What It Meant to be An American and What It Means Now

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) – or was it the American Legion – used to sponsor an essay contest for elementary school students on what it means to be an American.

Tonight, all that will change.  As the Treasury has flooded our economy with money, making it worth less and less, Obama is expected, in his address to Latin Americans tonight, to issue an executive order that will grant amnesty to five million illegal immigrants here in the United States, and other dictates that will grant citizenship to children of foreigners born here in America, making our citizenship just as worthless as our currency.

They will have gained citizenship without learning the laws of our nation.  Indeed, their first lesson is that you can break the law to become an American.  They will have become Americans without being able to read or write the common language, English.  Being illiterate, they will not know the true history of America’s greatness.

They will be eligible for two things:  welfare and low or no-skills jobs, jobs that our teenagers ought to be doing.  They will work for lower wages, although Big Labor is lobbying to have the minimum wage raised to $15 per hour.  That is why Republican donors have been backing moderate candidates who are in favor of immigration “reform.”

The American people, polls indicate, are furious.  Even the legal Hispanics are angry.  They worked hard to get here.  They obeyed the laws.  They learned at least some English.  These invaders come here, at the behest of our imperial president, to do one thing only: change the cultural and political landscape in favor of socialism and communism.

Obama declares that he is not an emperor.  On the news, he’s heard citing over and over that he cannot simply change the immigration laws alone.  Yet that’s precisely what he is doing.  He’s citing the laws of the Constitution so we know that he recognizes what he’s doing is unconstitutional.

Although the Republicans have made a great celebration of their mid-term victory, the win wasn’t exactly a landslide.  It wasn’t even a wave, as some cautious Republicans term the election results.  Call it a “low-tide” victory in red states which already favored Republicans.  Not a single U.S. Senate seat in a blue state (like New Jersey) was overturned.

‘Americans are stupid,’ according to the economics professor who served as consultant to the federal government as well as a number of individual states on universal health care.

Actually, not so much.  As Rush Limbaugh rightly points out, if the American voter was really that stupid, Gruber wouldn’t have had to lie to them about Obamacare.  We’re not stupid but we’re as timid as turtles, pulling back into our shells at the slightest hint that we might be “racist.”

Obama managed to convince a majority of American voters that America isn’t so great.  Or shouldn’t be.  A lack of knowledge of history, not economics, is what put him over the top.  Americans are quite savvy about economics, in fact; they’re especially susceptible to schemes that will get them something for nothing.

If we’re to survive this attack on our nation, an invasion directed from within by our own elected leader, Americans, particularly young Americans, need to know what made, and still makes, America great.

In 140 characters or less, the Twitterized version is “The Constitution of the United States of America.”  That’s 48 characters (not counting the quote marks).  “Separation of powers.”   That comes to 69 characters.  “The Bill of Rights.”   88 characters.  “Freedom of religion, speech & the right 2 bear arms.” There – that’s the 140 characters.

What makes America great began in the ingenuity of her political design.  America was the great experiment.  Never before had any nation in the world granted its citizens the right to publicly criticize the governments.  Freedom of speech is the right tyrants fear the most.

In England, prior to the colonization of America, freedom of speech was on trial.  Newspaper publishers were being arrested, put on trial, and imprisoned for criticizing the monarchy.  Today, we can be sued if we criticize our employers or use any manner of politically incorrect speech, handily silencing Americans in the workplace, where they’re most likely to interact with one another.

We’ve been taught that America was an imperialist colony, under the auspices of the British Crown.  Very true.  But people from other countries – Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden – were here, some here before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock.  They sought freedom – and opportunity – as well.

For 112 years, the Colonists were subject to the sovereignty of the Crown.  Some colonists were entrepreneurs, seeking their fortunes in the rich soil of the South (Virginia) and the mines of New Jersey (New Caesaria, as it was called then).

Does it seem like the English ruled longer?  You do the math – 1664 (when they captured New Amsterdam and renamed it for the Duke of York, New York City) to 1776.  Certainly, 112 years was too long as far as Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty were concerned.

Samuel Adams started out, and failed, as a brewer of beer.  He was all about politics.  He transformed an annual feud between churlish church-goers in South Boston and North Boston over whose patron ruled the city into a movement against Britain and her usurious taxes called the Sons of Liberty.

A diplomat Sam Adams was not.  Neither was Paul Revere, although being a good businessman, a silversmith who made the bells for most of the Boston churches, as well as other silver-based goods, did business with both sides.

Adams’ activism bore fruit; the British rescinded most of their taxes by December of 1773.  The last tax was on tea imported into Boston.  Bostonians could only trade with the British.  To ensure their compliance, the British affixed a tax stamp to the tea.  That meant not only did Colonists had to pay a tax on the tea with no representation in Parliament, but that was the only tea they could buy.

George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were furious when they learned of the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773.  Washington felt there was no last word in diplomacy and hoped that eventually the Colonies would persuade the British to give them their independence.

Benjamin Franklin felt that time was on America’s side.  America was a larger country with room to grow.  Eventually, American English would outnumber their counterparts across the pond and earn our freedom.  That is, if Americans had representation in Parliament, something the equally calculating British monarch refused to grant for that very reason.

America was a land of opportunity for England, and she wasn’t going to let it go without a fight.  England was quite perplexed by Colonial resistance.  Naturally, the Mother Country had to tax its colonists for the protection she provided against the Indians and France, who also saw America’s potential and wanted a piece of it.

England had big problem, though; as noted, not all the colonists were English.  Some of them were Dutch, who wanted no part in any revolution.  At least not the Dutch and Germans who lived in New Jersey.  They didn’t care who ruled the land, as long as they could, like the Ferengi of Star Trek fame, make a profit.

But after the Boston Tea Party, the fight was on. The prelude to revolution concluded with the Battle of Concord and Lexington.  The regulars (not the “British”) were coming to confiscate the illegal arms hidden on farms and in towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Their orders were also to arrest the leaders of the rebellion, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.  The arms were thought to be in Concord.  Adams and Hancock were in a “safe house” in Lexington.

Paul Revere’s task was to alert the Sons of Liberty when the British regulars left their ships in Boston Harbor and begin their march into the countryside. With him were two other riders:  Dr. Joseph Warren and William Dawes, a free black man.

Dawes was delighted to play a role in the ride.  An intelligent man, he delighted in fooling the British by playing the fawning bumpkin.  His ploy worked; he evaded capture and so did Dr. Warren.  Paul Revere was not so fortunate, however.

Revere’s business began to suffer when the British economy entered a recession in the years following the Seven Years’ War, and declined further when the Stamp Act of 1765 resulted in a further downturn in the Massachusetts economy. Business was so poor that an attempt was made to attach his property in late 1765. To help make ends meet he even took up dentistry, a skill set he was taught by a practicing surgeon who lodged at a friend’s house.  One client was Dr. Joseph Warren, a local physician and political opposition leader with whom Revere formed a close friendship.  Revere and Warren, in addition to having common political views, were also both active in the same local Masonic lodge.

From December 1773 to November 1775, Revere served as a courier for the Boston Committee of Public Safety, traveling to New York and Philadelphia to report on the political unrest in Boston. Research has documented 18 such rides.

When British Army activity on April 7, 1775, suggested the possibility of troop movements, Warren sent Revere to warn the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, then meeting in Concord, the site of one of the larger caches of Patriot military supplies. After receiving the warning, Concord residents began moving the military supplies away from the town.

One week later, on April 14, General Gage received instructions from Secretary of State William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth (dispatched on January 27), to disarm the rebels, who were known to have hidden weapons in Concord, among other locations, and to imprison the rebellion’s leaders, especially Adams and Hancock.  Dartmouth gave Gage considerable discretion in his commands. Gage issued orders to Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith to proceed from Boston “with utmost expedition and secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy… all Military stores…. But you will take care that the soldiers do not plunder the inhabitants or hurt private property.” Gage did not issue written orders for the arrest of rebel leaders, as he feared doing so might spark an uprising.

Between 9 and 10 p.m. on the night of April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren told Revere and Dawes that the king’s troops were about to embark in boats from Boston bound for Cambridge and the road to Lexington and Concord. Warren’s intelligence suggested that the most likely objectives of the regulars’ movements later that night would be the capture of Adams and Hancock. They did not worry about the possibility of regulars marching to Concord, since the supplies at Concord were safe, but they did think their leaders in Lexington were unaware of the potential danger that night. Revere and Dawes were sent out to warn them and to alert colonial militias in nearby towns.

In the days before April 18, Revere had instructed Robert Newman, the sexton of the North Church, to send a signal by lantern to alert colonists in Charlestown as to the movements of the troops when the information became known. In what is well known today by the phrase “one if by land, two if by sea”, one lantern in the steeple would signal the army’s choice of the land route while two lanterns would signal the route “by water” across the Charles River.  Revere first gave instructions to send the signal to Charlestown. He then crossed the Charles River by rowboat, slipping past the British warship HMS Somerset at anchor. Crossings were banned at that hour, but Revere safely landed in Charlestown and rode to Lexington, avoiding a British patrol and later warning almost every house along the route. The Charlestown colonists dispatched additional riders to the north.

Riding through present-day Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Revere warned patriots along his route, many of whom set out on horseback to deliver warnings of their own. By the end of the night there were probably as many as 40 riders throughout Middlesex County carrying the news of the army’s advance. Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (“The British are coming!”): His mission depended on secrecy. The countryside was filled with British army patrols, and most of the Massachusetts colonists (who were predominantly English in ethnic origin) still considered themselves British.

Revere’s warning, according to eyewitness accounts of the ride and Revere’s own descriptions, was “The Regulars are coming out.”  He only rode up to the doors of homes known to be Patriots and he gave the message quietly so as not to alert nearby patrols or Loyalist neighbors.

Revere arrived in Lexington around midnight, with Dawes arriving about a half hour later. They met with Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were spending the night with Hancock’s relatives and spent a great deal of time discussing plans of action upon receiving the news. They believed that the forces leaving the city were too large for the sole task of arresting two men and that Concord was the main target. The Lexington men dispatched riders to the surrounding towns, and Revere and Dawes continued along the road to Concord accompanied by Samuel Prescott, another doctor.

Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were detained by a British Army patrol in Lincoln at a roadblock on the way to Concord.  Prescott jumped his horse over a wall and escaped into the woods; he eventually reached Concord. Dawes also escaped, though he fell off his horse not long after and did not complete the ride.

Revere was captured and questioned by the British soldiers at gunpoint. He told them of the army’s movement from Boston, and that British army troops would be in some danger if they approached Lexington, because of the large number of hostile militia gathered there. He and other captives taken by the patrol were still escorted east toward Lexington, until about a half mile from Lexington they heard a gunshot. The British major demanded Revere explain the gunfire, and Revere replied it was a signal to “alarm the country”. As the group drew closer to Lexington, the town bell began to clang rapidly, upon which one of the captives proclaimed to the British soldiers, “The bell’s a’ringing! The town’s alarmed, and you’re all dead men!”

My Shakespeare professor in college taught that the beginning lines of any Shakespeare play were a clue to the theme of the work.

The shout heard ’round the world:  “The British are coming!” was actually a whisper and a mistranslation of the actual words of Paul Revere and the other alarm-and-muster riders.  The British regulars were feared because they were well-trained, well-disciplined professional soldiers.  The Regulars were coming, the professional army, not the Loyalist Militia or the local constabulary.  Yet they were defeated at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The Colonists were fighting not only for religious freedom, but also economic and political freedom.  They weren’t soldiers, any more than modern Americans (for the most part) are.  But freedom was so precious to them that these farmers and merchants were willing to risk their lives to defend it.  There was no namby-pamby talk about killing.  A life in political, social and economic captivity was no life at all, to them.

To be American then was to be self-reliant, resilient, hard-working, and independent in every sense of the word.  Could we say the same today?  In a government-regulated economy (a friend’s company can only buy a certain, hard-to-find brand of Fantastik bearing a particular code to clean its equipment; my former company was at one time subject to an excess profits state tax), an entrepreneur must be very brave, indeed, to set up shop.

Our government bureaucracy – and our dependency upon it – has grown exponentially since the FDR administration.  To take arms against it would be to shoot ourselves in the feet and the government knows it.  Their commercial showing Paul Ryan shoving a wheelchair-bound granny over a cliff was a smart bit of mockery of our compromised situation.

What’s more, the government’s propaganda machinery, better known as The Media, has made great strides in whetting our fear of violence, whether it be by gun-toting psychotics shooting up classrooms and movie theaters, or bat-wielding welfare-addicts threatening to riot over a cop shooting an attacker in self-defense.

Tonight, our master-in-chief will declare amnesty for five million illegal aliens now living in the United States, as well as granting citizenship to children of foreigners born here in America.  What an armed invasion force couldn’t accomplish, Obama will succeed by granting citizenship via fiat/executive order to immigrants who flooded our borders illegally (or more likely, came by jet plane).

Constitutionally, he has no right to do this.  He knows he doesn’t, acknowledges this violation, and will vow to carry on with his act.  The Congress is in lame duck session.  The illegals are actually already here.  There’s nothing, seemingly, that we can do about them.  Moderates, whose backers see legalizing the illegals as an answer to a dearth of cheap labor, posit for some sort of reform that will grant them citizenship.

We who are already Americans take great exception to this criminal act.  The present Congress will not impeach Obama.  The next Congress is not likely to do so, even with a Republican majority now in the Senate as well as the House.  Impeach the first Black president of the United States?  Are you kidding?  The riots that are about to occur in Ferguson, Mo., will look like a church picnic compared to the uproar of impeaching Obama.

There are two recourses:  Congress can defund any of Obama’s efforts.  Or the citizens of the United States can recall him.  The last resort is the same fate the early Colonists faced and the British feared:  an outright shooting war.

Our modern-day Paul Reveres have been warning that the Hispanics (not to mention the Chinese, the Vietnamese, and worst of all, the Muslims) are coming?  Like Paul Revere, the messengers have had to choose the houses they approach carefully.  There are many homes loyal to Obama and in place of British Regulars, we have an alert Media and a many-tentacled bureaucracy that can hack our computers and read our e-mails, websites, blogs, Facebook postings, and Twitters.

However, we don’t make a secret of our opposition to this dictate that will permanently change our political, economic and social landscape.  We’ve been telling you so for years now.  Since you’ve waited too long to act, America, we fear it will inevitably lead to a shooting war.

Tonight’s address by Obama will not simply be an announcement; it will be a victory speech in which Socialist Communism has defeated the democracy of a federated republic.

What it meant to be an American was to make your own decisions, earn your living by your own labor, elect representatives who believed in freedom and true justice, worship God (or not) in your own way without interfering with or interference from others of different faiths.  Being American meant you were free to choose where you lived.  It meant you could raise your children according to your own standards.

Those children would learn that America was not the greatest nation on the earth because she was perfect, but because she sheltered her residents from tyranny.   Being American meant the willingness to defend, perhaps to the death, that freedom.  Being American meant defending freedom of speech and worship, perhaps to the death.  Being American meant you would receive a fair trial and would be considered innocent and until proven to that jury that you were guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Being American meant you could keep what you earned, and not pay tribute to monarchs or tyrants.  Once upon a time, taxation was only used in times of emergencies, usually wars.  Once the national debt was paid off, the taxation ended.

Being American meant you could criticize your government without fear of fine or confinement.  Being American meant you could dream, and excel, if you wanted to.  Being American was no guarantee of success; that was up to you.  But the government couldn’t stand in your way of your pursuit of life, liberty, property, prosperity, and happiness.

Perhaps too much time has passed since the advent of liberty.  We haven’t experienced the deprivation of liberty.  We’ve been financially supported by the government as it went about the business of destroying our freedom.  We’re in their wheelchair now where the Progressives, the Liberals, the Democrats (with some help from Moderate Republicans), not Paul Ryan, have pushed us, helplessly gazing over the maw of a cliff, as our wardens mock us, asking us if we still want to choose between liberty and death.

Americans before us drank the government Kool-Aid and now we’re genetically addicted to our bondage and tremble at the notion of breaking those bonds.  We hardly need to be terrorized by the thought of shooting guns and throwing bombs, killing people and destroying property.  We’re very nicely fettered in our comfortable, cushioned wheelchairs with all the electronic amenities before us.  We don’t have to lift a finger.

That’s what it means to be American today.  But don’t worry; we won’t be Americans for much longer.

Listen tonight, carefully, and you will hear the death knell of a freedom we used to revere.

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Published in: on November 20, 2014 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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