Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keeping America Free

I was taught by my mother what a blessing it is to be an American. I grew up with a reverence for this land and a love for our country.
I grew up in a home where I was taught constitutional principles. It was in an era where we didn’t know if the communists would take over America or if we would win the cold war. My father was constantly reading political books and discussing the topic with any who would listen.
My father is now 78 and was in the hospital for open heart surgery a few months ago. He told me that he enjoyed asking the different nurses their take on issues (he enjoys debating).
He was talking to one nurse. She was really curious about all the things he was saying. She asked him how she could learn more. He said the first and best step would be to read the constitution. She said, ”Who wrote that book? Who’s the author?”
This was hard to hear. He knows that America will not stay free if it’s people don’t even know about the document that created our Republic.
Have you ever watched Jay Leno when he does man on the street interviews? He will ask someone questions like, who is the Vice President or why do we celebrate the 4th of July? It is frightening. People can answer pop culture questions, but none about politics or history.
"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced. The arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Who said it, George Bush, John McCain, or Newt Gingrich?
No, that was said by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 55 BC. Just before the Roman republic fell to Julius Caesar and the long decline of Rome began. About the same time the delegates were debating the limited powers of our Republic in Philadelphia, a scholar of the ancient world, Alexander Tyler, warned of the dangers of democracy and the arc of civilizations, when he said this: (the origin of the quote is disputed, but the logic has a razor sharpness.)
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment the majority always votes for the candidate who promises to give them the most, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship".
The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:
From to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complaceny to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into"

My father quoted me this last paragraph after he told me the story about the nurse. He had forgotten who the author was. I was able to find it on the internet. I agree with my father that we are heading from apathy and complacency to dependency.
"In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all; security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."
If you enjoyed the indented article above you can read it in its entirety on this blog.

This is a painting called The Old Man Wept by my favorite artist Del Parson. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see tears coming down Benjamin Franklins face.
If you want to read the constitution go to


wow mom said...

Wow Carla, how timely and wise. Thank you for reminding me of exactly what I believe in and know. I agree with every word you wrote and want to read more. Thanks for the links. Please check out my family blog sometime! I've gotten "the bug". I love your depth and diversity and want to move that direction too in the future. I'm catching up now. How's practicum? Keep up the great work! Wendy

Sherri Jorgensen said...

that was amazing. You are really good with your words and you really get the point across. I hope you dont care if I pass your blog around. It is very inspirational. thanks Sherri