Freedom—hard to get, but easy to lose

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
– Thomas Jefferson

By Bryan Golden

Will this be America’s last birthday?

America is the first country in history to be founded based on individual liberty. The principles of liberty are timeless. The concepts apply as much today just as they did over 200 years ago.

Our founders knew firsthand the misery and suffering caused by tyranny. They came from societies where government controlled its citizens with an iron fist. They had a solid understanding of the consequences of unchecked power.

The founders also understood human nature. Throughout history, oppression and subjugation had been the norm. They recognized that power hungry people seeking to dominate others would always exist and be a constant threat to our free society.

Our Constitution was crafted specifically to limit the scope of government to prevent its infringing on individual liberties. It has numerous checks, balances, and safeguards designed to prevent the rise of tyranny.

But our Constitution is only a document. Maintaining a free society requires vigilance and participation. There will always be those seeking to subvert the Constitution to seize control.

The power hungry claim the Constitution is out of date. They assert it doesn’t apply to them. They violate your constitutional rights while claiming to act in your best interest.

An apathetic and gullible populace facilitates the rise of tyranny. Tyrants depend on people’s ignorance, inaction, or apathy to confiscate power.

Tyrants are cunningly deceptive. They claim their mission is so altruistic that it is worth giving up your liberty on the pretext of being in your best interest. Tyrants operate by suppressing liberty in small steps under false pretenses.

They target one group at a time. They depend on those unaffected remaining silent because the lost liberty doesn’t affect them. But as liberty incrementally disappears, every group will ultimately be targeted. In short order, freedom is lost by all.

Tyrants exert the power of their position to silence opposition. Liberty thrives on the open flow of ideas in a free society. Totalitarian regimes require the suppression of opposing viewpoints.

It’s difficult for good and decent people to comprehend the nefarious intent of the power hungry whose sole objective is the subversion of their liberty. These tyrants lie about their objectives. They publicly proclaim to have only benevolent intentions while working persistently behind the scenes on their malevolent goals. This insidious strategy conceals their real purpose under the guise of fairness, safety, health, and national security.

America has more liberty than anywhere else in the world. However, those who have grown up with abundant liberty often take it for granted. When freedom is all they have known, they don’t truly appreciate its irreplaceable nature. They have so much freedom that they are not alarmed when their freedom is gradually smothered. By the time they realize their freedom has vanished, it’s too late. Once liberty is lost, and those seizing it firmly entrenched, it is extremely difficult to recover.

Our freedoms are unalienable rights, not privileges granted by government. Every item in the Bill of Rights is a precious jewel designed to ensure the immortality of our liberty. Don’t allow anyone to subvert your liberty.

Stand up for and speak out in defense of your rights and the rights of others. You must say NO to those who would take your freedom or your neighbor’s freedom. Freedom lost by anyone impacts everyone. When freedom isn’t insisted on for all, freedom will exist for none. All freedoms are essential, not just the ones you benefit from or believe in.

Once one freedom starts to fall, a chain reaction begins that consumes all liberty. Your freedom is hard to get and easy to lose. Although it takes vigilance to protect it, it takes so much more effort to get it back once it’s gone.

Only you can ensure that this Independence Day is not America’s last birthday.

Bryan Golden is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.”

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.”
– James Madison

Related posts:

  1. Let’s not surrender liberty for security
  2. Nation’s fate rests in hands of ‘We the People’
  3. What Makes America Great
  4. One vote away from losing our liberty
  5. U.S. Constitution remains relevant

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Jul 5 2013. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

14 Comments for “Freedom—hard to get, but easy to lose”

  1. Sandy

    Rhetoric. Religion is the real enemy of the people. I am sick and tired of the religious BS on this planet. That is our real enemy. Religious minds who think they are plugged into 'God's plan' for us is what hurts us the most. Christ had but one true message, "Now go and love as I have loved you." Plain and simple. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. No inbetween.

    • CA Smith

      The major religion that is an enemy of the people of this country, and bent on destroying this country as a republic with a free enterprise system, and respect for constitutional rights, is the socialism of Obama and his minions. Take your hatred and anger about religion somewhere else. It is obvious you either don't understand the current crisis we are facing, or you are a part of it.

  2. Jane Tanaka MD

    Freedom has been lost by Americans previously… but most of us dont remember, and cant fathom what the loss of freedom meant personally to these Americans. Painfully, it was their own communities who turned against them, and pressured the President to label them "enemies."

    Executive Order 9066. 1942. FDR.

    110,000 Japanese Americans lost their Freedom,
    due to pressure placed on the Roosevelt administration.
    More than 60% of those interned, which included children,
    were American Citizens. Nobody says "Remember Manzanar".. only
    "Remember Pearl Harbor."

    Freedom has been lost by Americans previously. Not just among the Japanese Americans, but many other groups…. Black Americans, Gay Americans, Jewish Americans….And on levels deeper than having your cell phone or your email invaded, or your credit cards tracked to know your spending habits.

    • CA Smith

      The instances you cite were over responses to small groups of people, and should not have happened. Any right thinking person regrets that they occurred. Are you equally concerned that the current direction we're heading will destroy the constitutional rights of all Americans?

  3. Jane Tanaka MD

    And these groups were not targeted so much by the "power hungry" but by scared people with incomplete knowledge and prejudice, who then pressured their democratic governments to protect their families… against the Japs, against the Blacks, against the Jews, against the Gays.

    Every year, as an American, and as a Ramonan, I sing along with the radio broadcast of the Star Spangled Banner during the fireworks, and with my right hand over my heart. I am one of the 1 percent Asian American population of our rural community.
    If North Korea bombed Guam or Hawaii, would you be afraid of the Korean Americans who own most of the sushi bars in SD? Would you be fearful that I am a spy or traitor because my grandparents came from somewhere in Asia?
    These are the kinds of thoughts that are the nidus, the seed crystal, that starts it all.. the
    taking away of freedom.
    Please be mindful of your own thoughts first before blaming others.
    Respectfully,
    Jane Tanaka MD,
    3rd Generation American.

  4. Guest

    It is the ridiculous, politically correct mindset displayed in Dr. Tanaka's comment that endangers this country more than anything. Political correctness gives us TSA strip searches for 80 year-old Swedish women and infants in our airports in response to repeated terrorist attacks on this country by young muslim men. It crushes the will of the people in securing our border, providing education to our children (anybody remember Prop 187?), and defining marriage. Our will is constantly being overturned by nut-job judges in San Francisco and crack-pot governors in Sacramento. Anymore, the only rights I have as a middle-aged, white, native-born American is to pay the taxes that fund the deadbeats that are destroying this nation, all with the encouragement of our current corrupt administration. The Founders would be disgusted!

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      Guest, I do not mean to disrespect you or your views.You are entitled to your opinion. You feel my mindset "endangers this country, but why? What do my comments have anything to do with Muslim terrorists or TSA searches? And do you think I am pro-terrorist?
      To be clear, my comments have more to do with not turning against people in your community who happen to be different from you…. or from me.

  5. CA Smith

    Excellent article, Mr. Golden. I hope enough people take it to heart, and start making a stand.

  6. Jane Tanaka MD

    You feel I am being "politically correct."… no one has ever called me that!
    You have as many rights as I do, Guest, and as a middle aged Asian American
    who works very hard, I pay a lot of taxes also. I too disagree with some things the taxes are spent on.
    I also think that some of the "deadbeats" being helped financially by the government are our neighbors, our friends, our family members….a good percentage of the families in America are just one paycheck away from homelessness, and need assistance , for food , shelter and clothing. I have seen people get off of disability with they are medically able , and with job retraining. I have seen people who used to have drug and alcohol problems work hard at recovery and become productive members of society. Trying to pay for food shelter and clothing with a disability income of $800 a month does not encourage anyone to stay on disability if they can work. Yes, I have also seen some people take advantage of the government also.
    And yes, there is government corruption… but you think that the corruption helps the poor?

  7. Jane Tanaka MD

    Guest, do you think that the following would disgust the Founding Fathers:
    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
    Send these, the homeless,
    Tempest-tossed to me
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    I remember learning to sing it in junior hs in Hawaii. I believe it is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. I dont think of it as politically correct. I think of it as an American Ideal.
    Again, respectfully,
    Jane Tanaka MD

  8. Guest

    Dr. Tanaka, respectfully, I am not suggesting that the community turn agains those who are different than me. I am saying, however, that rather than turn a blind eye to the obvious in deference to political correctness, we need to all come to terms with the fact that there are very specific groups that are more likely to endanger this nation than others. In lieu of addressing the real dangers facing this nation, for fear of giving offense, the government (as opposed to the people) has chosen to profile all. Your illustration of Japanese Internment and the reference to profiling North Koreans in your hypothetical example, came through loud an clear. While nobody I know is in favor of interning anybody, my comment reflects my concern that there are far too many in this nation that tolerate a violation of our rights in order to not inconvenience others in the name of political correctness. If we continue to do so, we do so at our own peril.

  9. John Stockton

    I agree with Mr. Golden and Guest. So-called progressives and their media minions are on the verge of destroying our national identity, using political correctness and punitive tax policy as their weapons of choice. I remember reading Orwell's 1984 in school and thought the premise was ridiculous. The US could never have a thought police and history books would never be rewritten. I could not have been more wrong. Today, the IRS targets conservative groups. We refuse to secure the border for fear of offending what we once called illegal aliens. Welfare programs have created a permanent aggrieved class that grows each year. Enemies that have sworn to destroy us preach hatred in mosques right under our noses. Do we do anything about any of this? Of course not. Why? For fear of violating the progressive's sense of fairness. Note that what is happening here is right from the tyrant's playbook. Perhaps Mr. Golden is correct and we have already seen America's last birthday.

    • Dennis

      "We refuse to secure the border for fear of offending what we once called illegal aliens."

      got any support for that statement?

  10. John Stockton

    Dennis, are you serious? If you are unable to recognize that 1) the border is not secure, and 2) that any attempt to secure the border is met with fierce opposition from so-called immigrant rights groups, then I doubt anything I can offer will change your mind.

    That being the said, you probably don't remember when Escondido tried to require landlords obtain proof of legal status prior to renting and was sued into submission? Or, maybe you haven't noticed that everytime we try require proof of citizenship in our own elections it causes an uproar? Have you ever been to the emergency rooms and the birth units at Sharp or Scripps Chula Vista? I have. You should go also, and look around and see if you notice an overrepresentation of any particular group. Can you possibly think that the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth doesn't have the capabilities to prevent people from crossing our border illegally? Of course we do. The fact that we do not lead to only one conclusion. If you unable, or more likely unwilling, to link data yourself, I'm afraid I can't help you.

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