November 2016 Newsletter
The big excitement of this last month was the surprising election.
I like to pride myself on being independent. I voted for Obama in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, but something changed for me during this last election. I finally discovered that America is a Republic and NOT a democracy and I began to understand why. Before, like many people I didn’t know the difference.
The key difference I have come to see is that there is a big, bad world out there, many countries. I wasn’t born in America and I have traveled and I know how superior it is to live in America. Some countries let their people vote and have a say in government and some don’t, but all are on a gradient scale of “Might is Right” and in most countries crime and corruption are supreme.
What is special and unique about a Republic? It gives the people a say but it goes further. It is structured around “Rule of Law” and no government except by the consent of the governed. It is this that protects the individual and minorities from “Might is Right”; it is its balance of power that roots out corruption. I have come to realize that we have corruption in exact degree that we depart from the basic ideas framing our Constitution.
If you, like me six months ago, don’t understand the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, but would like to know, what changed my thinking was the incomparable FREE course from Hillsdale College. It was such an inspiration. I would sit down to my lesson every Saturday morning and how I looked forward to that special hour.
I was not born in America and I have traveled, so the fact that we could lose America and let it be swallowed into a North American Union where our heritage and founding principles are trashed scared me. But America faced the challenge. Let’s see if we learn from our mistakes.
Very soon Americans will take a holiday, to give thanks. I give thanks for America.
But most may well give thanks, as they have in years gone by, by simply eating too much. We should contrast our lives today, even in bad times, with a time when the first settlers observed their first Thanksgiving. When they said thanks, it was for less food, less security, and less freedom than we have today.
Gratitude is a liberating emotion. I believe that it brings with it understanding and charity. If you take the longer view, you may discover that our world is a wonderful becoming. If you choose to look up and not to look down, you are going to see the silver lining. In the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence, our Founders wrote: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
As we gather with our friends and family during this week of Thanksgiving, and as the world around us seems to grow more and more dangerous, as we realize that if we are not vigilant we could lose America, it is worth looking back at those words.
Our Founding Fathers believed that men were born free with certain God-given rights, and that the only just purpose of government was to secure those rights. Relying only upon "divine Providence," they were willing to sacrifice whatever necessary to establish such a government.
Because of the wisdom and courage of men like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, America became more than just an idea. And because of the selflessness and sacrifice of many other generations of Americans, we know what it is like to live in freedom. May it continue.
This Thanksgiving, let us pray that we too have the will, the fortitude, and the protection of Divine Providence so we may overcome the challenges of our time. We make our own future.
We are not just any nation, and we are not just any people.
Until next month!
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