The year was 1814, and President James Madison was two years into the midst of a brutal war with the British Crown that many viewed as the second Revolutionary War. What had started out as a territorial dispute between the British Empire and the former colonies escalated into a full blown war. American cities had been put to the torch, and the British had established a blockade against the city of Baltimore, MD. The loss of Baltimore would have been a serious blow to the young republic, and may even have been the end of the fledgling nation.
Under a flag of truce, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail on a British ship to negotiate a prisoner exchange for an American captive. As the sun set over the British blockade, with Key and Skinner still aboard the British flagship, the British began an all out assault on the harbor city. The British ships ferociously bombarded the city’s defenses, and fires began to spread throughout the harbor area, lighting the sky above. The smoke of these fires soon obscured the small American flag that flew over the walls, and Key and Skinner could only watch and wonder at the outcome of the battle, knowing full well what the loss of Baltimore could mean.
The battle progressed through the night, with the British attempting several rushes at the fortifications between continuous bombardment of British cannons. As daylight neared and the sky began to brighten the following morning, Key ran to the ramparts of the British ship, not knowing whether he was still under a flag of truce or formally a prisoner of war. Peering through the predawn light and smoky haze of smoldering fires, Key found that the flag over the walls of Baltimore had indeed been replaced during the night. Not by a British flag, but instead by a larger American flag. Baltimore had held. America was safe.
The sight of the American flag inspired Francis Key to pen a poem that would soon be put to music and become the anthem of a nation that twice fought against its former crown and come out free. The first stanza of his poem will be recognized by all patriots.
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
While the first stanza is familiar, there is something that most Americans will not have noticed, despite having heard the anthem dozens, if not hundreds, of times. The anthem is not a certain thing and not taken for granted. In fact, the very last line of our national anthem ends with a question: “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” Does the flag still wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave? Or is the flag still waving, but freedom and bravery are nowhere to be found?
When I first started LibertyIsFTW.org in 2015, I was much more optimistic about finding a consensus between two rational sides of a divided country. Obama’s earnest attempts to make the irrational leftist paradigm of centralized government work for a nation of free people over 320 million strong had failed spectacularly. Almost two out of every three people thought the country was going in the wrong direction. The American people simply couldn’t mistake leftism as plausible any longer.
I believed that, with a rational and even handed examination of facts, we, as Americans, could find a common cause and start healing the rift between the well meaning individuals on the left and liberty loving individuals on the right. I believed that there was time, even at the Eleventh Hour, to reason a path to a more certain future.
On January 26th, 2016, I was disabused of this notion when a good and law abiding man, a patriot standing up for his Constitutionally protected Natural Rights, was gunned down by the State over a land dispute. It took some time to weigh the gravity of the event, to research the man’s value and character, to understand the tensions between the personal liberties of a few ranchers and the necessities of a State. And I ultimately did not find the State’s case compelling. A man died so that the federal government could continue to extort payments from free men for access to fields and territories that the government did not have any legitimate claim to.
I am convinced that we are now at the midnight hour. While there is ample time still to talk and try to seek a rational common ground so that we can secure a future that balances the Natural Rights and expand opportunity for all Americans, we are at the point in time that we must, as individuals pick a side. You must, as Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, William Travis, Davy Crockett, and LaVoy Finicum did, put your life and sacred honor on the line, and stand for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and not give one more inch to the federal government and the political establishment which includes the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and their corporatist enablers.
Or you stand with Karl Marx, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Saul Alinsky, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, and their GOP moderate and establishment enablers, supporting the government hegemony and the political caste that seeks to divorce the principles of equality of individuals via Natural Rights, Reciprocal Rights, and Rule of Law, and replace them with a permanent rulership class.
If you stand for Life, Liberty, and Property, then take a stand now. Civilly, stand against the establishment class and their crony corporatist enablers. The corporatists will seek to toss open the gates to the city, and leverage their own good conduct in the redistribution of power to come. We must not let them.
Fiscally, we must cut off the life blood that feeds the beast. If thousands Americans refuse to fund the continued tyranny of the State, we will all be prosecuted by the government and put in prison to be forgotten about. If millions of Americans refuse to pay our taxes to the tyranny of the State, the government can only pick and choose which people they think they can prosecute so as to intimidate the rest of us into obedience. If tens of millions of Americans tell the government to go pound sand, then the prosecutions will come, yes, but it will be only a matter of time before the government, starved of trillions of dollars of revenue will collapse under its own tyranny.
And finally, it may very well be necessary to take up arms against the state, not in an open war, but to liberate those who are punished for simply defying the state. Do not let good and otherwise law abiding patriotic men and women go forgotten in the cages of tyranny. Remind the tyrants that Liberty has no price that the government could ever afford to pay, not in blood or money. And remember yourselves that of all the professions of the ancient world, tax collector is one of the few professions that Jesus Christ himself called out as being as evil as prostitutes or thieves.
It is up to every patriot to decide in his or her heart how precious their liberty is to them. If we do not stand and resist, tyranny is what we deserve. So, while I will continue to advocate forcefully for economic and political equality for all and to believe that capitalism is the single most effective liberating force in the history of humanity, I passionately and, at times, voraciously, will advocate for action against a government and political system that clearly no longer represents me or the principles that I hold dear.
Together, we shall see the dawn’s early light.
Liberty is For the Win.
LibertyIsFTW asserts that helping the poor and disadvantaged is a real and necessary public moral good. Since socialist leftist policies have consistently failed to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, it is a moral duty of conservatives to promote solutions that are proven to actually lift people out of poverty!
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