If you talk with your average neighbor I will bet you they will tell you they have read our Constitution, but I suspect that very few of our fellow citizens have done so, unless they are senior citizens. My wife remembers having to memorize major parts of the Constitution, and being tested on the details of the Amendments.
Today our schools are so busy trying to move the children through the system, many subjects like civics and physical education have been curtailed or even eliminated. School Boards are so worried they might offend the ACLU, PETA, or any number of minority groups that the 3R’s are neglected. A local school district in my State is even advertising to attract bodies into their system so as to maintain per-head dollar allocations from the federal and state budgetary bureaucracy. With less than 50% graduation rates prevailing in many school districts we are destined to face growing financial obligations with massive welfare, penal, and judicial funding.
Again I suggest that we look back to history to seek guidance in solving our future needs and survival. Way back in August of 1857 noted abolitionist Frederick Douglas spoke influential words relative to the anticipated Civil War. Please take a few moments and consider what this renowned orator said:
“The general sentiment of mankind is that a man who will not fight for himself, when he has the means of doing so, is not worth being fought for by others, and this sentiment is just. For a man who does not value freedom for himself will never value it for others, or put himself to any inconvenience to gain it for others.
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
I wonder just how many of today’s school children have studied these words, and do we have enough teachers who even understand their meaning and applicability.
While Douglas’ words were uttered way back in 1857 to solidify public opinion in support of maintaining the Union, these well reasoned words are just as applicable to policies confronting every citizen today. Just consider for one moment how applicable Douglas’ words are to our debate on War, Health Care, Debt, Stimulus, Cap & Trade, Card Check, welfare entitlement, redistribution of wealth, and any number of our other current concerns.
Your Commander suggests that the severity of our governance is so lacking today that we desperately need the eloquence and vision of the likes of a Frederick Douglas or our Founding Fathers to lead us back onto the path of good reason and solidity of purpose. With the electorate in a growing uproar I have increasing concerns about our precious Union and democracy. I pray that we have the likes of another Abraham Lincoln in our future.