“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
For the past two day, I have been trying to wrap my brain around “why.” Why would the residents of Watertown, MA allow an illegal search of their homes even when there is a plausible reason for it? Why is it that what is as obvious as the wart on a witches nose can’t be seen by so many people. I’ve even questioned if I am excessively paranoid, looking for reasons for a fight. I’ve asked myself if I would really resist were I in the situation. And then I see the video of the search in progress (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LrbsUVSVl8&feature=youtu.be) and the answers to at least some of my questions float to the surface. No, I am not excessively paranoid, not even a little paranoid and yes, I am looking for a fight but it is a fight for a cause. And yes, I would resist and bear the consequence. You see, I believe in the sanctity of the Constitution. I believe that it is one of the few absolutes in the lives of US citizens, the one thing we should be able to count on in an every changing world, in a world dominated by self serving politicians.
As we think back in our lives, we can all probably remember the first lie we told. It came out of our mouths in an effort to protect ourselves from a consequence. Afterwards, most of us probably agonized over that lie. It kept us awake at night. We tossed and turned and we couldn’t get it out of our minds. If we couldn’t correct it, we vowed that it would be the last lie we would ever tell. Then, someplace down the road, we were backed into another corner and again facing an unpleasant consequence so we took the easy route and told another lie. It bothered us but as we fell asleep that night, we were relieved that the reason for the lie was safely hidden. The next time we needed to protect ourselves and lied, our greatest fear was that we would be found out.
The very same thing is happening with the adherence to the Constitution. Playing fast and loose with principles will leave us without any principles at all.
It was 237 years ago that Thomas Paine published the now famous words “These are the times that try men’s souls.” I wonder if he foresaw that there would be other times in the future that would challenge us in the same way. Over and over again, our moral compasses have been impugned as well as our willingness to defend and protect the values to which we each, individually, subscribe.
The challenge that we now face as a nation is to defend our constitution against “enemies, foreign and domestic.” That may seem to be a daunting task for the individual but just as the Continental Congress called upon the people to become “citizen soldiers,” we must call upon our fellow citizens to do the same today because we are no less threatened now then we were in 1776.
What is a citizen soldier in 2013? We are today’s “3%” and our responsibility to the generations that will follow us is to educate the sheep and overcome the apathy that is rampant in our society. The arms that we take up are our words. The shots that we fire are the meaning of our constitution.
So often, we belong to groups and have friends who subscribe to the same beliefs that we hold. We preach to the choir. We discuss, we rant, we beat our chests in frustration and indignation when what we should be doing is sleeping with the enemy as a friend of mine so aptly put it. We need to broaden our individual circles to include those who don’t see any threat to our way of life. We need to be willing to be the people with a purpose because we can no longer afford to be silent. Instead of talking about assaults on our constitution with the guys after a trip to the range, go to a coffee shop and talk to the waitress or the person sitting next to you. When you go to the post office, talk about it to the postmaster. When you’re waiting in line at the market, talk about it to the person behind you. Use your words to spread knowledge and inspire the herd, not just to complain to your brethren.
Yes, there are those who will choose to dismiss you and view you as just another nut with a cause, but there are others who’s interest will be stirred. They will actually hear what you say and think about your message. Those are the ones who will talk to their circle of friends and neighbors and the process will continue. Our job is to overcome their apathy and replace it with understanding of what is at stake. It is only then that the 3% will have a chance of growing into 5%, then 10%, then 50%.
You hold the power within you to do this and it is your responsibility as an American citizen to act. Don’t allow your voice to be silenced.