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“A history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states” … so it was written in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence, and so it needs repeating in 2022.
At the time of the American Revolutionary War, the colonists were divided between either the “Loyalists,” those who remained loyal to the existing government, regardless of its flaws; or the “Patriots.” British writer Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote that, during the era of the American Revolution, the word “Patriot” had a negative connotation and was used as a negative epithet for “a factious disturber of the government.”
Other connotations for Patriots included Continentals, or Rebels, but quite simply, they were all just everyday average people who had decided that they’d had enough of living under poor government. These Patriots went on to fight the American Revolutionary War of 1775 to 1783, and then they established a new nation with a constitution that created a new form of representative/limited government.
While there were many, literally thousands, from that era who could be called Patriots, there were some who were more notable than others regarding their contributions, men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, and of course, George Washington; women like Abigail Adams, Mary Hays (AKA “Molly Pitcher”) and Betsy Ross; and even many Africans like Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead.
Here in the former British colonies in America, a Patriot could come from anywhere within the spectrum of social, economic, or ethnic backgrounds. They included lawyers, writers, clergy, shop keepers, farmers, and skilled artisans.
It didn’t matter who you were, or who your parents were, but more so that you had finally concluded that enough was enough, and you were willing to commit a personal stake into the removal of a corrupt and tyrannical government that claimed dominion over you, your family and all that you owned.
Despite advances in technologies, and the recognition that now ALL persons have equal and inalienable rights, the circumstances that we find ourselves in today are not too different from what Americans found themselves in about 250 years ago.
When “The Bill of Rights” was added to our Constitution in 1791, the concluding 10th Amendment specifically stated that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Our “representative” government given to us by the founders has since been shanghaied. “We the People” are taxed upon our income, taken even before we are paid by our employer. Our property is taxed. Our vehicles are taxed. Our groceries are taxed. Our gasoline is taxed. If you can name something, it is either already taxed or someone in our government probably wishes that they could tax it.
Those in government become wealthy, while we are left to struggle financially because of their abuse of the public treasury. We the people have little to no control over where our tax dollars are spent.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” In my life, I have paid taxes that have financed wars and corruption for decades now, yet I have no reprieve.
Our only peaceful option is to vote for whatever candidate we prefer that is running for public office, but for the last 170 years, the only choices either had a “D” or an “R” next to their name, and regardless as to which may have won their election, they have continuously eroded away the personal freedoms and liberties that our forefathers fought and died for, and the Ds and Rs both have continued to piss away our tax dollars as if it were an unlimited supply of free money, except that it is neither free nor unlimited.
Sure, things are better today than back then, with cars, air conditioning, electricity, cell phones, the internet, etc., but essentially we are still the same; we want shelter from the weather, we want good food and to not be hungry, we want to prosper, and to raise our children to be respectable adults, but where we differ from our forefathers is that they were tarring and feathering tax collectors over a far smaller amount of taxation.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting sedition or insurrection. As a Libertarian, I adhere to the non-aggression principle (NAP = I will not start violence, especially over politics, but once violence has been initiated, we will fight to win), but in conclusion to this little run-down comparison between times past and times present, I ask that you take a moment to consider where you stand, and ask yourself, are you a true Patriot, a “factious disturber of the government”? Or are you a Loyalist, who will continue to blindly support continued government ineptitude, because you’re afraid of what unrestricted freedom looks like?
If you call yourself a Patriot, then I expect you to start being more vocal about disturbing our government and calling upon our representatives to be far more accountable and far more transparent in their endeavors, or at least remind our politicians, and tax collectors, that tar and feathers are still on the table. If not you, then who will be the Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Patrick Henry, or Thomas Paine, of our time?