In prior to 1776 the people of America had lived under the dictatorial and oppressive rule of the kings of England which caused them to mourned because their right to live as they choose was severely limited. On July 4th, 1776 Americans declared their independence from England and set up a government that has given people more freedom to live as they desire more than any other nation in the history of the world.
During World Wars I and II Americans came together to save the world from tyranny but today it is America itself that is in danger of losing its own freedoms and the only people who can save it are Americans. But to understand how we can do that we must first understand how and why we've allowed so many of our freedoms to be taken from us already.
In America we have a representative republic, which is where the public elects people to represent us in government and then we, the people, give them the power to pass laws that they feel are in the best interest of the public. But, even so, human nature being what it is, even good people can by seduced by this power and, if left unchecked, it can turn anyone into a tyrant. A tyrant is a ruler who feels unrestrained by law and who exercises authority over others in a dictatorial manner.
Most tyrants often start out with the best intentions of wanting to help people but power is like liquor - the more a person tastes of it, the more intoxicated they become by it. And the more intoxicated they become the less rationally they think and behave.
Power is also like an addictive drug. The more someone has it, the more they crave it and, just like a person on drugs, they will do whatever they have to in order to keep it. If not controlled, power corrupts people mentally and psychologically. It warps their sense of logic and reasoning and drives them to do things they would never dream of doing under normal conditions.
This very sort of thing has happened far too often throughout history and those whom we elect to represent us in government are not immune from having this happen to them. When they first get elected their goal is to do what is best for the people they represent but, over time, the longer they're in power, the more they begin to think they are wiser and more informed than the people who elected them and when that happens, there's the real possibility that a sense of arrogance can start to take root inside them, and which then begins to distort and change the perspective they once had.
Our founding fathers were well aware of this human tendency and they tried, to the best of their ability, to set up a form of government that would prevent this sort of thing from happening in our country. And the way they did this was by making our elected rulers accountable to us every two, four, or six years which is when we get to rate their performance at the ballot box. If we find their performance to be satisfactory, we allow them to continue representing us but if we are dissatisfied with their performance, we take away their power and give it to someone else.
But the only way this can effectively work is if the American people are politically informed and actively watch over those whom they've elected. If our country is to be strong and healthy, it is we, the people, who must give our elected leaders regular checkups and at the first sign of a problem, we must take steps to correct it. Just like cancer, if it is not detected early and given the proper treatment, it will grow and spread until it has infected the entire body, eventually killing it.
It is when people pay little attention to what their elected officials are doing or they're deceived by their vain promises or, worse yet, they approve of behavior that is detrimental to our country, then everything our founding fathers did to protect our liberties will be swept aside leaving the way clear for tyrants to come in and rule over us with dictatorial power. And sadly, in the beginning tyrants often come to power to the cheers and applause of the public in general however, it isn't long there after that their cheers will turn to cries of anguish but by then it will be too late for them to do anything about it.
The key to preserving our liberties is to have a politically informed and active public. And to do that there are five things our people must become educated about.
The first is that people must come to understand the goodness of America. People don't want to change what they are content with therefore, those who want to take away our freedom must first make us believe that what we have is somehow not good enough and, once they can convince enough of us to think that way then they propose something "better" to take its place. Since the 1960's there has been a systematic attempt to denigrate the United States and make its people think this is not a good place to live. In the name of being "honest" they point out every flaw, every mistake, and every wrong we've committed, real or imagined. They give the impression that we're the cause for evil in the world and that citizens of others countries view us as being arrogant, selfish, and greedy. But their purpose in telling us this is not for honesty sake but to convince us that we need to change the way we do thing in America and let those already in power have even more power to make that change for us.
But this is a ruse meant to deceive us into giving up our liberties so that tyrants can more easily gain greater power over us. Less than sixty years ago Americans were proud of our country and they had every right to feel that way. The truth of the matter is that we are the best nation in the world and the evidence of that is that people all around the globe want to come live here in America and have what we have.
We are the most prosperous nation in the history of the world but those who want to take away our freedoms call that being greedy but with that prosperity, we are also the most caring and compassionate country in history. When natural disasters happen anywhere in the world, we're usually the first one on the scene with the most amount of supplies and with the best equipment. We also generally stay longer in providing help than nearly anyone else. We have spilled our own blood in defense of other nations and have done more to liberate Muslims than all the Arab nations in history have ever done for their own people.
But the reason why we are the most prosperous nation in the world is not by accident nor is it because of greed. It's because our form of government has allowed us to have more freedom to do the things we want than in any county. And it is that freedom which has given us the opportunity to pursue our dreams and become successful in so many different ways. And because of that, even those on welfare here in America are far better off than most of the middle class people in the rest of the world.
While America does have its faults and weakness, they pale in comparison to those of other countries and that is why so many people are willing to risk their lives to leave their homeland to come here when they could choose to go anywhere else. For these, and many other reasons, we need to once more learn to be proud of our country.
The second thing that Americans need to understand is that we are a moral nation. Morality is not the same a religion. Morality is doing what is right for the right reasons. It is behaving towards others in a manner that is friendly, courteous, kind, and considerate. It is being trustworthy, loyal, and honest in all that we do. It is being hardworking, thrifty, and conscientious. It is being generous, caring, and compassionate. In short, morality is treating others the way we would want to be treated.
The fact that this kind of behavior is taught by many different religions doesn't make them "religious" principles. These are the kinds of ethics that are necessary to help foster and build a happy, harmonious society. You cannot have a prosperous country when people are not honest with one another. You cannot have a society where people get along with one another if they constantly demean and quarrel with each other. You can't have a happy nation if its people are selfish, self-indulgent, and lazy. Without strong ethical principles no society can survive very long.
And you can't legislate this kind of behavior. It has to come from within the individual. No matter how many laws are passed, people only obey them for moral reasons. But if a society has low morals, they will violate with impunity those laws they have no desire to follow. Just look at our prisons and how overflowing they are with those who have deliberately chosen to break our laws. Only moral people obey laws and the reason they do so is because they are in the habit of doing what is right. No form of government can force its people to be moral, not even in a dictatorship. If a majority of people lack strong morals, nothing can save them from destroying themselves.
But, while morality is not the same as religion, since these ethics are the very principles that most religions promote, it is not surprising that those who believe in God tend to have higher morals than those who don't believe in God. As a general rule, those who don't consider themselves religious often have low standards of conduct. They are the ones who are most likely to put their own interest first, and are more likely to want to have someone else provide for their needs, rather than feeling a responsibility to take care of themselves.
A recent study has shown that most liberals are not particularly religious and another study has shown that very few liberals personally contribute much of their own money, time, or resources to charity, even though many of them are millionaires. Yet, among those who do contribute often to charitable causes, the great majority of them have deeply held religious views.
There used to be a popular saying among liberal-minded people; "If it feels good, do it." Imagine a young person applying that philosophy to eating sweets. Because it tastes good, they would eat as much as they wanted as often as they wanted. But, if they did that, not realizing the harm they were doing to themselves, they would go from having a vibrant, healthy body to one that has slowly but inevitably developed all sorts of health problems
The same thing will happen to our country if its people continue to indulge themselves in amoral behavior because such people are only interested in the temporary, immediate gratification of the here and now without giving much thought to the long term consequences of their behavior. If this kind of attitude is allowed to flourish in America, instead of us having a healthy, vibrant society, that is prosperous and happy, our nation will become subject to all sorts of societal ills that will have a negative effect on everyone.
We can only be a great nation if we are a moral people. And the higher our morals are, the greater we will be. Those who don't believe in God don't see the need to have high morals because their motto is: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Live for the moment. Get what you can now because when we die, that's the end of everything."
But those who have an abiding faith in God, try to live according to the moral code He has set for them because they feel there is a greater purpose to life than just living for oneself. That doesn't mean religious people are perfect. Far from it. They're subject to the same human weakness that all men face, but despite their faults and shortcomings, they nonetheless strive to do what is morally right.
The founders of our county were just such men. Even though they had their faults, they had a strong belief in God and were men of high moral character. And it was those very morals that guided them as they wrote the Constitution and which form the framework around which they built our government.
So the second thing that all Americans need to be reminded of and encouraged to do is to have high morals. And, since a belief in God tends to promote this kind of behavior, we need to support and defend those religions who teach high morals because they are the saviors of our country.
The third thing that all Americans need to understand is our Constitution. The Constitution is not just a list of dry, outdated rules that was written by old men who lived in a different culture that we're still obligated to follow in our modern era. Our Constitution is just as valid for us today as it was for Americans in 1786 when it was written, and the reason why is because it contains eternal principles for self governing.
By that I mean, the principles found in our Constitution are based on an understanding of human nature. Since human nature hasn't changed over the last 6,000 years, the Constitution was written accommodate how we, as humans have always thought, felt, and behaved. In every age of man, in every culture, it has always been better to love than hate, to produce rather than to live off of someone else's labor, and to be honest instead of lie. Those who hate, steal, or lie do not produce societies that are happy and prosperous. From the dawn of civilization man has yearned for peace and has always desired freedom for himself. These things never change regardless of our culture whether it's primitive or highly advanced. That's why they are eternal.
Those who wrote our constitution diligently studied all the different forms of governments both modern and ancient and concluded that all of them had the potential for abuse of power. Therefore, they set up a system of governing that was unique in the history of the world. Their goal was to make it as difficult as they could for tyrants to usurp power. They put forth a tremendous amount of study and thought into devising a way to protect our liberty from those whose ambition it is to take it away from us.
But, it is because people no longer understand why the Constitution was written the way it was that they are easily swayed into believing that it can be changed for the better without realizing that the changes being offered are actually designed to take away all the safeguards that our founding fathers put in there to protect us against tyrants and despots.
There's a very good reason why there are three separate branches of government that are supposed to be equal and are meant to be a check and balance the power of one another. There's a reason why the Federal government was supposed to remain small and why its powers were to be limited. There's a reason why the Federal government was not allowed to intrude upon the rights of the states. There was a reason why the Federal government was specifically not allowed to pass any laws prohibiting the practice of religion, or for its people to bear arms, or to limit their speech.
The reason why all of these things were put in our Constitution was not based on ideas that have become outdated and no longer apply to us but, just the opposite, they are based on unchanging principles that have existed for thousands of years. There are men today who are just as ruthless and just as hungry for power as there were in the days of the first Egyptian dynasty over 5,000 years ago. There are people today who want to enslave as many people as they can just as Nebeccanerzer did when he set up his Babylonian empire. There are people today who are just as seduced by power as was Caesar, was when he made himself the first Roman Emperor.
So the third thing that all Americans need to understand is what our Constitution says and why it was written the way it was. It is only then that people will known when their elected representatives are violating or doing things contrary to the eternal principles contained in our Constitution.
The fourth thing that all Americans need to understand is economics. Economics is all about understanding how money works. It involves understanding the free market system, the banking system, the insurance system, and the stock market system. It involves understanding how and why businesses succeed or fail, how and why they charge the prices they do, what a profit and loss statement is and why it is so important. It involves understanding why and how banks loan money to businesses as well as to the average person. It involves understanding interest rates and how they can help or harm us. It involves understanding income, expenses, savings, and debt. In short, economics involves everything connected with money.
The reason why economics is so important to understand is because it affects every aspect of our life. It is by following sound economic principles that makes us a prosperous nation but if we don't understand what those principles we can find ourselves living in the same poverty as the poorest nation. The Great depression that started in 1929 proved that such a thing can happen here in America.
If businesses follow bad economic principles they will fail and when that happens people are laid off from work which means more people are living without a paycheck. If banks don't follow sound principles of economics, they will go out of business and when that happens people lose all the money they had in those banks. When the stock market follows unwise economic principles, people lose the money they were depending on for their retirement.
But there is a more important reason why it's so necessary to understand economics which is that our government is the greatest user of money. It generates income through taxing its people and then spends that money either wisely or unwisely. It also lends and borrows money as well as prints it. The Federal Reserve affects the interest rates that banks charge which, in turn, affects the price of everything we buy.
The more the government spends, the more taxes it needs to raise to pay for what it wants to do, and the more taxes it collects, the more it slows down the economic growth of the entire country. When the economy slows down businesses make less money, which leads to more unemployment. When people have less money to spend, they buy less, which slows down the economy even more. With less money being made in the private sector, the government collects less money in taxes to pay for their expensive programs. To make up the difference, the government then borrows money which it can't pay back which then put the entire country in debt.
If we, as a people, don't understand how money works, we certainly can't know if those whom we elected to represent us in government are wisely using our money. If one or two companies go out of business because of poor money management it can create bad times for a particular local community but if the government mismanages the people's money, the whole country suffers.
Unfortunately, today, too many people in America don't know how to use their money wisely. Approximately 43% of American families spend more than they earn. Based on the Federal Reserve figures, in 2009 the average household was more than $16,000 in just credit card debt alone and when we look at the country as a whole, according to the statistics from the Federal Reserve for the last quarter of 2009, American consumers owed a total of $2.5 trillion in overall debt.
We have become accustomed to getting something for nothing. Too many people use a credit card as though it was a source of free money. They want to buy everything now and pay as little as possible later. Then when they get into financial trouble they can't understand how such a thing could happen to them. And it is because of this kind of thinking on the part of the average American that they fall easy prey to politicians who offer them free money by convincing them that they are entitled to it. They become like the children in the story of the Pied Piper, who were lured away from the safety of their town as they followed his enchanting music until he eventually led to their death or enslaved them in a cave (depending on which version of the story is being told).
So the fourth thing that all Americans need to understand is how money works and how to use it wisely. Without that understanding we will lose the prosperity that we now take for granted and become an impoverished nation. That is what has happened to nearly every country that has allowed their government to take over controlling their money system.
The fifth thing that all Americans need to understand is the language of the demagogue. A demagogue is "an orator, who gains power through his popularity by arousing the emotions, and passions of people by making false claims and promises. It is someone who manipulates people into giving him power by obscuring or distorting the truth." By definition, a demagogue is a agitator, who deliberately incites and stirs people to action for the ultimate purpose of convincing them to give him the power he desires. And the way he does this is by convincing others that he alone is able to save them from the danger he says is threatening them.
The way demagogues come to power is by preying on people's fears, prejudices, greed, hatred, and appealing to the baser instincts of mankind. He magnifies perceived wrongs, then proceeds to incite one class of people to fight against another. They set the poor against the rich, blacks against whites, women against men, the weak against the strong, minorities against the majorities. But, instead of empowering others to right these wrongs, they seek to have all power centered in themselves, and they do this by portraying those whom they want to enslave as being victims who can't help themselves without his leadership. So, a demagogue makes glowing promises of a better life if only people will give him the power to make all the necessary changes.
Now, there are true injustices in the world that people need to and should take action against, but what makes a demagogue so dangerous is that he deliberately camouflages himself as a true champion of the people by falsely claiming that his only interest is in their welfare. Rather than being honest about his intentions, a demagogue is the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing. He wraps himself in virtue to fool people into believing he is someone that he's not. He uses words such as love, compassion, justice, equality, fairness, family, patriotism, and will even invoke the name of God all in an effort to deceive people.
Then how can we tell the difference between someone who is sincere in wanting to help others and someone who only pretends to be sincere? There are several ways. The first is that demagogues crave the lime light and, most of the time, make themselves the focus of attention. That's because they seek the adulation and praise of others. They lure people into giving him power because of his popularity. In contrast, an honest person focuses his attention on teaching others how to take care of themselves rather than being dependant on him.
But, even here, a demagogue can imitate this behavior by falsely appearing to promise that once the victory has been won they will step aside. Of course, by the time they have taken full control they never relinquish their power.
Because a demagogue must use deceit to fool people, he will try to be all things to all people. To each group of people he speaks to he will tell them what they want to hear, even if his current statements contradict his previous remarks. On the other hand, an honest person will be consistent in stating what they believe because these are the principles that guide their life.
And this points out yet another way to detect a demagogue because those who truly believe in what they preach live by their stated beliefs. On the other hand, demagogues tell people to do one thing but exempt themselves from their own rules and they always have excuses to justify why they don't live as they preach. Therefore, to distinguish between someone who is a true friend of the people from someone who is their foe it is important that we look into the background of those who seek to lead us and see whether their past actions agree with their current words.
And, in doing this we can discover yet another way to tell a friend from a foe. All of us have done things in the past we wish we hadn't and an honest person is not someone who has no faults. But an honest person isn't afraid to have others honestly look into their background and, when falsely accused of wrong doing, they will endeavor to provide strong evidence of their innocence.
On the other hand, a demagogue will try to hide their past and will resist all efforts to have it uncovered. When accused of wrongdoing, rather than trying to answer the charges against them, they attack their accusers. Their method of defending themselves is to show some flaw in the character of their accuser and by doing so, they then claim that this also discredits the accusation against them. That's not a valid defense. That's nothing more than the old con game of bait and switch. Instead of providing evidence, they provide misdirection. While demagogues crave the limelight, they shun the spotlight.
There are many other ways to detect a demagogue and so the fourth thing that people need to become educated about is learning the language that demagogues use, in order to keep from being deceived by their cunning words.
The way most tyrants come to power is by preying upon the ignorance of the people they seek to enslave. Therefore, the only way to effectively defend ourselves against tyranny is when a majority of Americans are sufficiently educated to know why they should be proud of their country, why it is important for us to live by high moral standards, who understand the Constitution and its purpose, who understand the proper use of money and what creates prosperity and what destroys it, and who cannot be fooled by the sophistry of demagogues. It is by educating more and more Americans to understand and follow these five principles that America will remain the land of the free.
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