• Daniel Martin Gray: Retaining America's liberty requires an alarmed America

    Our Founders were keen students of history and human nature. They recognized that the only way to retain the gift of Liberty they wrested from despotic monarchy was to promote the good in Americans. And they warned us, quite specifically, of what would happen if we let those infected with unhealthy ambition have their sway.

    Our Founders deliberately crafted a government with very strict and narrow limits on government power. President Obama says the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, complaining that our Constitution prevented the government from taking liberties with our natural rights.

    As an alleged Constitutional scholar, Obama seems strangely unconcerned with its intended role as guarantor of individual Americanís rights. As President, he feels free to ignore his Oath of Office, alarmingly disregarding the very document he swore to uphold.

    For decades, those who warned of the disaster that would eventually come from unfettered government growth sounded like Cassandra, advising the Trojans not to trust Greeks bearing gifts. Thirty years ago, almost no one believed the warnings. Twenty years ago a significant number acknowledged that it could be true, but were too prosperous and busy with their lives to look into it themselves, much less take action.

    Ten years ago, there was suddenly widespread agreement about the problems America faced, but also widespread conviction that there was nothing that could be done about it. Today, a vast and growing number of Americans are waking to realize the danger the United States is in. We have been swirling the bowl, and are about to plunge into the depths. Those on the Right, of the Left and those with no particular political convictions, all begin to come together. Americans are starting to understand that what we took for granted, the right to be left alone, to pursue happiness, is under massive attack.

    NRA has joined the ACLU in the legal fight against NSA in the Supreme Court. Freedomworks has joined ACLU and many other Leftist groups in an anti-NSA rally next month in DC. This is a good start. But it will take much more than these halting first steps to forestall the fate that hangs over America. National finances, domestic and foreign policies are all askew. Government spends the earnings of our yet-unborn great-grandchildren buying political support with corporate and individual welfare programs.

    The U.S. government stifles the entrepreneurial spirit that made us prosperous, with over-regulation. It partners with terrorists abroad, yet calls any who oppose unconstitutional tactics domestic terrorists. And everywhere you turn, our government makes more and more nitpicking rules regarding everyday behavior, with drastic legal consequences for any who offend. Men and women who value their rights must do much more, without delay. Put aside your pastimes and prepare to do battle.

    The damage is already done. Whatever Amercianís now do, we will suffer for our folly. But we have a choice. We can sit back and watch Honey Boo Boo or the NFL, and sentence future generations to lives of unending darkness. We can choose to act peacefully with our fellow citizens now, and may avoid the bloodshed that always comes of government grown too powerful. We can choose to work, to suffer for a time, for a purpose.

    There are still many who believe their masterís voice. Who deny the evidence of their own lives. Who refuse to question the truth for themselves. Far too many are concerned only with their own immediate needs, willing to let others toil for their unearned daily bread. We cannot continue to get caught up in calling the other half of the country fools or worse, even if they are. We must help them wake.

    We are all subject to human frailty; the Seven Deadly Sins, so to speak. But the one cardinal sin above all others is the will to power. Those who fall prey to this unnatural craving use all of the other human failings for their own ends. Everywhere you look: gluttony, lust, greed, pride, despair, wrath, narcissism and laziness. Itís easy to understand how we are manipulated through our weaknesses. Those who would be kings direct and distract us from our own best interests, through our baser nature.

    But we are also gifted with noble virtues, though they have fallen into popular disrepute lately. Chastity, self-control, generosity, hard work, patience, kindness and humility were once Americansí chief characteristics. We may be unaware of the better lights of our nature. We may have fallen out of daily practice, but they are still within us all.

    Americans still have hope. Government still belongs to the people, at least for a moment more. Americans have always been slow-to-wake, last-minute, get-it-done kind of folks who ultimately do accomplish their goals. Hopefully, we are on the verge of wakening. Our nation is depending on that.
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