The first two lines of James Lowell’s (1819-1891) epic poem, “The Present Crisis”, remind us that: “When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breast, Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west.”

Various people throughout the world may have a different perception of “freedom” -- i.e. what it means to them – how they define it.  The Oxford Dictionary includes what I consider to be pertinent definitions:

  • The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants;
  • The absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government;
  • The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.


Americans have generally subscribed to one or more of these definitions over time.  However, there is another meaning of “freedom” which is often overlooked.  I found it in  The Urban Dictionary, by a writer using the cyber name of ‘Tarkan Atilla’.  I’ll paraphrase his thoughts from 2010:  Freedom (which includes the element of ‘self-control’) entails the concept of having the ability to do what one ought to do.  It’s not the same as license, which implies one’s ability to do whatever one wants to do.  If we assume that the concept of freedom is (or should be) universal, then it can’t be what any of us merely want it to be! 


As an example:  If you want to raise my taxes to increase your freedom, that would detract from my freedom.  Since freedom is the ability to do what one ought to do, then that truly is freedom, because when one does what he ought to do, rather than what he wants to do, he infringes on no one else’s freedom.  Therefore, by this definition, the only person who can limit one’s freedom in a society where freedom entails doing what he ought to do, is that person himself.

All of which is a prelude to an eternal truth that has been carved into the stone of our historic American “mind” – the truth that there is now, always has been, and always will be, a high price that must be paid in order to preserve our individual liberties and our patrimony as free people–to do, as the above writer advised, what we ought to do to preserve our heritage of freedom. This legacy began in the hoary mists of the past, as God’s Word proclaimed, “And you will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32); continued with the struggles between English ‘commoners and nobility’ that yielded Magna Charta in 1215; that declared in Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 that “For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any condition be brought under English (tyrannical) rule”; and which culminated with Patrick Henry’s March, 1775 vow at Saint John’s Church in Richmond, Va.  that freedom is worth dying for, as he gave us the immortal: I know not what course others may take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death.”

Would any of us today make those same stern and impassioned declarations?  I’d like to think that some Americans would do likewise, even in this time of freedom-shredding political correctness.  As most informed patriots have long known, the 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence were willing to pay a high price in order to establish liberty, and many of them did.  As Pastor C. R. Curtman wrote:  Our revolutionary ancestors were deadly serious about the cause of freedom.  Of the 56 signers (of the Declaration), 17 served in the military.  11 had their homes destroyed and 5 of them were hunted down, captured and imprisoned.  Signer Abraham Clark had two of his sons imprisoned on a British starving ship.  John Witherspoon’s son was killed in battle, and Francis Lewis’ wife was arrested and died because of the cruel treatment inflicted upon her by her jailers.  Many of the signers who had ‘pledged their fortunes’ lost everything they had in the fight for independence, and 9 of them died in the war itself.” 

These brave ancestors acted, while many of their countrymen talked, or hid their heads in cowardice and refused to involve themselves in the struggle for liberty.  Some of their countrymen even supported the British cause and fought against their revolutionary brethren.  Thomas Jefferson, one of the true heroes of our Founding Generation, reminded his fellow freedom seekers that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”  While too many Americans of today seem to have forgotten Jefferson’s wisdom, throughout the American story it keeps shining through, for during that long march of history millions of Americans of all ages, genders, races, and classes have done all they could to keep our country a reasonably free beacon of liberty, despite the treacherous machinations of modern-day “Tories” (members of The New Bolshevik Party, i.e. Democrats), RINOS (pretend Republicans), and the titans of big multi-national corporations, in their efforts to undermine that liberty and “fundamentally transform”  this land into a version of an all-powerful government tyranny more acceptable to their utopian visions. 

Lowell’s great poem forces us to recall the valor of our revolutionary ancestors, for while he wrote it for a different time and for different causes, plainly it applied to our Founding Generation. For those of us alive today, who struggle against the same evil impulse to trash our hallowed Constitution that is exhibited by some so-called Americans, especially the scurrilous Democrats, these noble words still ring true:

‘Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves

Of a legendary virtue carved upon our father’s graves;

Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a crime;

Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men behind their time? (Lines #71 - #74).

Sadly, it appears that far too many of today’s Americans are unwilling to be “heroes” of any kind, and are content to be slaves of mediocrity, of ignorance, and of a socialist “Big Brother” government, courtesy of the Democrat Party.  Many of our people don’t know how to be “heroes for freedom”, for that noble  impulse has just about been programmed out of them, particularly out of our younger millennial generation who will soon be expected to carry the torch of liberty into America’s future.  I fear that not only will they not be willing to carry freedom’s demanding light, but that some of them will do their best to extinguish it, while too many of the rest of them twiddle their thumbs uselessly “twittering” mindless garbage and playing endless brain damaging video games.  I hope that I’m just being cynical and will be proved wrong.  I really do!

God’s Word tells His people, in Psalm 44:1:  “We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what  you did in their days, in days long ago.”  What will our unborn descendants tell their children about what we, their ancestors, did to preserve their freedoms in this present time?  How terrible, and how devastating to those of us who say we value the constitutional republic our forebears sent down the halls of time to us, if that republic no longer exists for them – if the freedom and prosperity we know becomes nothing more than fabled memories in their tyrannical darkness!  Our destiny as free Americans is threatened today more than it has ever been threatened.  Seemingly, half of our population has been contaminated with the hate and the treacherous and treasonous anti-constitutional “disinformation” that belches forth from what I now call The New Bolshevik Party (formerly Democrat Party) and its kept whores of the “Main Stream Media”, in its quest to dismantle what our Founding Generation willed to us and replace it with a form of European Socialism (or worse), where the government (controlled by those New Bolsheviks) has ALL the power and the people are little more than serfs who “toe” the party line and follow the government’s commands.  (Remember, a vote for Democrats on November 6th is a vote FOR the eventual destruction of the American system by the haters of freedom and constitutional restraints wisely established by our Founders, and a vote to put either Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer—or both—back in control of the House and Senate!)

So what, then, is ‘freedom’s last best hope’?  I’ve always believed that it is an accurately informed American electorate, composed of patriots who have educated themselves regarding the issues of liberty or despotism, two conflicting ways of living, and who are not too timid to take a stand to support liberty in every possible way, and likewise to resist tyranny with the same firm resolve that has characterized the men and women who prayed, sacrificed, fought, taught, served, and tried to perfect this imperfect but magnificent American “experiment” over the centuries.  Those patriots paid the price for their freedoms, and I think it is reasonable to conclude that they would expect the same from US!

Fifty-four years ago, in what was perhaps his most memorable speech titled, “A Time For Choosing” (Oct. 17, 1964), Ronald Reagan

reminded his countrymen:  “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.  We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on

earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”  I recently watched “The Gipper” give that speech again, and I almost came to tears at his wisdom and vision of our future.   Have Americans already taken that irrevocable “last step” into the darkness of despotism that Reagan warned us about?  Well, have we?

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