-Ms. Heather Heidelbaugh
As we enter the general election season and analyze the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, allow me to share some thoughts I have on the United State’s 236 year struggle to preserve individual liberty.
149 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. The address is regarded by many scholars as the greatest speech ever written, despite the fact that it was only 33 lines, 271 words and was recited in just over 4 minutes. I am of the opinion the address remains, to this day, the greatest example of presidential rhetoric, because with eloquence only bequeathed by God, President Lincoln was able to acknowledge the solemn occasion yet still remind the nation of the miracle of these United States, i.e. the greatest opportunity for human liberty the world has ever known.
Let me share those brilliant words with you again:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The Gettysburg Address was intended to consecrate the battlefield where over 50,000 men had died less than five months before, over a period of three days from July 1st through July 3rd, in 1863. The battle resulted in the largest loss of American life on us soil in our nation’s history, either prior to or since the battle.
In the Gettysburg address, Lincoln bares his soul. He is of course, as the commander in chief, responsible for the deaths of over 50,000 men. Imagine if you will, that every man, woman and child currently residing in your hometown, were killed in a single field over a three (3) day period. Can we begin to understand the enormity of the loss, the depth of the despair, the questioning of the motives for the war? Lincoln attempts to reconcile, in verse, this tragedy, the scope of which is unfathomable.
Lincoln enters the war to save the union - - not to abolish slavery.
Yet, he absolutely and unequivocally abhors slavery.
He allows the country to be taken to the brink of destruction, in order, to save it.
Remember at the time of the address, November 19, 1863, the war has not yet been won. The losses have been staggering – yet still he continues the war in order to “save the union.”
What was he saving?
Lincoln was not saving an assemblage of states, a government, or a presidency.
He was saving a notion, conceived in the Magna Carta, declared in an act of rebellion in the declaration of independence, fought and won in the revolutionary war, and now at risk of being wiped from the face of the earth in the civil war. It was the radical notion that men were free, that liberty was the right of an individual and that the government was to be limited and restrained.
Lincoln feared that if the United States failed, the greatest hope for human kind that the world had ever known, as promised in the declaration of independence and the constitution, would perish from the earth.
Eventually, the war was won, the union was saved, the president was martyred and in the ensuing 148 years, the great experiment, that is the United States, has continued. The great struggle of this nation, from its birth, has been to preserve the liberty of man; to preserve the rights of the individual vis-à-vis the government.
Today, the notion of individual liberty and limited government is not just under attack; it is again, at risk of being lost.
President Obama, and the democratically controlled House and Senate, pushed through the Congress, Obamacare, has been found constitutional by the Supreme Court, and may nationalize essentially 1/6th of the United States economy.
Government, as a matter of fact and of law, is not limited.
Individual liberty will be subjugated to the power, artifice, arbitrariness and economic limits of the government.
Individual liberty, in this country under the Obama administration, has been under assault. Just consider these facts:
• There has been a 21% increase in federal government spending from 2008 to 2011;
• The largest deficits that the United States has ever seen have been created by failed bailouts and stimulus plans;
• A flood of new regulations creating a 40% increase since the last administration – has cost us $100 million;
• Unemployment is over 9%, real unemployment is perhaps greater than;
• Median household income has fallen; and
• Poverty has risen.
This country was founded to provide to man, individual liberty. Now, the question is after having won that right in the revolutionary war, and having barely saved the union in the civil war, will we now, through complacency and non-interest, lose our liberty in a second term of the Obama administration?
Let’s be clear about a few things in regard to what this election is about in 2012:
• This election is not about whether Barrack Obama is more likeable or cooler than Mitt Romney;
• This election is not about whether Mitt Romney was your first choice or your last choice as the republican nominee;
• This election is not about whether the republican nominee is conservative enough.
Here’s what this election is about:
• This election is about whether we preserve this union and individual liberty;
• This election is about whether the blood and sacrifices of our forefathers and mothers shall have been in vain;
• This election is about whether we are headed to socialism on the road to serfdom;
• This election is about whether we preserve individual liberty through free market capitalism which has been the greatest driver for human empowerment and betterment than any other economic system ever developed by man or we become a socialistic economy.
There remains less than 150 days until the presidential election. What will you do to make sure that our individual liberty is preserved?
• Help get out the vote and drive up the Republican numbers?
• Drive a friend to the polls?
• Donate to a campaign?
• Be an election judge?
• Be a poll worker?
• Work a phone bank?
• Be the difference?
• Make a difference?
• Will you honor the history of our country with your personal involvement?
Will you be “highly resolved that those dead, shall not have died in vain – so that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth?”