It’s a legitimate inquiry, “How can any concept as mighty and forceful for a millennia be so fragile and susceptible to mischief, trifling and assault?” Millions have sacrificed and died for the cause of Liberty. “Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry reportedly cried out before the Second Virginia Convention in 1775. This concept of individual Liberty, according to John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” began with ancient Greece and Rome, proceeding to England. In the past, Liberty meant primarily protection from tyranny. Our Framers hoped for more. It proved to be a gigantic leap forward, that only God foresaw.
Our second president, John Adams, understood that Liberty, under law, was essential for this grand experiment to endure. He was persuaded to write a book, in 1787, “A Defence of the Constitution of the United States,” by his old adversary, later friend, Thomas Jefferson. Adams had no exaggerated opinion of the wisdom and virtue by the mass of mortals. Knowing that, perhaps more than anyone, he kept the American one of laws, not men. We are benefactors of such wisdom. Liberty’s nature is extremely fragile. Senator Rand Paul, a clear voice for individual liberty, wrote recently to “Fellow Patriots” warning of the threat to our Second Amendment, via the U.N. “Small Arms Treaty,” a backdoor assault by President Biden to ram it through the Senate, and unceremoniously grabs our guns. In Wyoming’s 67th legislature, Liberty-minded legislator’s sponsored two bills to strengthen our Constitutional guarantee to bear arms, and dismantle “gun free zones.”
Sadly, Adams isn’t widely read these days. It’s to Hamilton that most turn when seeking a liberty-minded soul among our Founders. Samuel Adams is even more obscure. Some still hold that the best of Federalism, it was John Adams that held great sway in it’s perpetuation. Adams understood that genuine liberty must be anchored in law and virtue, not aristocrats or political elites-though some thought he an elite. Adams didn’t argue that men don’t possess moral motions, which is God-given. However, he understood, like Madison, they aren’t angels. It’s notable that Adams used the word “liberty” less frequently than many men of his day. Not because he valued it less than those of his era. In his book “Defence” it appears his concern was that human weakness would confound liberty as a license. Adams preferred the concept of virtue driving Liberty. He didn’t believe the first excluded the second. On the contrary, enduring Liberty is the child of virtue. Without virtue, liberty is unanchored, he feared. HIs stern warning for checking legislative “ambition” echoed Madison’s Federalist 51, on separations of powers.
Many are familiar with Madison’s quote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Samuel Adams believed liberty is more than a proclamation, but heroic efforts by a few brave souls, who love of Liberty is interwoven within their soul. Adams, like Edmund Burke, understood that true, genuine Liberty is understood by a minority, going as far as to say that the masses are indifferent to it-not unlike 2023. There’s no paucity of “Liberty talk.” Adams believed patriotic citizens must be compelled to understand Liberty is like a delicate plant, that even the watering it with the blood of martyrs is a dubious nutriment. He knew that Liberty must be under the law. There’s no satisfactory alternative or substitute. Liberty without law endures about as long as a lamb among wolves. Even civil laws are insufficient to safeguard Liberty. Freedom, that eternal longing that dwells in the bosom of all, and Liberty, is the external exercise of that longing, may be infringed upon, if virtue is absent.
In 1798, John Adams wrote that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Therefore, without virtuous and moral leaders, liberty will not endure, just as Samuel Adams warned. As we elect leaders and political figures who dismiss virtue and moral courage as prerequisites to run for office, Liberty’s severely diminished, eroded, and eventually evanesces. Like Rome, our Republic decays at the core.
What are major threats to liberty today? From Benjamin Franklin’s memoirs, this quote reminds us of our quest for Liberty, “They who give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.” COVID-19 revealed vulnerable chinks in our armor. Within three months of the Wuhan virus, nearly every state in the union, citizens surrendered most liberties without a whimper, with notable exception of South Dakota. Obeying the rouge CDC, state and local unelected health officials, millions behaved like dutiful masked robots. How does Marx’s grim nightmare, appear once again as a dream?
Most dangerous to one’s individual liberty is that ubiquitous interloper-apathy. December 15, 2022, marked the 231st anniversary of the ratification of the First Ten Amendments-Bill of Rights, 1791. For masses, it went unnoticed. Celebration of our First Ten Amendment should’ve been a unifying factor for all Americans. Apathy, it appears, to have won the day, with rare exceptions. Some argue we’ve taken Liberty for granted. Contrary to popular opinion, Liberty isn’t self-perpetuating; it requires a force. We at Liberty’sPlace4Uwy.com understand the physics of Liberty.
Listening to the 24-7 mainstream toxic news outlets, hostile to Liberty, including the leviathan big tech oligarchs, who run roughshod over freedom of speech, have been a bane to Liberty, for decades. Unbridled social media doesn’t pretend anymore, as they bludgeoned our free speech. Removal of a sitting President’s Twitter account drew applause by a venal and virulent press, acolytes of Left Progressives. Time will tell whether Elon Musk sustains a bright light as a citadel for freedom of speech.
Failure to inculcate into our offsprings the Truth of individual Freedom and Liberty has predictable and disastrous consequences. They are worth fighting for and celebrating, and when required, giving one’s life because others attempt to destroy what God Himself created for us to enjoy and perpetuate. We’ve paid a high price for failure to do so. Christian fervor’s indispensable to fanning the flames of Liberty. It’s not happenstance that radical activists are obliterating our First and Second Amendments, with powerful and well-funded political lobbyist, like LGBTQ, pro-choice and anti-gun advocates, we’ve witnessed their influence in Cheyenne at the 67th Legislature, bringing monetary corruption to bought-and-paid-for political scoundrels.
In Liberty, devastating is our failure to recognize a malevolent coalition of fear and cowardice. History informs us that the former, unchecked, often turns into the latter. In Wyoming, fear of a roaming grizzly is understandable and wise. Cowardice of marauders attacking one’s family or Christian Heritage isn’t. The ruling impulse of tyranny won’t be thwarted by dormancy, denial or dereliction of duty.
We’ll need more common mortals-flawed-but resolute for action. Captain America’s first appearance was months before America’s entry into the Second World War. Average boy, turned super-hero, takes on Hitler. One needn’t be a super-hero to join us as we stir the caldron of individual virtuous Liberty, under God in Natrona County. Liberty’s the escape portal for freedom’s longing. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s email@example.com