Renewing the American Spirit

Patriot Week begins on 9/11 and ends on 9/17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (Constitution Day)) and renews America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Many of current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit. This blog is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Patriot Week - and America - alive all year long.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fear Not the Result - Churchill's Inspired Leadership

Recently in Hillsdale College's publication, Imprimis, Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn related the tale that Winston Churchill, in 1940, ask his assistant John Colville, to find a prayer that Churchill recalled from the siege of Gibraltar.  "Fear not the result, for either thy end shall be an enviable and majestic one, or God will preserve our reign upon the waters."

Churchill asked for the prayer for strength during particularly troubling times.  For years he was literally a voice in the wilderness, warning of the coming war and danger presented by Adolf Hitler, and ignored by the political majority.  Arnn adds these interesting details:

In the 1930s, British politics were ugly . . . Churchill's own party leaders conspired to deprive him not only of his seat in Parliament, but his livelihood writing for the public.  One of his colleagues, an official in the Foreign Ministry named Ralph Wigram, was threatened with transfer to a remote place without medical care - his son had birth defects - if he continued speaking with Churchill.  Churchill, Wigram, and Wigram's wife Ava stood up to this kind of thing, year after year.  First a few, and then many, and then legions, joined them.  Finally the British people realized the truth, and then all over London  billboards with the words in large black letters, "What Price Churchill?"  He was called to lead in 1940 because he proved in the 1930s that he could do so.

Churchill was vindicated and became Prime Minister in England's darkest hour.

Churchill, who interestingly enough, was the child of an American mother and an English father, provides great inspiration through the ages and for us today.

Courage is required to stand up to the prevailing trends of the day.  Dissenting voices are often shouted down and vilified.

Yet, speaking truth to power is the only way that our republic can survive and our freedoms flourish.

America still has much to learn from England's greatest Prime Minister.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Its Our Hearts & Soul That Really Matters

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Justice Holmes's advice strikes to the heart of the matter.  In the end, our lives are redeemed by who we are, in our innermost being.  Our hearts and souls are what matter.  In the hustle and bustle of our life, take some time to be grounded to first things first.  Otherwise, everything else is for naught.  This applies to each us of us personally, and to our nation collectively.

For more, visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lincoln's Wisdom

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves."  Abraham Lincoln.

'Nuff said.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Freedom - Indivisible

"Freedom is an indivisible word. If we want to enjoy it, and fight for it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, whether they are rich or poor, whether they agree with us or not, no matter what their race or the color of their skin." Wendell Wilkie

For more, check out Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood."  James Madison.

Madison's sage advice has clearly been ignored for at least several decades.  For example, I tried to figure out through a google search how many pages were included in the US Tax Code and its regulations.  There is no agreement on the web, except that everyone agrees that it so long and complicated that it is indecipherable to almost everyone.  (Some estimates on the Tax Code (i.e., the law passed by Congress), range from about 2,500 pages to more than ten times that, and the number of the regulations (i.e., administrative regulations enacted by the IRS) range from about 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 words)). In other words, something as basic as our tax obligations is so unwieldy, that we are not even easily able to ascertain how long it is.  And there are a dizzying amount of laws and regulations in thousands of areas of life.

This state of affairs undermines our First Principles in many ways.  For example, the Social Compact in America depends upon a representative form of government - a republic in which our representatives enact laws and the people are obligated to follow it.  Yet, the number of laws and regulations undermines accountability and obligation - it is corrosive to the Social Compact.  Likewise, the rule of law assumes that there is a law that is ascertainable for the people to follow.  That is becoming more of a fiction with each passing day.  As such, the very premise of our freedoms and liberties is at risk.  

Time to give Madison his due.

For more about our Founding First Principles and great Patriots, visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The President's Oath - Something We Can All Strive For

Last week, President Obama for a second time (well, really for a fourth time if you follow the news) took the same solemn pledge all of his predecessors:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

This pledge is a simple, but awesome one.  Not all Presidents have made it through their terms with their oaths intact, but the inspirational quality of the oath remains a testament to the American Spirit.

Natural born citizens are not required to take an oath, but it would be a good exercise for us all to consider.  Some powerful words exist here - "faithfully" execute the office.  "Best of my ability" and "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution..."  How often do we forget about the importance of "faithfully" and "best of my ability."  Often many of our fellow citizens breach faith and lazily stumble through their duties.  And politicians and the political class seem to too often worry about their own interests as opposed to defending, preserving and protecting the Constitution.

With this Inauguration, let us do our part to renew our faith with the Constitution.

For more visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.