Let's not be wimps

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Millions of Americans are certainly wimps when it comes to standing up for the liberties that our founders endured severe hardship and even death to establish. Certainly we have to acknowledge that the founders failed in some respects regarding personal liberties.

Slaves had no liberties whatsoever. Women did not have the same liberties as men. But those were injustices that Americans have struggled to overcome. The history of our country was one of progress toward liberty, with a few notable relapses such as the internment of Japanese Americans during WW II.

However, America continued to operate as a democracy, with constitutional limits on the power of the government over individuals.

We've endured great challenges such as a Civil War, two world wars, a great depression and the cold war threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction, without sacrificing our basic principles, but the 24-hour news cycle and chest-thumping demagogues convince many of us, quite absurdly, that we are now facing a greater existential threat than we have ever faced.

Therefore, some of us wrongly assume we need to accept such counterproductive practices as torture and religious discrimination.

Our liberties are more than a luxury. They are essential to our struggle against being overcome by that which we fear.