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What Country Can Preserve its Liberties?

June 30, 2020

By: Brian Burns

TAMPA Fla. – Turmoil and angst. Our two-party system is battling within their own parties. Protests are constant and the movements grow in scope. The virus is growing in case numbers, and many are afraid to leave their homes.

Safe, Secure, Racism, Safer, Virus, Defund, Resign, Cases, Deaths, BLM, Police, Step Down, Monuments. Safe. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Words we all read and hear every day now, whether on sites like The Free Press, CNN, FOX News, Newspapers, Social Media. You get the idea.

This is America today.

Different than the pre-COVID-19 America we knew. Change needed to happen, but some fear, I included, that this change may not be what some anticipate or are ready for as individuals.

As leaders, in both parties, shove their agendas down our throats, I’m reminded of a letter that I once read, written from Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith. I will share the one I had in mind below.

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In a 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson wrote,

I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life.

Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honorably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives.

They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11-years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?

Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon, and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.

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