We are wasting the overwhelming abundance that falls to us as the heirs to Revolution 1.0 in 1776. That abundance is not only financial, but moral and philosophical. The revolutionary leaders pledged their, “lives, fortunes and sacred honor,” and we benefit from their sacrifices to this day. They left behind a powerful work ethic, a focus on self-reliance, a well-founded and deep-seated distrust of central governments, and the structure of a system which, when fed by their example work ethic, would produce the largest and most successful economy the world has ever seen. And many of them paid with their lives and their fortunes. All of them kept–and added to–their sacred honor.
Pause for, “But slavery!” Yes, slavery was not abolished at the outset. The abolitionist delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1789 knew there would have been no Constitution and no United States if they had insisted on the abolition of slavery as part of the new America. It took a war with more casualties than all of the rest of America’s wars added up together to end slavery 75 years later. The desire for abolition was in the hearts of many Convention delegates; it took a catastrophe of biblical proportions, the Civil War, to rip that desire out of the hearts of others.
To our peril, we are substituting entitlement for work ethic, and government assistance and control for self-reliance. Increasingly, we want other people’s fortunes to improve our own lives, and honor is no longer sacred–it is seen as something between an antiquated concept and a sucker play.
Government is becoming more and more all-present in our lives, from a continuing blizzard of new taxes to telling us where we can’t pray and, subtly but powerfully, shoving its views on things like politics, economics and social issues down our throats. An even more sinister threat is the government doing that to our kids. (BTW, public schools are part of government.)
The kicker is that the government doing all of these deeply troubling things is run by people who are in it for themselves. The government, “…of the people, by the people, and for the people…” that was never to “…vanish from the earth,” is being crushed by politicians and bureaucracies who are making it all about them. Money. Permanent employment. Lavish perks. Power. And they are getting away with it, because we keep voting for the same people over and over again.
Is there a solution? A. Yes: You. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke. Deciding not to take action is deciding to keep things the way they are now, and being satisfied with where things are headed. Is that okay with you? If not, act. And yes, I am recruiting you.
Recruiting me to do what? A. Start. Somewhere. “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Thomas Jefferson. Follow Founding Father and President Jefferson’s advice: Rebel. Maybe just a little. Show up at the School Board meetings. Do deep-dive research before voting. Contribute at political town hall-type meetings; don’t allow others to drown out your voice. Know why you believe what you believe, and be ready to defend it. And to learn from others. In other words, be present and involved as a citizen as well as a being a person living here.
What can I do; after all, I am only me? A. It was less than 3% of the population of what became the US that formed and won Revolution 1.0. The same percentage can create and win Revolution 2.0. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
Revolution 1.0 was born in blood, and it required staggering amounts of blood, treasure and ruined lives for a tiny, upstart colony to defeat the world’s largest and most successful military power. That was the price the revolutionaries paid for our bountiful inheritance. Revolution 2.0, assuming that start now, will require only time and inconvenience. The amount of time and the level of inconvenience is up to you. But think of the results. Do you want positive and permanent change in the direction our country is headed? Change that will benefit your family and your family’s future generations by being a part of Revolution 2.0? If you do, time and inconvenience are a small (and proud) price to pay for yourself and them.
Tell me where you stand in the comments in the blog. And check out last week’s blog. And others from my growing library of blogs.
Will Luden, writing from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.