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"To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love." -- Robert E. Lee
In the PC obsessed world we live in, to quote any civil war general is at best problematic. To quote a Confederate civil war general is akin to taking one's life into his own hands! However, it is way past time to destroy the PC doctrinaires, who have for too long sought to obscure the truth using false and self-serving rhetoric.
What General Lee wrote was quite true then and remains as true today. And it is true that all people who are appointed to lead any organization must be prepared to risk the organization to achieve any degree of success. That said, we should all ask ourselves a basic question along the same values, but aimed in a slightly different direction. Can you lead what you hate!
Looking at today's Democrat party, one sees a group of Americans who hate the Constitution, other than in their apparent aim to abuse it to create a society completely alien to the actual concepts the Constitution was enshrined to preserve, namely individual liberty and the individual's primacy over the state.
Great ideas do not need to be coerced. Contrary to the stated beliefs of the modern left, most people really are not stupid, and are open minded enough to consider something that's been successful for one person, as perhaps being a desired course for himself. It's the core truth of the phrase, "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door!"
And yet, here is the left increasingly wishing to centralize government control of the people, and use it as an instrument of forced collectivized energy, herding people into a narrow-minded philosophy of life, and ruthlessly abusing any person refusing to go along with the herd mentality.
There is not one good idea that justifies destroying liberty to obtain, nor any great idea that would require doing it! If an idea is truly great, it need only be presented as an example, and people will gravitate to it of their own freewill. So, anyone who argues that there is something out there so necessary, so urgent, that it requires coercing people against their freewill to obtain it, then both the idea, and the people urging it, should be soundly rejected. Such people are dangerous human instruments, and history is filled with tribulations and misery whenever such people obtain power.
Barry Goldwater once rejoined those who challenged his temperament with a classic quote, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
What it comes down to frankly is that as people we must endeavor to keep human and individual liberty as the cornerstone of our society, and subordinate all other things to it. All of our laws must remain rooted in a virtuous effort to preserve liberty. Courts must exist purely to arbitrate conflicts and arbitrate them in a manner well calculated to maximize personal liberty, and to prevent anyone from a tyrannical usurping of another person's liberties.
Government does not morally exist to create superior societies, especially through coercion! Creating a more perfect union is certainly a core goal of any society, but the actions that lead to that more perfect union can only come through freewill choices, operating through the individual actions of a populace wholly committed to allowing each person to pursue his own definition of happiness. Governments morally exist to preserve liberty by preventing anyone or any system from usurping liberty from any individual.
Therefore, the first rule for an American politician is that he loves liberty. For without that virtue guiding his actions, such a person can become a dangerous tyrant. Preserving individual liberty requires humility to accept that no one has the grander answers in his own grasp. Diversity of thought, and the freedom to pursue one's individual path to happiness, remain the only pathway to forming a more perfect union. Anyone lacking love of liberty is to be opposed, and denied all such options to shape society.
The beauty of loving liberty first is that it also promises to minimize the risk of destroying the Republic for which our flag stands, "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." And while the American flag is the symbol of our nation, the true guiding light of America must always remain liberty. This is the understanding that today's progressives lack most. They appear not to love liberty foremost, but instead seem to love social control and manipulation more. And by trying to convince us that we must surrender our liberty for some grander vision, they prove their unworthiness for any public office of this land.
-- Ken Stallings
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