Today We Remember Those Who Fought and Died for Our Freedom – Let Us Also Honor Them

Do not forget their sacrifice. Some will remark about how some or even all of those deaths were unnecessary in hindsight. Some cry about the actions in the Middle East. Were they for honor and country, for our security, or to protect oil interests? Did our citizens need to be involved in Viet Nam, Korea, or even WWII? Maybe, maybe not, it does not matter. They answered the call to arms and sacrificed their lives. Their hearts were pure, regardless of the intents of our so-called leaders.

The fact is they, those who gave their lives, and let us not forget the others who came back never to be the same again, for our nation. They left jobs, homes, and families to protect us and our way of life. They pledged an oath to defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They raised their hand to protect and defend our freedoms. Let us not let their sacrifices be in vain.

Now it’s our turn. The good news is we need not give our lives for our country as those we remember. What do I mean by “our turn”? Consider what they fought and died for. Consider what they all hoped to come back to: a nation unlike any other. A land committed to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, founded on a document, the law of this land, our Constitution. What our forefathers envisioned while creating this founding document was to form a nation of self-governing citizens. We were to be our own governors, with our collective power limited and certain rights and freedoms guaranteed in writing.

Based upon these principles our nation flourished. We emerged and economic and military powerhouse … and a beacon for others around the world. A shining light – a powerful example of what we humans could do given freedom and self-determination. We accomplished all this seemingly without effort and, frankly, nowhere close to perfection. Still this experiment worked, flawed as its implementation was. Flawed? Imperfect? Whatever do I mean?

Look back a the words “self-government”. Now ask yourself, when was the last time you showed the slightest interest in how our nation is run? Or your local town or county government? State government? Let me guess, you watch the news from time to time and maybe, just maybe, take note of some law that has passed or some politician or activist proposing or pushing one agenda or another. Most of the time you did nothing beyond that other than spouting off to your spouse or a friend or two. I thought so.

Some of you may be active in your local political party. Very, very few of you go just a bit beyond that. Then there’s that handful who has made a career of politics. Have you noticed something? If it is not apparent to you, check back the past few sentences. This conversation quickly turned from “self-government” to “politics”. These terms should not be interchangeable! And this is where we’ve failed.

So many say, “I have no interest in politics”. Congratulations. I don’t blame you. Politics is a filthy, rotten business that should be avoided by all citizens like the plague. You read right. Please, if you take away nothing else from this, let this thought stay with you – self-government should never be about politics!

Let me guess… the whole idea of “government’ makes you cringe as well. It’s complicated. It’s mindbogglingly huge. Yes. It is. It was never intended as such. Hence the concept of a “limited government”. Imagine how much simpler things would be if we didn’t insist government – local, state, and/or federal have their fingers in every aspect of our lives. Currently Federal Law alone occupies over 21,000 pages and even this does not cover the extent of federal meddling in our lives. Pile upon that pile state and local laws and regulations then ask yourself – do our lives really need to be so complicated? Is it any wonder justice in our nation is hindered by packed courts overwhelmed by endless legal actions? Who needs it? I know I don’t. It gets worse.

The cancer we call “government” has metastasized. It not only exploded far beyond constitutional limitations but has invaded our freedoms, eating away at everything we hold dear to engulf our families, our daily activities, even our spiritual lives. Even those who refuse to look can feel the chill of this darkness as it tries to smother all light. Most of us have known “something” is wrong for some time now. The “what” is elusive. Why? Mostly because we’ve all been indoctrinated. Trust the government. Trust the system. Our party will win this time and all will be well. In fact, no matter what party wins, all will NOT be well, because both parties have the same goal – power.

What, then, can we do?

This meme suggests the only way we can “win” is by force. NOT TRUE! Nobody wins that way. Our constitutional form of self-government is built-in with the tools we need to fix this nation. All we need to is take ACTION!

The answer seems too simple as well as illogical – vote. WHAT? How about those who say “we can’t vote our way out of this”? What about what YOU just said about politics? What difference can that make? If we vote for a party then… politics! If we write-in a vote then isn’t that vote wasted?

The short answer to all of this is – these responses are entirely valid. ALL of them are true to a point, but we must get beyond that point and the only way we can do this to vote in this next election. Please, hear me out.

First consider, really consider, the principle of “one man, one vote”. There is inherent beauty in this phrase. It is also the key to accumulating power – whether it pertains to some political party or to any group of citizens. One man, one vote renders any single vote ineffective when two others join to vote against the one. The beauty here is in the basis of this principle – decentralization. In order for anyone – ANY one – to gain power s/he must join together with others in agreement.

For too long, two groups have conned us citizens into thinking we must, MUST “belong” to one or the other. This the essence of our “two-party system”. I don’t know about you but I was taught in school that this “two-party system” is essential to a well-run government. Just how IS this working out for us lately? My point exactly. However, we cannot move past this obstacle just yet. We need to take an intermediate step or two. What is that step?

Vote. It is that simple at the foundation, but, as I showed above, we need to do more than “just vote”. Starting now. We need to bring others on board. You know as well as I, there are many good people out there who simply do not vote. This needs to change. Self-government means citizen participation and by this I mean ALL citizens – or as close to “all” as we can reasonably get. In most states less than half of those eligible do not vote. Even those of us do vote practice “set it and forget it” citizenship. We vote then do nothing until the next election. This is not enough.

If you already vote, great. If nothing can stop you from voting in this November election, wonderful. Now I’m challenging you to do more, even just a little bit more. My challenge is for you to persuade just one more person to register to vote. If you do more than that, great, but start with one. If you cannot bring yourself to do that then I’ll offer a second challenge. Post a “Voter Action Meme” on your social media page, blog, or website (or anywhere!).

For anyone willing to commit a bit more, feel free to visit Write Thinking Wear to pick up a “Vote Like a Boss” T-shirt, mug, sticker or some other help. These items are designed to grab attention, stimulate conversation, and evoke on-the-spot action by scanning the QR code linked directly to a state voter registration page.

There are 43 groups of products corresponding to the 43 states that allow online voter registration, each group sports QR codes linking to that states online voter registration page. It has never been easier to encourage someone to register to vote AND make it easy for them to take action NOW.

Our fight is different than those who gave their lives for our nation but no less serious. Do not let those brave men and women to have died in vain. Honor them by taking up the flag. Register. Vote. Encourage others. If there is any hope to take back our nation, it centers on November’s election.