A few weeks ago I extended an invitation to the candidates running for MO Senatorial District 31 to be a guest on my blog and give their views on a topic of their choice. One candidate accepted.
The United States of America — Simply Miraculous
It was Benjamin Franklin who said “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” Such was the spirit that birthed the United States of America and launched a period of success, progress and prosperity like the world had never seen. History bears record to the miraculous impact of this “new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Author Cleon Skousen captured American exceptionalism in his book “The 5000 Year Leap, A Miracle That Changed the World.” After 5000 years of daunting mediocrity and technological stagnation a “new nation” was born, and mankind went from horse-drawn wooden plows to a man on the moon in 200 years — not 2000 years, but 200 years. That unimaginable progress came not from world cooperation or the absence of war, and it didn’t come from the United Nations or some council on economic development. It grew from two principles that our Godly founding fathers envisioned out of Biblical pedigree and fervent prayer: individual liberty and economic freedom.
These men observed that success and prosperity follow liberty. They reasoned that liberty demanded a nation governed by laws rather than powerful men, and that liberty is endowed by our Creator not a king. Our founders acknowledged that since liberty belongs to the people, only government of the people, by the people and for the people is adequate to defend it. That is why the U.S. Constitution begins simply “We the people … ”
Not every Colonist was captivated by liberty and independence from the British Government (King George). Many were content to depend upon the King despite his despotic demands and senseless mandates, to be subjects rather than citizens, to be wards rather than free men. There will always be some who are satisfied with slavery as long as the supply ships come on time. But I thank God that 56 men were not content with slavery and that they were willing to commit their lives, their fortunes and their reputations to the cause of freedom. These men saw liberty not as something to be hoarded for an elite group but to be common to all — for that is the nature and substance of liberty. Liberty is authentic only in a world where all men are created equal.
The love of liberty and its promise of opportunity compelled our forefathers to codify one other foundational element — the free market economy and its protection of individual ownership of labor and property. These wise men agreed that no other economic system was compatible with liberty. Individual freedom, they concluded, would only survive if accompanied by economic freedom.
Liberty is the birthright of every U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization. But liberty only survives where it is defended, and therein lies the power of our state and federal constitutions. Only two things separate freedom from tyranny: the integrity of our constitution(s), or armed conflict. It is my goal as a state senator to defend the liberties of my constituents by following both the letter and the intent of our constitution. I will defend their right to make choices according to their own views and circumstances as long as those choices do not harm the rights of another. That is the righteous role of government: to protect your liberty, not to tell you how to live.