Before I get into my take on the recent events following the passage of Obamacare, I wanted you guys to read a speech, a famous speech as a matter of fact by one of the most gifted and courageous men to ever live. That man was Patrick Henry, the original patriot and in my opinion the father of the American revolution. For it was his speech to the delegates at Saint John’s church in Richmond, Virginia that sparked the flames of rebellion and the call of liberty exploded from the bellies of simple men turned simple heroes. Here now is that speech:
“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.
This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?
For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?
Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation — the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?
No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.
We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.
Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.
If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775
Fear not my friends, though they seek to drive us into the seas. We’ve been accused of everything from racism, to social unrest, to extremism by those who do not have a fundamental understanding of liberty, as simple as it may be, they know not its roots and how easily it can slip from the fingers tips of citizens. We don’t protest because we like to hear ourselves yell and carry about. We do so because we fear the prospects of tyranny more so the possibility that we might lose our job, or our health care, or our home. For, you can always buy a new home, get a new job, and shop for another health care provider, but liberty, I’m afraid often gets lost in the winds of oppression and government intervention. The founders didn’t refer to big government as the Nanny state, though their characteristics of a government master often resembles the smiling warm motherly appearance of the state. This I am certain of, a second American revolution is taking place in this rare moment in our history. The fathers knew freedom was as fragile and precious as the lives lost in her rescue two hundred some odd years ago, and now we must bare the awful result of their assumptions.
The words of the great patriot Patrick Henry still ring true, and never such a time as this. While I don’t encourage violence I wouldn’t reject the notion that the people have been driven to such measures. After all, when you pour gas on a flame it expands, keep pouring the gas and the flame becomes a fireball, eventually engulfing your home. The health care bill forced down the throats of the American majority that rejected it was the gasoline, and the fire’s starting to grow. Pretty soon we won’t be able to control what burns. Know this, we libertarians sympathize and stand by our conservative brothers who are in the midst of a struggle between them and the progressive elite. I used to shrug off the idea that one day in this great land my very freedoms would be under attack by my government, but perhaps I too became a victim of apathy and comfort. Now’s the time to get uncomfortable, both in what we say and what we do.
We all learned about “Cause and Effect” in grade school. For example if one is to go outside in the winter without a coat and gloves, they will get sick. This concept is quite simple yet out elected leaders in Washington scratch their heads and looked confused mood of the country as though they were asked to solve a math problem in sixty seconds with one hand tied behind their backs wearing a blindfold. In this case it’s hard for me to lend a sympathetic ear to members of Congress who feel threatened post-last Sunday afternoon when they passed health care.
You know, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is unique compared to other nations. Only a nation like ours could understand how valuable liberty is to its people. And yet, its still not enough. Our nation, isn’t good enough. We have too many poor people, even though our lower class would be considered middle class in even the top 15 richest nations of the world. We enjoy freedoms that people across the globe risk life and limb to share. Yet, it’s still not good enough because 12 million people can’t afford health insurance. When you dream of the Utopia, that dream is often accompanied by a series of nightmares. Throughout history the Utopia had been chased by men who eventually became consumed by power and greed. Was that a coincidence? I don’t think so, because it’s usually the malcontents who have a gripe with society and history who push their own rule on the idea of the Utopian society. Whether it was Hitler and his dream of a blond haired blue eyed Germany, or Chavez’s socialist Venezuela where every citizen has a house and the government gives them what their heart’s desire. No, it was not a coincidence that these men had to convince the people that in order to achieve this end they had to seize control on all fronts. Most malcontent leaders or groups of leaders have a bone to pick with tradition, or in the words of Democrats, “the status quo”.