Preserving the Lamps of Liberty in our Lifetime

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

When we look back on history, we find that from the very beginning of our republic, there have been intense controversies. These controversies were of the utmost consequence. Should there be a strong central government, or should the states dominate? Should slavery be legal or forbidden? Have the states a right to secede? Should we have a president or a king? The list is long, and continues to this day.

The resolutions of these controversies defined the nation. We were to have a weak central government, with the states dominating. Slavery is to be forbidden. We have no king.

Unfortunately, not all the controversies were resolved for the better. Those also define us. The New Deal, for example, established an ever stronger central government, one that the Founders warned us against. While its goals were worthy, the methods used have been seriously harmful. They led to an entitlement mentality and an ever more progressive welfare state in which the fruits of one person’s labor are confiscated and handed over to another person, one who labors not.

While some see the long term trend of the United States as being ever more liberating, others see it as ever more collectivist. While some lament the fact that Americans are increasingly uneducated, others lament that our youth are ever more mis–educated, propagandized and deceived by a politicized system of education.

Not only are we failing to solve serious problems such as crime, we are all but forbidden to even discuss the issue if it offends anyone. For example, it is no secret that while black people comprise about twenty percent of our citizenry, fifty percent of the felonies are committed by them. Ninety percent (or thereabouts) of black citizens who are murdered, are murdered by black people. Just try discussing that with any random sampling of voters, but take care to shield yourself from accusations of racism. The issue itself will be drowned out in the tirade of anger from the left, and the problem continues.

The teacher unions and their political cronies have hijacked our schools, victimizing inner city black students, despite the fact that per student spending on them— in poorly performing schools— by the government— is far greater than the spending in many better performing schools, both public and private. Yet the demand is always for more money and less accountability.

Mysteriously, black families continue to support the very same politicians whose destructive rampage in their children’s lives continues. Maybe it’s not so mysterious, when one considers the schools they attended.

Every generation has felt that the republic was in danger of falling. They were right. Every generation has a duty to uphold the Constitution or— quite literally— to die trying. Seas of white crosses in military cemeteries testify to that fact. Every citizen is responsible for doing his part, whatever the cost.

Sadly, too few Americans have the slightest clue as to the heavy price of the freedoms they enjoy. Worse yet, too few are willing to make even the slightest sacrifice to preserve that freedom for themselves and their posterity.

Once again, the Republic is in danger of collapsing into rubble. Once again, to paraphrase British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (1862 – 1933), the lights of liberty may be snuffed out, not to be relit in our lifetimes.

My hope is that a hundred years from now, Americans will still be lamenting that the republic is about to fall— because that will mean that it didn’t.

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