Test of a Generation

Four States News - Essays & OpinionsFirst published Thursday, June 27, 2013. Used with permission.

When two teams take to the field to join in competition, the team that has invested great effort in preparing to win has a clear advantage over the team that has spent its preparation time convincing itself that the only thing that matters is how they play the game. Watching the democrats, or the left, approach any particular issue provides an illustration of a conviction that victory is achievable, and tangible. Like the lead runner nearing the end of a race draws on that last ounce of reserve in a final burst of energy to storm the finish line, the left has thrown caution to the wind and hurled itself towards the finish line with abandon.

If I could ask John Boehner a question, I’d like to know just exactly what it is that he knows that the democrats don’t. From the GOP leadership we continue to see a day-to-day, business-as-usual, routine that implies a complacency incongruous with the dire nature of the circumstance in which we find ourselves. While the left raves and surges, the Boehners on the field are very concerned with how they play the game; perhaps simply the perception of the way they play the game.

Reagan’s stirring 1961 warning that if we fail to be good stewards of liberty “we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”, has been repeated to the point of becoming cliché, but we are there. Those of my generation that have not come to the conclusion that we are the generation of regret that Reagan spoke of, are simply not paying attention. One of three possibilities await future generations of Americans; they will be educated into an ignorance that deprives them of the realization that we squandered their liberty, or they will come to understand that we betrayed them and their posterity, or we will find a way to secure liberty and sustain the American idea for generations yet unborn. At the moment, the last option is the only one that requires a dramatic change in the course that we are on. If that change does not come soon, we are already on a path, the horizon is near, we can see the destination clearly enough.

Those that fought the Revolution, and the Civil War, and World War II, knew that they were engaged in the epic struggle of their time. They answered the call to duty because they knew that they were embroiled in events that would profoundly shape America, and the World for present and future generations. Current generations of Americans find themselves on the cusp of historic change. Our struggle differs from those of the past in that we are not called to resolve it with fire and steel, but the threats to America, and to liberty are as grave, and as imminent as those faced by patriots past. Success, or failure will be determined by how the American people respond to the call of duty in this conflict. In the past we could rely on the government to rally the people to the cause, but it is up to the people to motivate themselves this time.

The spectacle in the Texas senate over SB-5 this past Tuesday illustrates the difficulty we face. The image of the feckless majority succumbing to the ardent mob in Texas has become archetypal of the R/D political dynamic of the day. One side is fighting a war, the other side is running a PR campaign. We must refuse to spend our final years apologizing to our children and grand children for their lost liberties. We must refuse to spend our sunset years apologizing over the end of Americanism. However things turn out, future generations must know that we took the stewardship of their liberty seriously. The test before us is to make that the goal of every generation.

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