Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Was It Only 235 Years Ago?

Well it was 'only' 235 year ago, with a divided country, wrestling with the issue of personal and national freedoms, on the brink of war, a leader rose to the moment, made a speech. That speech then and now has defined who America is and what Americans are all about….

235 years later these same Americans rose to the moment, this time with their message and their vote, confronted the always present danger from those who want to take away the uniquely American freedoms and government that the citizens bough and paid for with blood.

Throughout Americas short history individuals, groups, and nations have risen up questioning and sometimes threatening America, its people, and the very core of how it governs itself. A government of, for, and by the people is the 'great experiment' with data being collected every day around the world and through each election cycle a form of government that prevents the ruling of citizens by charismatic individuals and tainted politicians in their quest for power. These people have wrangled themselves into our political system with empty promises of easier life in which the government would take care of them. No matter their names, no matter what point in our history, they came to the limelight. Sooner or later their promises disappointed, their schemes failed, their motives questioned, and the citizens turned them out.

Each time the nation went through this catharsis we promised ourselves, "never again." The generation who lived though it didn't let it happen again but lo and behold, a generation or two later it happens again. Seduced by the same promises the citizens turned to the yet another charismatic leader and a different set of tainted politicians with what seems like new 'we will take care of you promises,' followed by disappointment, followed by failed schemes, followed by the citizens turning them out.

The argument could be made that this political cycling makes the nation stronger. This is not the perception of The Oxford Tea Party nor do we believe it is the perception of Tea Party members in general. However, the nation's population is growing. There are fewer jobs, less opportunities for work, fewer with the knowledge and skills for the jobs that are available, and many more empty mouths to feed. Unless this problem is defined in ways that offer solutions that can solve these growing social problems we will continue on this insidious path towards a socialist form of society and government which will open the door to yet another cadre of politicians promising these voters even greater rewards for their votes. Other nations in the world faced with these same issues opted to go down the socialist road. (Socialism, at the its core, is always in the process of transferring wealth from the producers, the creators of goods and services, to the population as a whole and always with good intentions. So they say.) The failure of this system of government is seen nightly on our TV screens with the citizens of those socialist countries striking, burning buildings, and railing against their government because there is less and less wealth for them to transfer.

You have to feel bad for these people in socialist nations who, for generations, have been promised by their politicians they could have more for less effort on their part and/or more for nothing on their part. A growing segment of our society in America is now in the third generation of having goods and services transferred to them that government has taken from producers of those good and services. This is creating a greater and greater schism in our nation. Anger is building.

We have just turned out seventy plus politicians at the federal and near six hundred or so at the state level of government who have contributed to this schism through their social programs as well as all the 'pork barrel' wasteful spending during this election cycle. More politicians must to be turned out. Given the political and economic upheaval in the world today even the slightest tilt in how we run our country, govern ourselves, run our businesses can have unforeseen consequence. The fear of these consequences is sensed by many voters and reflected in this election vote. However, will our politicians read this vote correctly?

Already, the news talk out of Washington baits the issue.

Do you ever wonder from what corner the next attack on the Tea Party will come? Certainly no one in the Republican or Democratic parties wants us around and we are more than certain they don't want us to attain any more power. The liberal press sees us as 'crazy, dumb, dangerous red necks,' that are threats to everything they hold dear and a threat to the future of the country. So the attacks will continue with the GOP taking a low profile. The greatest threat, of course, will come from each of us. Will come from our lack or resolve. Will we spread our Tea Party ideas, will we keep our focus, or will we lose our mojo? History tells us one thing about grass roots movements such as ours and that is goals get blurred and energy dissipates.

Now let us turn our attention to Mississippi. Same problems but we're on our home court.

Its going to feel like a long two years…..

We have decided to permanently post that 235 year old speech by Patrick Henry on The Oxford Tea blog... a speech that is simply ripening with age…. We all know it…But sometime we just forget.




Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775

Our King George III is already in the White House with his version of the English Parliament. There is barely a whiff of “will of the people”.

What’s old is new again.

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation — the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?
No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

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 the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775

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