Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Illusion of Hope

In the introduction to Thomas Paine's series of pamphlets entitled Common Sense, it states, "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom."

Paine could very well have been writing about the candidacy of Ron Paul for president, as it appears that Congressman Paul's views are not sufficiently fashionable to garner the support of the media and the political pundits.

Paine went on to say that "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer!"

It is interesting to note that the very first political parties fought over their interpretation of the Constitution and the amount of power it authorized the government to wield. Compare that to the political parties of today and you will notice that both parties accept the fact that the government has powers that are far reaching and beyond those specifically defined in the Constitution, it is just how they wield them that separates them.

George Washington once said, "The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments." It is a sad commentary about the people of this country that they allow their government to place so many burdens and restrictions upon their liberties, yet they sit back and say nothing.

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today and invited to participate in a presidential debate, what he would say? Would he support the infringement of our liberties by our government in support of a War on Terror? Would he condone the existence of the Federal Reserve Bank and the massive inflation and debt it has placed upon the shoulders of the American people? Would he remind us of the words he wrote prior to outlining the abuses perpetrated upon the colonies by the British Crown?

Thomas Jefferson is not alive to remind us, and we have seem to forgotten that we fought a war for our independence for burdens far less than what our own government lays upon us today.

The American people have forgotten the basic premise upon which governments are founded. That reason is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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."

Jefferson stated that 'mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.' How many more abuses, how much more suffering are we Americans going to have to accept before we realize that our government no longer represents us?

Daniel Webster said that "God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." It appears that the people of American could care less about liberty. They are more concerned with whatever mindless nonsense is on the television. Who is going to win the next ball game or become the next American Idol is of more importance than the time consuming task of monitoring the actions of their elected representatives.

Our country is in desperate need of people to wake up and realize that our nation is in grave danger. Unfortunately there are far too few Americans who would be willing to state, as did Nathan Hale as he was to be hung, "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

I have been told by many to tone down my rhetoric, that I will not convert people to my beliefs if I sound harsh and condemning. I honestly do not care if I upset people with my harsh commentary on their apathy and ignorance. I am reminded of the speech given by Patrick Henry prior to the beginning of the Revolutionary War,

“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?”

Henry stated that it is natural for man to indulge in the illusion of hope. That is what America is doing every time we select a new candidate for president, indulging in the illusion of hope. When we have a candidate like Ron Paul, a candidate who tells us plainly what ails this country, and he is ignored, ridiculed and shunned by the media and the people, we are only indulging in the illusion that things are going to get any better.

We truly are in a battle to save this country from those who would see it destroyed. And as Patrick Henry said later in his speech, “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” When Americans realize that we are once again facing the same threat posed to us by our own government, funded and influenced by special interest groups, maybe enough people will rise to the call to save our nation once again. Until the people of this country realize that each candidate is bought and paid for by those special interests, no matter how much talk of change our presidential candidates speak of, nothing is going to change, it is all an illusion designed to keep us thinking we have a say in our future.

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