“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” Thomas Paine, December 23rd, 1776 – The Crisis

Are we yet free men and women in America, or are we not? Are the “rights” we have fought so hard for and legally won, really ours, or are they not? For if they can be unbound by a simple vote, in a single day, then how do they differ from the permissions given by a slavemaster to a half-trusted slave?

And what does it say about them, if free men & women willingly agree to give up cherished rights they previously held fast? Is there really any difference between living a life bounded by invisible servitudes, or one bounded by cold hard chains? Why should such a change not be grounds for rebellion, even outright revolution?

How many treaties were made, and then broken, to the first peoples of this land? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is merely another piece of paper, after all – who’s to say that it can’t and won’t just as swiftly be repealed, or legislated away? If we have to sit at the back of the bus again, or eat with “your own kind” tomorrow, or give up our very substance to those who lord over us as conquerors, are we still living in a free society? When did “Majority Rule” get to trump protections previously promised to minorities under this Constitutional Republic? And what does that make the ‘Will of the People’ become?

Once certain freedoms are taken away, who decides where the new boundaries get re-drawn? Are any of the protections listed in the Bill of Rights really permanent? Are they truly “unalienable Rights”, or merely transitory ones? Who decides? The Supreme Court? The Congress? The President? Will the “right” to Habeas Corpus be the next to go? How about the “right” to own your own home, or the “right” to have a public education, or the “right” to have a secure and affordable retirement?

We are at a very serious crisis point in America. And make no mistake, it is of the same kind and degree of crisis that made Patrick Henry rise in the Virginia House of Burgesses, in 1775, and proclaim, “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!”

I have no doubt about which course I will follow. As a former Non-Commissioned Officer of the US Army, I have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, be they foreign or domestic. But make no mistake, each American man & each American woman is soon going to have to make that same choice for his or her self. Choose wisely – for all our Liberties are at stake!


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