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.....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Safely Unpopular - Test of Freedom

"My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular." Adlai Stevenson (October 7, 1952 (Detroit)).

Presidential candidate Stevenson's concise definition may be incomplete, but it is essential.  In too many ages, in too many societies, to be unpopular was - and is - a ticket to the dungeon or execution.

Yet, the unpopular position often becomes the all but unchallenged  position generations later.  Women's suffrage, abolitionism, and civil rights were all unpopular in large segments of America at its founding, and now it is difficult to imagine how that could be.  Yesterday's heresy is tomorrow's orthodoxy.  That is how a free society grows.

The failure to allow the unpopular view - witness the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Syria - creates pressure that ensures unrest - and often the demise of the oppressive government - but not without terrible costs.

Just as important, the right to speak and print one's mind - no matter how unpopular - is an unalienable right given to us by Nature and Nature's God, and is protected our Bill of Rights.  Attempts to censor us results not only in bad policy, but is the very definition of tyranny.  That is why its so important to protect all opinions - regardless of their popularity.  After all, it wouldn't be much of a free society if all that was protected was the popular speech - it doesn't need the protection, its the heresy and sacrilege  that needs it.

For more about our unalienable rights, visit and

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