Patrick Henry 2008 - Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Note – this is a reworked version of a post I wrote earlier this year – but in light of what we are learning the Democrats specifically have in mind for the United States upon their victory, I believe it bears a renewed viewing, so please indulge me…. and read it all.

The Left has been at war with freedom, frankly since the New Deal. In recent times they have used courts to impose their will on us, in ever-bolder assaults on the Constitution and upon decency. The press browbeats middle America, Christianity and any form of moral order. The Republican Party has devolved into Dem-lite as they parlay away those freedoms which remain. Boys and girls, it is high time we faced it. We are in danger of losing EVERYTHING the Founding Fathers held dear, and which we SHOULD hold dear. The Democrat Party plays low and dirty, while we respond with calls for comity, civility, compromise. Bah! Send them to hell, I say.

No more surrender! No more deal-making, comity, or bipartisanship! The line must be drawn right here, right now!

In 1775, Patrick Henry found himself at just such a divide. Rank-and-file colonists were seething, in near-open rebellion, over the British Crown’s ever-increasing violations, and a massive British military build-up. They were arming themselves and forming and training militias. Meanwhile the parliaments sought to continue dialog and avoid conflict with the Crown, willing to make almost any concession to avoid an ugly rebellion. The exception was Massachusetts, which the Crown had already declared in a state of rebellion.

On March 23, 1775, the Virginia legislature met in a church in Richmond, rather than the Capital at Williamsburg, to avoid confrontation with the British. How typical, but Henry was having none of that.

Patrick Henry proposed that an organized company of infantry or calvary be formed in every VA county. Several speakers got up to preach moderation, to await replies from their most recent proposals to Parliament. Henry spoke last, and it is said that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson sat in stunned, jaw-dropped silence after this speech. Fifteen months later, Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, which echoes the words of Patrick Henry. And well, we know what Washington did.

What Patrick Henry said, in one short speech, changed the course of history. He was right, and here we are again 233 years later, at the very same crossroads.So, what did Patrick Henry say? Here’s what he said (excerpts, with emphasis EPU’s, with EPU comments in [brackets]):

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. 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.

Are fleets and armies [Fairness Doctrine] necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force [the courts] must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These [leftist judges] are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry [radical leftists] have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? [The Wuss Party] Shall we try argument? 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.

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, 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 [facing further losses in both Houses]; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary [the media-made Obamessiah]. 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 [PC policeman] 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 those 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. 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 [Republican Senators] 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!