Essay 30 – The Blessings of Liberty
“The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive which induced me to Field – the object is attained – and it now remains to be my earnest wish & prayer, that the Citizens of the United States could make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings placed before them.”
– George Washington, letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York City, November 27, 1783
I’m not sure how many people today in the United States fully comprehend the blessings of liberty that have been given to us. We go about our daily lives enjoying it, usually without a thought. Sure, every July Fourth, everyone takes the day off to celebrate our Independence Day, but I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck that the majority of people have no idea of the basic details of what we are celebrating.
It’s all taken for granted.
The liberty we have been given is the greatest that mankind has ever known. Through ignorance, we are on the verge of tossing it all away….voluntarily, without a fight.
“Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
– Ronald Reagan, Gubernatorial Inauguration Speech, 1967
I’ve written this essay series in an attempt to reinvigorate the sense of civic virtue that has been missing for way too long. Without understanding the material contained in these essays, we are destined to follow the wrong path and the wrong leaders. The evidence surrounds us.
Our predecessors have paid dearly for our liberty. First, in the American Revolution against the world’s most powerful military, and continuing through the years with Civil War, World Wars and Cold Wars. We now enjoy the results of those hard-fought battles, and we owe it to those who won it for us. We also owe it to those who will come after us to provide them with the same, or better, Land of Liberty.
That’s how self-government works.
Upon studying these issues for many years, I have concluded that what is missing in our unique, exceptional, American Experiment, is the informed citizen. The informed citizen is the linchpin of the entire system. Without the informed citizen, the entire thing falls apart, piece by piece. We are witnessing that right now, but we are pointing fingers of blame at the wrong things…corrupt politicians, lobbyists, money in politics, crony capitalism, illegal immigration, racism, inequality, and the list goes on.
Yes, those are all problems. But they are only symptoms of the root problem.
And the root problem is the people.
The people need to be re-enlightened.
“Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
– John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 17, 1775
About this series:
The People Are Sovereign! is a series of 30 essays that will be posted on a daily basis. This is the conclusion of the series, but the series will continue to rotate around in order to be available to new visitors. To view the beginning of the series, click this link: Introduction: The Problem and the Solution
To view the previous essay in the series, click this link: Essay 29 – Convention of States