"Today's Quote" in my local newspaper: "I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery" (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss-born French philosopher, 1712-1778)
I consider this a timely reminder for our day. Too many Americans are being seduced by the power-brokers who invite us to sacrifice a little liberty - and then just a little more - in order to attain security and peace. A glaring sample of this is the health care legislation that has been sold as America's "solution" for universal access to health care. In addition to mounting financial costs, there are also mounting costs to liberty as government herds us into their prescribed forms of health care choices.
I have written before that lasting liberty demands that we bear the consequences for our behavior. Those who are able to shift the consequences for personal behavior onto other individuals and groups have low, or no, motivation to change and improve. Consequently, liberty is eroded for everyone.
Everyone I know likes peace and security. I like peace and security. But peace and security without the truthful recognition of the high price of vigilance leads to enslavement. Those who have gone before us - those to whom we owe a debt we cannot pay - knew this full well:
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them.
The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die. - General George Washington, order issued July 2, 1776
As 21st century Americans, we are blessed to have elections through which we can choose liberty or slavery. As with any tool, it is useful only to the extent that we actually use it. So use it.
Choose liberty over slavery.