by: Brent Smith
Although it is often overused by we on the right – I’m grateful to be an American. It sounds cheesy and jingoistic, but that doesn’t make it any less true, particularly when you study American history and what our forefathers had to go through to achieve it – that they weren’t just “privileged” white guys.
I wish I could travel back in time, not to change things, but to thank the founders for what they did – thank them for their foresight. Assure them that they did the right thing – that they didn’t sacrifice everything for nothing. That hundreds of years later at least some of us are still talking about it, still quoting them and trying to live their ideal.
I would assure them that all the crap they had to endure was not in vain – that they made a profound difference – and not just for us, but for the entire world. If it wasn’t for them, Earth would be even more awash in anarchy, despotism and dictatorships.
Our founders knew this all too well. They lived under a monarchy. The King and Parliament said – and you did. It was that simple. And they, England, could pretty much demand anything and the colonies were expected to comply.
And therein lay the American conundrum – when developing the blueprint for a new nation – how to strike the perfect balance between no government, anarchy, not enough government, as in the Articles of Confederation, and too much government, despotism.
This is the balancing act that America must navigate for as long as we exist.
The founders understood the need for just enough government to protect our God-given rights – just enough government to keep both the anarchist mob and the dictator at bay.
It’s why the American experiment is so unique. So unique that even after hundreds of years, no nation has been capable of duplicating it.
This is America – an experiment of balance – but a balancing act that can not be sustained forever. Thomas Jefferson understood this fully, which is why he wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Today, this seems like an absurd notion, considering the sheer size and scope of our federal government. Anyone these days who promotes or even suggests such a thing is branded as some sort of lunatic. Of course, practically all the founders, were they alive today, would fit this bill.
But this is what Jefferson meant in the above paragraph – that the balancing act between anarchy and despotism can’t be achieved forever – not among human beings. Even America will eventually succumb to one or the other and have to reset. It’s nobody’s fault necessarily. It’s just human nature. There’s no denying and no escaping it.
The job of American citizens is therefore to recognize when we as a nation have passed the point of being able to correct things – past the point of no return, and figure out a way to reset the system without burning it to the ground like anarchists wish to do.
Am I saying that this is the cross-road we’re at right now? No – at least I hope not.
I am saying that it will happen – if not now than eventually. It’s like predicting the next huge California earthquake. It will happen – it’s not a matter of if, only when. And no one can tell us when. We just have to be aware and continue to look for signs.
I’m saying that with every recent past election the choice between liberty and despotism becomes clearer and this November, the choice of which road to travel is as clearly apparent as it’s ever been.
The founders, as well as all those who fought and died to secure and maintain the freedoms we enjoy, are counting on us to choose the right road.