Freedom for All? A special Independence Day message

This article was originally published in the July 14, 2004 issue of the Southeast Missourian newspaper. The message was on target then, nine years ago under the presidency of George W. Bush and even more so now under the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama (a.k.a. Barry Soetoro)- Editor

Freedom for all?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

By Clint E. Lacy

A recent Southeast Missourian editorial attempted to define the United States as a nation and why we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Rightfully so, the Southeast Missourian quoted the Declaration of Independence: “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.” I would like to invite your readers to ponder the meaning of this quote and then reflect upon the present state that our country now lies in.

I would also like the readers to think about the War Between the States , because it is my belief that this war is the main reason our country is in its current condition.

The Southeast Missourian in its “Freedom for All” editorial stated: “Ours is a nation built on laws, democratic representation, the strength and ingenuity of like-minded peoples from all over the globe, justice, military might and international trade.”

Well, not exactly.

Our nation was indeed built on laws, the strength of ingenuity of like minded peoples from all over the globe, justice and international trade.

To use the term “democratic representation” is not an accurate term for what the Founders intended. Our Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic, for they knew that true democracy was the equivalent to mob rule. A good example of this would be Missouri’s first attempt at the concealed-weapons law. It was put before a popular vote of the state’s people. The heavily populated urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City killed the measure.

A good example of a true representative form of government was Missouri’s second attempt at passing conceal-carry legislation. The measure was created, debated and voted upon by our state’s legislators who were elected by the people. The measure passed.

“Military might” is another term that I consider inaccurate when describing the principles our nation was founded upon. As proof, we have to look no further than the words our Founding Fathers spoke themselves. Upon doing so it is evident that they had no desire to build a government-controlled military that intervened in affairs around the word.

“For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security.” — Thomas Jefferson, Eighth Annual Message, Nov. 8, 1808

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” — James Madison in the Federalist Papers No. 46

“Large and permanent military establishments which are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.” — James Madison , Fourth Annual Message, Nov. 4, 1812

Another quote that is interesting in the Southeast Missourian editorial mentions “a British king whose government sought to quell the fires of revolution with a heavy hand.” This brings us back to the War Between the States, for just as Britain refused to allow the American states to go in peace, Abraham Lincoln refused to allow the 13 Confederate states to go in peace. Why? It is historical fact that the South was paying 80 percent of the nation’s taxes through high import tariffs imposed on its ports. The majority of the money was going to public works projects in the North that were subsidized by the government.

Did the South have a right to secede? Absolutely. The Southern states more commonly held to the principles of the Founding Fathers. After all, free trade was one of the principles of the founding of this country.

We also know that Thomas Jefferson once spoke on rebellion stating: “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover’s “Jefferson on Democracy.”

The true reason for the War Between the States was to determine whether or not the states would maintain their sovereignty and answer to a very limited central government or whether the nation would live under a strong central government that dictated how the states govern.

When asked why not let the South go in peace, Lincoln answered by saying: “I can’t let them go. Who would pay for the government?”

Today the United States faces many tough times and there are tough decisions to be made. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, force us to once again ponder the question: Does our central government need to be expanded and have more control over us? We have all heard that in order for the federal government to better protect us, we need to give up some of our freedoms.

Once again, we have to look no further than the words of our Founding Fathers to determine whether or not this is the right course of action.

Ben Franklin wrote: “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” Since the onset of the War Between the States we have lived under a very powerful central government that dictates to the people and does not derive its powers from the people as the Founding Fathers of this nation intended.

The Bush administration used strong-arm tactics to ensure the passage of the Patriot Acts I and II.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul stated that members of Congress were not even allowed to read the legislation before voting upon it.

We are now told that in order to be protected we must give up some of our traditional freedoms. This is, of course, in great contrast to what Benjamin Franklin advised us to do.

The American people have lost their voice and their right to self -government. A vote for Bush this November will be a vote for entangling alliances and foreign intervention.

A vote for John Kerry will be a vote for sending even more of our troops to the Middle East and the escalation of the present conflict there.

Many states have recognized the present dilemma were are currently in and see that there is no way out.

When the Confederacy was conquered and occupied in 1865, the South was not the only victim. The whole nation suffered under the rule of a strong , central government that has done nothing but grow since the end of the war.

As a result , there are efforts in the states of Vermont, Arizona and South Carolina to peacefully secede from the United States.

I think our nation’s Founding Fathers would be perfectly OK with this.

Clint E. Lacy of Marble Hill, Mo., is vice chairman of the Missouri League of the South.

About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.

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