Just at the moment we don’t, perhaps, feel as patriotic as we might like. We probably feel that things have gone very wrong and we wonder about the long term survival of our Republic.
It is, after all, simply true that many Americans – and probably most of our current Ruling Class – despise the men in this picture. They also despise what they accomplished – in both making a nation and then, to the everlasting fury of our Ruling Class, setting up a system where the law restrains the government, not the people. And that is why as down as we might feel at the moment, we can’t give in to such feelings.
Never in human history has a government been established which held that the government can only do certain, enumerated things. This past couple weeks, for the first time in nearly a century, the Supreme Court of our land made rulings in accordance with this American dogma – that which isn’t granted to the government, is reserved to the people. The nutshell of the four main rulings is that the nobody stuttered 1775 to 1787. The Founders were men of many backgrounds and divergent – in some cases, hostile – interests. What bound them all together, what made success in War and Peace possible, was their unified conviction that the individual is the measure of things. It was, in a very real sense, a secular version of Our Lord’s command that the Sabbath was made for Man, not the other way around. And, so, the Government is made for Man.
Everywhere around the world today, you find that even is allegedly free nations, everyone still waits for permission. When they vote, all they’re doing is decide who will decide for them – and not just on major issues: the mania for regulation in America is very bad these days, but even our bloated bureaucracy hasn’t reached the suffocating levels of bureaucracy seen in all advanced societies in the world. And there is also this difference, in foreign lands the people grumble but they submit. In America, the Spirit of ’76 still exists. Perhaps a bit attenuated, but it is still there – there still remains the concept, and the desire, that government will do as the people command, not the other way around.
The overturn of Roe is the strongest symbol of this continuing spirit. It took 49 years. it took the electing of four different GOP Presidents. The appointment of 10 Supreme Court Justices. Innumerable legal and legislative battles at the local, State and federal levels before it was achieved. And while the primary motivator was life, itself, we must not discount that the reason the movement started and maintained itself in growing confidence and strength was because in Roe the violation was not just of the laws of God, but of the reason for the United States’ existence. And this was crucial, because while religious believers were the mainstay of the movement, it could not have succeeded absent the crucial leavening of non-religious people who yet saw that Roe was an outrage. And the outrage was some judges telling us what to do. They had no warrant for such action! That was the key: whether or not abortion should be legal is a matter for a free people to debate and decide…not to have it handed down from on high, with only a few lawyers getting a say.
The spirit is also vibrant in the 2A movement which scored a signal victory, as well as the anti-regulation people and, of course, those who care most about free exercise of religion. All did very well, though in these last three, the victory is not yet complete (Roe’s overturn ends the abortion matter, by and large, at the federal level – the Pro-Life movement will now have to work State by State to continue to advance their cause). The main thing here is that people are still pressing the issue – demanding that even now, in 2022 when the State has become a monster out of control that it obey the rules. That the laws mean what they say and even the government must obey. And they’ll keep pressing – in 2A, the forces of reaction in New York went to work immediately, essentially making almost all of New York a gun-free zone. This will be challenged, and the tyrants will be defeated – and just like the Left screwing up by taking Alabama to court, so the Left may have really screwed up in New York…because you can almost see the Justices ruling that “shall not be infringed” really means what it says. We’ll see how that goes, but I feel confident in the long term.
And this kind of freedom – the freedom which demands not just a vote on who is in charge, but control over what is done – is a very American freedom. It, in fact, only exists in the United States. I’ve seen plenty of foreign comments where they seem to sincerely not understand why we even fight over things like abortion and guns. To them, their government decided that guns don’t belong in civil hands and that abortion is a good thing…and that’s the end of it. They can’t conceptualize telling their government “no, you can’t do that”. At most they can only see their way to voting for someone who will tell them what to do more efficiently than the other guys.
We must keep this – we must win the battle with our own who hate our country. And as we do this, we must also expand it around the world. I’m not talking about nation-building…I’m talking about disabling access to America for nations which don’t have a Bill of Rights like we do…and a real Bill of Rights; some definite “Congress shall make no law” and “shall not be infringed” stuff in there. We are, as Reagan said, a shining city on a hill. Even in our current, pathetic state, people still flood in. Sure, some for base motives, but most because the story has spread around the world…in the USA is real freedom and you can make it. It has been, perhaps, the true impulse for humanity all along: a desire to live without permission. To simply do what we want when we want to do it. To make our own way, to pay our own price.
And we must keep it because if we lose, it will never come back. Never again will any government set up a system which limits government. This is a once-in-history experiment. Our unique concept of liberty is the best – in fact, it is the only liberty to be found in the world. Fight for it. Keep it. Pass it on. The people of 1776 look down upon us, right now, and wonder if we have the heart and stomach for it?