate with the ills of our "brother." While we may empathize, we go on with our lives because in fact "the news” is not personal to us.
As if to prove my contention, I read of a hit-and-run accident in New Jersey, where passersby and drivers ignored the plight of a 78-year-old man. Police Chief Daryl Roberts’ lamented: "We no longer have a moral compass."
We have "come to this” because of the actions of judges who legislate from the bench, encroaching with impunity upon the political turf of our legislators, who are elected – not appointed – to do the people’s bidding. While the judiciary is busy legislating, we have elected officials who refuse to legislate and allow judicial fiats to be made against "We The People." As of June 12, 2008, habeas corpus rights have been given to prisoners of war, or foreign terror suspects, by the US Supreme Court. At least one judge, Justice Scalia, recognized that the ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.” President Abraham Lincoln warned us about judicial fiat in his first Inaugural Address: "The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed on the decisions of the Supreme Court . . . the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal." We have ceased to be our own rulers.
We have "come to this” through a war of intimidation that is constantly waged by the Politically Correct against the First Amendment, which bestows on us the right to "freedom" of speech. But those who want to "globalize" this Republic have, ironically, no tolerance for those who disagree with them. Like schoolyard bullies, they resort to gratuitous name-calling, their favorite epithets being "racist," "bigot," "conservative" and "close-minded." And when we try to point out to the emperor that he has no clothes, we are accused of racism against the naked emperor!
We have "come to this” because leftist curricula – from kindergarten through graduate schools – have failed to teach students about America’s pioneer spirit or, for that matter, American history, which is now watered down by the multiculturalists who insist that "all cultures are equal.” Right! And suicide bombers are equal to freedom fighters!
We have "come to this” because we have a cavalier, laissez-faire attitude towards the freedoms granted us by our Founding Fathers and guaranteed by the unique Constitution of the United States. According to the late Professor Albert P. Blaustein, the U.S. holds the distinction of having the "longest-lived constitution" and the one most copied by other nations in establishing their own forms of government. Are we willing to be the generation that presides over the "burial" ceremonies of our revered Constitution? Thomas Paine, in exhorting his countrymen during Revolutionary times, stated: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” And also remember that freedom isn’t free!
We have "come to this” because too many people think that "death,” ("Omigod, I could die!”) means their latte order was delayed. They have probably never heard of Patrick Henry’s patriotic declaration: "Give me liberty or give me death." He was ready to die for his freedom.
Thank God we still have some citizens with that "pioneer spirit." They travel to foreign lands, go into treacherous terrain weighed down with equipment, and facilitate freedom for downtrodden people. These "freedom fighters" are the men and women of the U.S. Military, many too young to order a strawberry daiquiri but not too young to risk their lives for our country.
We have "come to this” because we explain away anti-American sentiments as "freedom of speech," but fail to acknowledge the vileness of those who direct that speech against their own country. External enemies of the U.S. abound. We do not need to encourage and cultivate homegrown ones.
The philosopher, orator, and politician Cicero gave ample warning to his fellow Romans:
"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victim, and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the plague."
Cicero’s fellow Romans did not heed his warning. Rome fell. Will we suffer the same fate?
Today, we are certainly not in a struggle for independence from "18th century royalists," but we face a multiplicity of social, political and economic challenges from "21st century elitists." Again, comfort is found in the words of Thomas Paine, who also came up with the name, United States of America. On December 23, 1776, Paine published The Crisis. General George Washington ordered The Crisis papers to be read aloud to his troops as a means of encouraging them:
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Untold thousands of servicemen and women have sacrificed their lives in the various wars in which the United States has been involved – none of them summer soldiers or sunshine patriots. The ATM of freedom has been filled with the blood of these brave souls, who did not "shrink from the service of their country” and who indeed deserve "the love and thanks” of us all.
How did we come to this is an apt question, but how will we turn it around demands answers as well. I suggest that we take to heart the advice of Thomas Jefferson, who stated: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." It is incumbent upon each citizen to follow what is going on in the various corridors of power and act as necessary: Make a telephone call, send a fax or e-mail, express your opinion, stop swooning at the feet of the latest "messiah” who promises anything to get elected and delivers nothing once elected. Be vigilant about politicians who come into office tainted with corruption, and perfect that corruption once in office.
The world's "longest-lived" Constitution depends on your vigilance. As Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower said, as he commanded the Allied Forces at the beginning of the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944: "Let’s go!”