When Liberty is Gone

By John Meng, Publisher/Editor  When liberty is gone, it’s gone. The examples in history of a population losing its liberty and regaining it are very few. Frankly, I can’t name even one.     

Last week, we celebrated the 244th birthday of this Great Nation. Our Founding Fathers forged this country with sacrifice, determination and blood. They gave the world a nation in which the rights of the individual are held higher than a presiding government.     

Freedom certainly found a champion in the United States, and it’s been a championship title our country has held for more than two centuries. But times are changing, and not necessarily for the better.     

I cannot imagine the dismay and disgust our Founding Fathers might feel today if they saw how much of our liberty we have handed over to nameless government bureaucrats and career politicians. Governments always seem to have an insatiable appetite, and our liberties are being swallowed up faster than free Twinkies at a Weight Watchers convention.     

Local, state and federal governments alike (our Jackson County officials excluded) always seem quick to tell us what we need and don’t need. They pass laws regulating the size of our drinks; impose taxes on sugar and soda; ban plastic grocery bags and straws; and impose Draconian restrictions on firearm owners. Like a doting mother hen, government always knows what is best for us.     

To see evidence of that, you don’t have to go far. The Federal Register is the main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies, and in 1936, the Register contained about 2,600 pages. In 2019, the Register had more than 70,000 pages.

However, today, the government is not our biggest worry. We are witnessing an all-out assault on our liberty and the fabric of American society by political elitists, political interest groups, radical Marxists and the Fourth Estate, namely the mainstream media. And our government officials are deaf, dumb and disgraceful. Has even one ‘protester’ been arrested for pulling down a statue?     

Books like Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird have been banned by universities. And the media and government officials have been silent.     

Statues which both commemorate and remind us of our American history have been toppled and defiled. And the media and government officials have been silent.     

Rioters, looters and thugs recently took control of our streets, caused millions in property damage and injured and killed dozens of people. And the media and government officials have been silent.     

The coronavirus has also tested our founding principles, and many blue state governors have seized the opportunity to circumvent the Constitution. With the possible exception of President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, we have never seen such an overreach of authority.     

Last week, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott issued an executive order mandating that all Texans wear facial coverings when in public. It’s for the ‘greater good.’     

Public safety is a serious matter, and I understand that the greater good sometimes comes into conflict with our individual liberties. It’s a difficult balancing act, and I admit this decision is difficult for me. I know it’s even more difficult for our local officials.     Individual liberty should never be taken for granted. No other country on Earth guarantees the rights of the individual more than the United States, and we need to keep it that way.     

Nevertheless, I’ll wear a mask. Not because I am a sheeple dutifully awaiting my next order from my benevolent all-knowing government leaders. And not simply because the governor says I must. I am wearing a mask because I love my new home in Jackson County and I want to protect those around me. It’s very little to ask, and one small liberty I freely surrender.

Ed. Note: To honor our nation’s founding in 1776, this month the Jackson County Herald Tribune has a special promotion for new subscribers and renewals. Pay only $17.76 for a one-year subscription and receive both our print and digital editions.

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