This article was originally published at americanchronicle.com on Jan. 29th, 2008.
There are many times in every nation´s history when that nation reaches a crossroads. The decisions made at those times help to define that nation´s character for many years, perhaps decades to come. It is my humble opinion that this great nation known as the United State of America has come to such a time. There are many decisions that will be made in the next few months, important decisions that will define the character of this nation and perhaps the character of the world we all live upon.
In the past few years, in fact, in the past few decades, our nation has diverted itself from the path the founding fathers set it upon. Slowly the rights of the individual have been eroded in an attempt to build the security state. Slowly life´s decisions have been removed from the individual and put into the hands of the state. Slowly the concepts which helped build this great nation and bring us prosperity have been mutated, twisted into nothing more than buzz words with no intrinsic meaning. At best, this republic with its checks and balances on power is on life support, and if it hasn´t already truly died, then the simple pulling of a plug will kill it. The laws are in place. The constitution has been subverted. The word just needs to be spoken and the protections it affords the people of this nation need no longer apply. In our attempt at security, in our fear of the outside world, the apparatus was built which could end up taking from us not only our freedoms, but any security we might have hoped to purchase at such cost.
Freedom means more than the ability to choose whether to go to McDonald´s or Burger King. Liberty means so much more than having a choice of television stations to watch. These concepts are an expression of our desires to take control of our own lives with as little interference as possible from outside forces. It is this ability that has led this nation down the road of prosperity. It is the ability of the individual to be able to make the best life possible for himself that has led to so many great achievements credited to our fellow countrymen. This is the bravery of our nation, the willingness to take on personal responsibility and fearlessly face life without safety nets. Such is the courage of our citizenry, to be able to declare "Keep your tyrant and his promise of security, for we prefer standing tall as freemen to kneeling in subservience to the state." This is true freedom, when one challenges the rights of the individual over the force and coercion of that group entity known as the state.
Liberty is a legacy handed down to us by the founders of this great nation. It was codified in the Constitution and is known as the Bill of Rights. This is a great legacy and one we should cherish deeply. It was meant to put chains upon those who would govern us and to make certain that abuses of power did not occur. But, alas, it seems to have failed us. Slick politicians and callous leaders have subverted the very document they vowed to uphold. A fearful populace and a complicit media have failed to demand adherence to the vital law of the land. And so we now find ourselves facing the prospects of never ending war, a failing currency, and the presence of a brutal police state which can be unleashed against anyone who dares speak out in dissent or protest against state policy.
And so I wonder, what kind of legacy will we leave for our children, or their children, or their children? Will they learn of freedom and independence, or will they be forbidden by decree to know of such things? Will they realize the joy of personal responsibility and the pride that comes from achieving self reliance, or will they be taught subjection to the rule of the political elite? Will they be corrupted by entitlements and privileges that can be taken away on a whim? Will our progeny know liberty and respect individual rights, or will they know only collectivism and the tyranny of the majority? Will they be able to own private property and know the American dream, or will those that rule be able to confiscate whatever they want whenever they want for the "good of the public commons?" The America I knew as a child no longer exists. Or perhaps it was already gone when I was young and I only learned of what it was meant to be. But the pendulum appears to be swinging back. America is not yet completely broken. There is still hope.
This is where one would expect to find an explanation for a simple solution to put this nation back on track. The fact is, there is no simple solution. There is no one man that can deliver us from the trap we have fallen into. Unfortunately, we cannot elect any single individual into any office and expect our liberty to be restored. Yes, I would like to see Ron Paul or any man with a libertarian mindset elected president, that would be a huge step in the right direction, but that is not the end all, be all. It will take a massive effort involving many to bring back the freedom and prosperity we once knew. Like an overweight middle aged man looking to regain a healthy physique after years of neglect, it will take a lot of hard work before we can look in the mirror and be proud of our accomplishments. There will be many aspects we must consider as we move forward with this great undertaking.
There are many steps that we as a people should consider in order to regain what we have lost. The first is to be certain that honest and fair elections are taking place. With recent events in New Hampshire and other primary states, the electoral process is in shambles. How are we to survive as a representative republic when we can´t even be certain we can hold our representatives accountable for their actions through the ballot box? An end to electronic voting and a demand for verifiable, traceable, transparent methods where votes are counted at the precinct level in front of representatives of all parties involved would do much to alleviate the doubt and uncertainty in our electoral process. If we know our elections are fair, then at least we know we´ll be able to vote a representative who does something reprehensible out of office.
Citizens should also consider turning off their televisions, especially TV news. They should consider dropping any subscriptions they may have to newspapers or news magazines. These are filled with collectivist propaganda. They no longer report the news so much as they try to tell you what to think about it. There are other avenues to take to become informed, other sources less compromised and more willing to deliver unbiased information, sources that have little to gain by lying and much to lose should they be caught doing so. Those who realize the folly of the news organizations and the entities they represent should fight back by boycotting their advertisers. A huge swath of the American public not buying advertised merchandise and looking to other sources of competition will make any advertiser think twice about paying to have his product demonized. The loss of revenue should cause the news organizations to think twice about the news they present to the American public. In this manner, we can begin to affect the old media and perhaps a fair coverage of people and events that affect our world will begin to change some of the hearts and minds the new media has yet to reach.
Citizens should endeavor to learn about money. It all seems to come down to money. Politicians can´t campaign without it. Corporations fight and scrap for it. People work hard to earn it. But what is money? Is it true that the Federal Reserve creates money from nothing? According to more than a few reliable sources, it is. But while these notes are printed, real treasure is being stolen. Those who create this instrument of debt also have first dibs on it. They can use it to buy gold or other precious metals, or real property, or to buy out entire corporations if they so desire. They can even use these notes to leverage lawmakers to create laws to protect their activities. Money as it stands now represents only debt, maybe not yours, but it represents somebody´s debt. If we know this is the true nature of money, then it is up to us to demand a change in our monetary system. Should we demand that congress dutifully respect its obligation under the constitution to supply the people of this country with honest money backed by gold, then what would that money represent? Since that money isn´t just created from nothing, and since fractional reserves would no longer be allowed, then money would no longer be possessed unless it was earned in one way or another. Money would no longer represent someone´s debt, it would represent someone´s labor, and it could only be acquired through hard work or a good reputation. A private monopoly on money was something the founding fathers warned us against. It would behoove us to listen to them. This nation should never have allowed it.
We the people should demand restoration of the constitution. We should demand of our representatives an end to the politics of fear. Some of our representatives are already hearing these demands and beginning to act on them. Others are sticking by their guns and digging in for a fight, and it will be a fight against the citizenry of this country. We should let it be known in no uncertain terms that we will settle for nothing less than the true liberty and freedom that is ours by birthright. We should let it be known that any unconstitutional law is repugnant to the concepts the founders and our ancestors fought and died for and that these laws need to be repealed. There are many organizations that have sprung up in the last few years that will help us achieve these goals. If enough people make a clamor on the street, those in the tower will eventually have to listen.
Involvement is essential. There are many who are waking up to this fact today. There are many young people who are coming to understand the message of freedom and what it means to each and every individual in this country. They understand that these concepts are worth fighting for and worth the vigilance necessary to preserve them. The best thing that could happen is for people to become involved. People who believe in freedom, who believe in less government, should themselves run for local office. Others who understand the message should vote for those who agree to smaller government and more individual freedom on every issue, every time. In that way, we can slowly take back the instrument of government and relieve the people of its burden.
As a nation, we have just begun to understand ourselves and the real meanings of the concepts it was built upon, or perhaps we are rediscovering them. There is a revolution taking place in this country, a peaceful one, a revolution to win the hearts and minds of the populace. There are those who believe in the credo of the collectivist. They believe it is okay for the state to steal from some and give to others. There are those who believe there is nothing wrong with the state denying the right of the individual for the security of the many, without realizing that when the individual loses his rights, we all lose our rights. Many of these people are filled with good intentions, but that does not make them right. Then there are those who believe the individual knows best how to run his own life, that stealing from those who have earned their money in an honest fashion is wrong, and that using force and coercion on people is not a proper approach to issues. There are those who understand that power corrupts and those who obtain it will use it against those who disagree with them. These are the individualists and they, like those who founded this country, can see the danger that lurks in collectivist systems of government.
We can take this country back with a bit of hard work and perseverance. After all, isn´t that what this country was founded upon? We can expose the collectivist mentality for what it truly is, an unjust system that runs on mob mentality and turns those who rule into nothing more than criminals and mob enforcers. We can once again make this country a place respected and looked up to by the rest of the world. We can make it a place of principle once again and a shining example for others to emulate. We can regain the moral high ground. In fact, this movement is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. With luck, one day the entire world will enjoy freedom and liberty. With luck, we can find ourselves living in a world where tyrannical governments and those who seek to exercise power over others will be just a bad memory, a nightmare forgotten in the light of a new morning.