We are extremely fortunate to live in this country, a country founded by the blood of patriots, safeguarded through the years by the sacrifice of brave soldiers, a country based on the principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. A country where the power of the state is subservient to the rights of the individual.

Throughout human history, people have lived, labored, and died under the authority of kings and despots, tyrannical regimes, and even democracies (wherein the majority 51% subjugated the 49% minority). But America was different. The concept of rights as embraced by our founding fathers is truly revolutionary. As you read the Bill of Rights, pay close attention to the way they wrote those words, “Congress shall make no law..”, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons…shall not be violated”. These are restrictions on government, not a list of the rights of the people. You see, rights do not come from government, a king, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or any piece of paper or works of man; we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

We possess the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and many others, and as long as you do not violate others’ rights, you may live your life as you see fit without interference from government. The power of the state is subservient to the rights of the individual. This is the key that made this country different. It is what makes the United States of America special.

As we reflect on that which was bestowed upon us, let us realize that there are forces that wish to undermine that blessing. The time to act is now. Like it or not, we must become politically involved. When you are evaluating candidates for public office, ask them, “Do you believe that the Constitution is written in plain English and means what it says, or is it O.K. for the national government to be meddling in education and health care?” Ask them for their stance on the horrid and unbelievable McCain-Feingold legislation that limits political speech. Demand a straight answer to the question, “Will you work to reverse the perversion of the meaning of the term “public use” that has allowed local governments to take our homes and land for unscrupulous purposes?”

We who espouse the virtues of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government have been accused of “living in the past” or “just wanting to take us back in time”. Well, nothing could be further from the truth; it is exactly the opposite. Remember what I said about our long human history and think of it in that context: before the United States there were kings, despots, and democracies, all of which violated freedom of individuals. Now there are new types of oppression (communism, socialism) but it’s the same thing, some people enslaved to others. In the grand scheme of things, the founding of United States of America and the ascendancy of individual freedom is new, different, exciting, a true breath of fresh air and enlightenment. Those who want big government are the ones taking us backwards, back to a time when people were subservient to the state or other people.

Abridging freedom takes us backwards. Advancing liberty moves us forward.