On Strength

By the time you are reading this the mid-term elections will be over. Most of the winning candidates will have already been decided. I hope that all of you who read this not only exercised your right to vote, but your obligation to vote wisely. However, as I noted in last week’s article, voting is only the beginning. The hard part of restoring our Republic to its original intent is far from finished. We cannot just vote, and then go back to our lives, hoping that things get better, praying that we made the right choice. We must continue to have the fortitude and the strength to hold our elected officials accountable to the people. The moral and fiscal duty to continually remind them of whom they serve lies with us.

It is time for Americans to remember who we are and what we have before misguided men and women squander it all away. There are only 536 elected officials overseeing the futures of 312 million Americans. With whom do you think the real strength lies?

“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.” Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born American physicist

 “Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.“  James Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the United States

It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much …to forget it.” James Madison (1751-1836), 4th President of the United States

“Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutely oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges – civil and religious – with a careful eye.” Matthias Burnett, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, in a sermon preached at Hartford, May 12, 1803

 “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” Noah Webster (1758-1843), father of the modern Dictionary and translator of the Bible in early colonial America

“They tell us Sir, that we are weak – unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.”  Patrick Henry (1736-1799), American Revolutionary leader, March 1775.

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