If someone were to ask you what defines a nation, how would you respond? If you were to ask me I would say it is the people who define a nation; through their values and beliefs. God may have given us this beautiful country to inhabit; full of an abundance of resources, but it is the people that occupy any country who give it its character; who define it. Simply put, a country is either good or bad based upon the people who inhabit it.
So if it is people who define a nation, then I suppose the next logical question is; what defines the people who inhabit a nation? It is said that a house divided cannot stand; and that is true as it pertains to nations as well.
I hear the argument that diversity makes America strong. While I do not totally disagree, I think that for America to remain strong it must retain the values upon which it was founded, not become a hodge-podge of nationalities with their own distinct ideas as to what values America stands for.
In 1917 Theodore Roosevelt wrote a speech in which he said, “From the melting pot of life in this free land all men and woman of all nations who come hither emerge as Americans and nothing else. They must have renounced completely and without reserve all allegiance to the land from which they or their forefathers came.” You can still respect the heritage of the country you came from, but if you wish to live in America you need to respect its values, its culture, and its traditions, and not try to force your own values upon us.
The sad thing is, I don’t see that happening. I see immigrants coming into America and trying to force Americans to accept their beliefs and ideologies, while trashing ours. We are told the multiculturalism makes America strong and that we should respect their heritage. Yet why is it that this idea of multiculturalism does not work both ways; why are they not told that they must also respect our values and beliefs?
What makes matters worse is that our values and beliefs are no longer being taught to our youth. A good many parents now teach their children this multiculturalist rubbish, while our educators fail to teach our children the values which were held by those who first established America as a free and independent nation. What we end up with is a nation populated by people who have no sense of who and what it means to be American; what America used to stand for.
The first settlers who came to what eventually became the United States of America, did so for the promise of freedom. They didn’t come for riches; for there were no riches to be had. They came to shake off whatever shackles had bound them down in regards to their beliefs; be they political or religious. They had never laid eyes upon the land upon which they would settle; they only knew that it offered them something that their native land could not; the chance to start over and live a life free from the restrictions imposed upon them by their government, society, or the religious institutions which surrounded them.
Freedom is what caused the 102 who climbed aboard the Mayflower to risk the perils of a voyage across the Atlantic, then the unknown threats which possibly awaited them in a strange uncharted land. Freedom is what led the additional 2.4 million who followed them in the years which preceded the American Revolution.
It was freedom or liberty as they called it, which led the original 13 Colonies to take up arms and fight for their independence from their government. And whether you believe me or not, it was freedom which led the 11 States of the South to leave the Union and form the Confederate States of America.
Freedom, or liberty is what led men like Patrick Henry to utter, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else.” That freedom is what defined America; and it is what made us the greatest nation on the planet. Now that freedom is all but gone, to be replaced by something resembling dependency or servitude.
Today we have a nation whose people are aligned long political party lines and who no longer care about the freedom which was fought for at great risk by their forefathers.
What exactly is this freedom I speak of?
Freedom, simply stated, is the ability to make our own decisions without anyone else attempting to aid or restrict us in our pursuits. But freedom has, by its very nature self imposed restrictions upon what a person can and cannot do. Each of us is free to make our own choices in life as long as those choices do not interfere with the freedom of another individual. As our rights are not given to us by government or society, but come from our Creator, (see the Declaration of Independence), we need not ask permission to defend them against attack. This is true as it pertains to the interaction between human beings, and the interactions between human beings and the government.
It’s ludicrous to think that if government is the one violating your rights that you need to ask government for permission to defend them. Did our Founders first send the King a petition asking permission for them to declare their independence, or to take up arms and defend their right to keep and bear them against the Kings men who had been sent to confiscate them at Lexington and Concord? Of course not, they understood their rights supersede all laws made by man and it was their right to defend them against all attacks. As Samuel Adams so eloquently said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.” He did not place any restrictions upon whom we may defend them from only that it was our DUTY to defend them.
Aside from the right to life itself, what would you say is the most fundamental freedom that a person has? I don’t know about you, but I would have to say the three freedoms of thought, expression and speech are the most important freedoms a human being possesses. Could it be that is why those 3 rights, as they are called, are the first ones protected by Constitutional amendment?
What good is life if a person cannot think without having their thoughts censored; express their thoughts without being told what is and isn’t acceptable, and speak freely without having to worry that every word they say might offend someone? Man might just as well be a lump of clay if he is unable to think for himself; express his beliefs without fear of retribution, or say what’s on his mind without fear of being censored by those who find his words offensive.
What some people fail to grasp is that the root of freedom of speech or expression is the word free; free to speak what is on your mind, and free to express yourself as you see fit. I have spent many years studying the writings of those who originally established our Republic and I cannot recall one instance where they mentioned the right to go through life without having your feelings hurt, or be protected from images and words that offend you.
Yet that is the underlying principle of political correctness; that the feelings of certain segments of society are of more importance than the right of others to speak what is on their minds. Some see political correctness as a means of protecting the feelings of others. I see it as a weapon designed to stifle the fundamental right to speak and express yourself as you see fit.
As I write these words there is a growing movement in many of the southern states to remove all public monuments in honor of those who fought for the Confederacy. New Orleans Louisiana has already removed four such monuments, and there are hints that they are going after the monument honoring former U.S. President Andrew Jackson. Why? They say it is because he was a slave owner and the Civil War was fought between one part of the Union seeking to end slavery and another which sought to perpetuate it.
Even if that were the case, which it isn’t, the right of those Southerners who know the truth about the War of Northern Aggression, or the Civil War as you know it, to honor and respect those who fought for the Confederacy is their right. Just because someone takes offense at a statue due to their misunderstanding of that war does not give them the right to restrict others from honoring those who fought for the Confederacy.
If that is the case, then we need to go to Washington D.C. and tear down the monuments to Washington and Jefferson; for they too owned slaves. The sad thing is, I can see that happening with the pressure being exerted by the politically correct movement against any and all things which represent the basic American values which led our Founders to seek independence from England and form our Constitutional Republic.
The founding principal upon which America was built is found in our Declaration of Independence, where it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
That is the principal that led the Patriots of 1776 to sever the ties which bound them to their government, and it is the same principal which led the 11 Southern States to sever the ties which bound them to the Union. They did not seek war against the North, nor did they seek conquest or riches; they only sought to be left alone to establish a system of government which would ‘…most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.‘ They simply sought freedom from a government they felt had become oppressive. How can you deny their cause when at the same time you celebrate our nation’s independence day? After all, on July 4, 1776 there were slaves all across the nation, both in the North and the South.
How can you condemn the Southern Slave owners while you give the Northern ship owners who brought the slaves here from Africa a free pass? How can you say you honor and respect our Constitution, (that is if you do), when it protects the institution of slavery?
How can you honor and respect the president responsible for this war when that same president said, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.” (Source: Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862)
The Confederate States of America fought for the same principles as did men like Jefferson, Washington, Adams and Henry, for the right to sever the ties which bound them to tyrants and establish a system of government which best suited their needs.
Yet today we have a nation in which the people are divided along political party lines with their party determining what powers government should wield, with no regards for the Constitutional limits imposed upon them. We have people who are more concerned with what their government can do for them than they are the freedoms it was designed to protect. In America today we have people that condemn, and ridicule anyone who dares asking that we adhere to the values and beliefs of those who founded our nation.
In short, everything that America was built upon is under attack; our nation’s very soul is the object of derision and scorn by the forces of evil disguised as the politically correct; and I’ve just about had enough of it.
You don’t know the truth because you haven’t been taught it. I don’t blame you for that, but I do blame you for denying the truth when it is presented to you. Ben Franklin once said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
You see, I understand what freedom of speech and freedom of expression mean; and those who cry that my beliefs and values offend them don’t. I understand that once you begin limiting one group’s freedoms it is only a matter of time before your freedoms come under attack.
Yet attack is what fundamental American values and beliefs have come under; and if we don’t do something about it, and do it soon, all that remains of what America once stood for will be lost; nary a mention made in the history books of the future. Orwell would be shocked to see his Ministry of Truth come to fruition without hardly a peep of protest by the people of this once great nation.
One other thing and then I’ll be quiet. As I said, it’s interesting that the freedom of speech and expression are protected by the first amendment to the Constitution. Do you happen to know which right is protected by the second amendment to the Constitution? If you weren’t aware, it is the right to keep and bear arms. Could it be that they put that one second just in case the rights protected by the first one came under attack?
Think about that before you try to force your views on anyone else, or stifle their freedoms of speech and expression; it might just save your life.
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.