“Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry uttered those famous words on March 23, 1775. He spoke these words with conviction and I have no doubt he would’ve had no qualms in laying down his life in defense of his beliefs. Much has changed since that time. And unfortunately, change is not always for the better. People of our day lack the intestinal fortitude to stand up for their convictions and beliefs. “Give me liberty or give me death!” has given way to “You have to go along to get along.” There is quite a difference between these two quotations. Wouldn’t you agree? As you may know, Patrick Henry was one of our founding fathers. So, who spoke those less powerful words of going along to get along? That, my friend was a fellow by the name of Sam Rayburn, a politician and lawyer who came along about 100 years later. History reflects that he was responsible for some good things including contributions to the New Deal legislation. So I am not speaking ill of his character. I am simply stating that the business of compromise had begun eroding the moral fiber of our country many decades ago. Now, compromise in life is sometimes a necessary component in our lives, unfortunately. But it never should be allowed to be the method by which we determine our lives. And it certainly should not dictate the governing of our country!
Too much compromise brings about weakness in structure, as we all know. It is no different from laying the plans for a building. The foundation of any building must be strong. I believe it is referred to as “integral strength”. And what would happen if our home was built upon a foundation that lacked this integral strength? What if the mixture of the concrete had been compromised to save on cost? Well, we already know the answer there, don’t we? The house will not stand because it cannot stand. Should we not be at least as attentive to the maintenance of our country’s foundation as we are to our homes, our bridges and buildings?
My point is simply this – Compromise, kept in a proper perspective can be of good use. It can help resolve problems in many ways. It is an ingredient that must be seen as necessary in various situations. But not in all situations! Mind this now! Compromise is insidious if allowed to run rampant thru our society and our government. “But it is for the greater good!”, you may say. To that I say we have permitted the spirit of compromise to eat away at the foundation of integrity and strength on which our country, these United States of America has been built on. And in doing so, we have become complacent and therefore given acceptance to the way our leaders are running this nation today. Do you not see what is happening today?? If you do not, then please, please step back for a moment and wipe the sleep from your eyes. Then take a good long look at what our country has become. And with your vision having been cleared, I would ask you to help restore the vision that was once our country.
Now many will say I am overreacting and that this country of ours has never been a picture of perfection. Okay, I will concede the point. No, the United States of America has never been without its’ faults and shortcomings. However, our nation has never strayed this far away from the premises upon which it was founded, from the truths which gave this country its’ strength. As a result, our nations’ integral strength is crumbling. It is falling apart just a bit more each and every day. This was our country at one time and did not belong to the politicians. It can be our country again. So, let us see if we can find it within ourselves, the passion and the strength to learn again what means to declare those immortal words “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.