“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I suppose I must put in my two cent’s worth on this subject as it seems to be the subject of the day. Independence Day.
Independence, what does that mean? Freedom? Yes and no. It actually means to not be dependent on someone else. We fought to get out from under Britain’s rule when they no longer considered this county’s welfare when making up the rules. We became non-dependent on them, ruling ourselves, providing our own food and products, taking resposibility for ourselves.
Now, when we talk about liberty, indepence and freedom, it means the same thing. Responsible to take care of ourselves, provide for ourselves, ruling ourselves. Individually and as a nation. We are individuals and we are all part of this nation. We have responsibility for ourselves, our communities and our nation.
Unfortunately, it seems recently that many people believe freedom means you can do and say anything you like, without regard to consequences, or respect for others. The responsibilities have been forgotten, the cost has been forgotten. When someone else pays for you, the item does not have the worth to you as it would when it cost your own time, sweat and blood.
We have a nation bought and paid for by patriots almost 230 years ago, and kept by patriots and soldiers since then, at the cost of life and limb. Freedom is expensive. Freedom is not just about you.
What does this have to do with the First Amendment? We have the right to say what we want, criticise the government and anyone in it, believe and practice any religion we want. We are allowed to gather in assemblies, and the press can print any diatribes they want to. We need to remember, however, that these freedoms came at a cost and also have responsibilities attached.
We do not have the right to say anything we want unless we are willing to take the responsibility for the results of what we say. If you are of the opinion that only your own voice counts, and you are more than ready to villify and demonize others who don’t follow your game plan, then you will have to be ready to live in a nation, where there is no more free speech. If you call someone a nasty name (like “tea-bagger” or astro-turf)) when they are protesting something that they feel is a problem or a threat to their way of life, then don’t get mad if they lable you with a nasty name (libtard, or as people believe Lenin called liberals: useful idiots [actually he called them deaf-mutes]).
The nastiness and mean-spiritedness I have been seeing is appalling to me. I wish we could go back to the days when politicians were statesmen, and believed in America as an ideal, a place of freedom and goodness. Where respect and politeness were honored, where the American dream meant finding a common ground with people who came here from all over the world (including me) and working together. Of course there are always problems, but America actually tries to fix them, or used to. Now, in the name of “cultural diversity” and “political correctness”, we are being torn apart at the roots. Everyone is constantly offended by everyone and everything else. There are strident demands for tolerance, but very little tolerance given. The government has become a platform for greedy, power-hungry. palm-greasing politicians in the worst sense of the word. Disasters of epic proportions are used as leverage to gain more power for the government instead of being addressed by the full might of our nation’s wonderful and strong people.
America grew mighty on the strength and vision of its individual people working independently and as a community (not “the people” of the social progressive world-view which has nothing to do with you or me as individuals, only a mass to be manipulated), overcoming huge odds to get here and set up new lives and accomplish for themselves. Now, people demand psychological help because oil is on their beach, instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to stop the oil and clean up. (Something the President should have led from day ONE). What a nation of crybabies and wooses we have become (well, some of the most visible and loud groups, that is). Congress plays on computers to pass the time while doing nothing about real problems. This is a photo of the “healthcare debate”. The vice -president calls a hardworking American a “smart-ass” for requesting that taxes be lowered. I mean, really!?
The whole thing makes me want to cry for those who fought and worked so hard to gain our freedoms and are ignored in the “new American” classrooms, for those who still fight and have to see politicians use them as pawns in a political game of power in Congress and the White House. I cry for those who are proud of what America stood for, and see Hollywood and Washington declare their hatred of the American way and American people who work hard for themselves. I cry when Congress has no constraints, spends OUR money like water and are willing to put our kids in hock for may generations to fund their little pet projects, and take away the power to rule ourselves from individuals and individual states. I cry when our borders are closed to those who would be American and wide open to those who hate it.
I believe there is still a great mass of Americans in the heart of the nation and scattered through the cities and communities that are the old kind of American: proud, strong, hard-working, respectful and tolerant (a better term is accepting) of each other’s differences. I hope they speak out loud and clear, even though they will be excoriated by the media, Washington, teachers and unions. I hope that America comes to its senses and realizes we are about to lose what makes us special. I had a 92 year old patient who was watching the news with me one day recently. This man came from the Ukraine, lost most of his family in the war to Nazis and Russians. He had been a teacher in the old country, but worked as a metal worker here. He came to this country for freedom and opportunity, and found it. Watching the news that day, he remarked on what he saw happening in the government “I have seen this before, don’t people understand? This is how communism starts, I should know, I have been there. That’s why I came here to America, and now it has followed me.” He died shortly after that. God bless him, he is now with his family.
It is time to exercise our rights, because we are responsible for what happens now.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Happy Independence Day! This is still a wonderful country! Embrace and celebrate the differences: race, religion, country of origin, culture. Each has something to offer and part of America’s greatness comes from its ability to absorb the best of all of them to make a wonderful whole.