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Have We Become The People Our Founding Fathers Warned Us About?

Originally Published at The Minority Report

Our founding fathers were distrustful, and rightly so, of a strong centralized government, far from the control of the citizens, running roughshod over the rights of the individual.

Taxation without Representation” was more than just revolutionary rhetoric, but a founding principle on which local control of government was based. The original Boston Tea Party was more than a protest against taxes; it was a statement of independence and liberty against tyranny.

They had experience with, and had just fought a war to gain independence from a tyrannical government that ruled with an iron fist, imposing the will of a distant monarch on an unwilling citizenry. Our founding fathers understood much about tyranny – they had a long world history of tyranny from which to observe and to learn.

But what those patriarchs most feared was the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that would become the federal government today. Thomas Jefferson warned about a government with too much power. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”

Benjamin Franklin contrasted the difference between individual freedom and the security of government thus; “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

They warned about the emergence of the concept of a nanny state that would do for all its citizens what they rightly should be willing to do for themselves. Again, a cautionary statement from Thomas Jefferson, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

A cradle to grave dependency upon government to fulfill the simple wants and needs best left to the individual to either achieve or to fail was the greatest fear of those great men who had literally risked everything to obtain freedom for the people of this nation.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Little could our founding fathers fathom the idea that “sacred Honor” would become an outdated concept, sneered upon by leaders in Washington, DC itself, who would find it necessary to apologize for American Exceptionalism to a world desperately in need of that very quality.

Benjamin Franklin might have summed it up best when he said, “None but a virtuous people are capable of liberty, all others are in need of a master; revolutions cannot take place without danger when the people have not sufficient virtue.”

The question today must become – do WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES still retain sufficient virtue to retain our freedoms – to deserve the blessings of liberty that our founding fathers shed their blood to obtain for all of their progeny?

Originally Published at The Minority Report

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