As I recall, Bill Speidel’s history of Seattle, “You Still Can’t Eat Mt. Rainier”, opened with a statement that read something like “There were the doers, the don’ters and the doubters. The other 99 percent of the population was just around for bulk“.
Like today, most people back then didn’t feel a need to get involved in the decisions that would ultimately affect their lives. And maybe they didn’t need to. Seattle was growing, jobs were being created, and who had the time or the energy after a hard day’s work?
And things have worked out pretty well haven’t they? Most of us enjoy a good life with a nice place to live and enough income to do what we want. We vote for good people we can trust to do the right thing. They can handle the big decisions can’t they? Well, maybe—but, then again, maybe not.
Most of us recognize that our rights to life, liberty, and property are the bedrock of our free society, where individual people are still able to choose how to live their lives. This involves personal responsibility–the individualism that has made America great. We have flourished while Europe has atrophied under big government, unaffordable entitlements, and cradle-to- grave welfare.
But these freedoms that we take for granted are slowly eroding–being replaced with something quite different. With a movement that started in the ‘60s, we have now empowered leaders determined to abandon what has made us great and adopt the same soft-socialist programs of nations that are quietly fading into their twilight.
In a recent speech at Hillsdale College, Mark Steyn pointed out that “Even if there were no financial consequences, the moral and even spiritual consequences (of these programs) would still be fatal.” “They’re wrong because they deform the relationship between the citizen and the state.” Mr. Steyn goes on to say: “The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security’, large numbers of people vote to dump freedom every time—the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, and a ton of other stuff.”
Steyn closed his speech by quoting the Dutch writer Oscar van den Boogaard who said: “I am not a warrior, but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”
History shows that people will always seek power to control the lives of other people. Our freedoms are not guaranteed. In each generation there must be people to fight for them or they will certainly be lost. We are again at such a turning point.
Your country needs you to come to its defense. Are you ready to get involved? If your answer is not a clear “yes” you may find yourself a few years down the road telling your children or grandchildren stories about how wonderful America was when you were younger.