Cartoons, the Constitution and Freedom
One of my favorite things to watch when I was a kid were School House Rock cartoons, which came on TV between regular cartoons every Saturday morning. Living close to Toronto, Canada, we picked up TV stations from in and around Buffalo, New York, which showed the best Saturday morning cartoons.
Three of my most favorite School House cartoons were “Great American Melting Pot”, “The Preamble”, and “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Back then I didn’t think about the fact that I was learning the basics of American History. I just thought the stories were cool and liked the songs. Little did I know that I would grow up, move to America and continue my love of the History and Constitution just as I did as a little girl.
People from all over the world have come to America for many different reasons. Many come for a better life, a better opportunity for themselves and their families. Many have come to escape oppression from tyrannical governments of Communism or Socialism. Whatever the reasons, people who come to America equate it with one word: Freedom.
Freedom is so much more than an idea or a word that is frequently used yet little thought of. Many people don’t understand just how free they are unless they have lived somewhere other than in America. While Canada and many western European countries are free democracies, they all have certain socialist and ruling classes, which America never had as a Constitutional Republic. America is, for now, still the freest nation because our Constitution and Bill of Rights recognize that the rights of the people are inalienable, given by God our Creator and not the government.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty.” Liberty is freedom. Americans by and large kept vigilant at least up until the end of the last century. Then as now, men and women serving in our military have been paying the cost, so many with the ultimate sacrifice to keep America’s liberties safe.
As an immigrant, many things I’ve been seeing for the past decade have concerned me. Canada has socialized health ’care’, limits of freedom of speech and religious expression and no rights to keep and bear arms. Taxes are sky high in order to pay for a myriad of government social programs and the cost of living in many of the big cities is prohibitive.
With career politicians in Washington, disregarding not only the voice of the people, but also passing more government control over the people which they themselves will be exempt from, the power of government of and for the people has shifted drastically to a democratic style of a special ruling class. I am seeing less and less of a difference between America and Canada, or even Europe. The lines, which once kept the three branches of government separate, have been dangerously blurred and ignored. Many policies such as government takeover of the healthcare industry, intrusive taxes and regulations on small businesses and dangerous deals with the UN such as Agenda 21/ICLEI and the Small Arms treaties which if implemented, will strip America of her sovereignty and the people of their God given rights as established in the Constitution.
I have friends who escaped communist regimes in Poland and Cuba. They are worried to see all the policies coming out of Washington these past four years. They see a definitive parallel to what their own governments forced on their people. They escaped their homelands for Freedom and yet my friends and I are seeing those freedoms, which have always made America great, being taken away.
If American citizens allow liberty to be lost, it will be as James Madison warned, “Freedom can never be restored, and Liberty once lost, is lost forever.”
Will we as a nation, allow our Constitutional Republic to die a death of democracy where a slim majority of uninformed voters and politicians who have made their life long careers and fortunes in Washington rule those few who understand what the Founding Fathers gave for a new nation? Will we allow the government run by a majority to take away our God given rights?
I had no realization all those years ago when I sang along to a song on a cartoon, the words to the Preamble, that those words are part of the foundation for the laws of this greatest nation, or did I understand the sweat, tears and blood shed to keep it. The real cost has always fallen to those who have and still serve in our armed forces to keep our liberties safe. What will we repay them with when those serving now come home, a home still of the free, or the end of the freest nation because we failed to keep it?
It is my hope, as it is the hope of so many, that we can do as Daniel Webster warned over 200 years ago, to, “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitutional and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”