KEYES: Plea for a True Memorial Day

Barb Wire

Years ago I gave a pro-life speech in which I presented the logic that is the mainstay of almost every pro-life speech I give to audiences in the United States: For the people of the United States, the fight to defend the unalienable right to life of nascent human beings in the womb is in fact a battle for the identity and soul of our nation.

This particular speech occurred in the context of a gathering to remember and honor people who have risked or given their lives in faithful service to what President Abraham Lincoln aptly described as a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Members or veterans of the Armed Services had been asked to attend the gathering in uniform, ready for the moment when all of them would be asked to stand and let the audience show appreciation for the privilege of being in their company for the evening.

As usual after such an event, some folks came up to me to share their appreciation and goodwill for what I had to say.

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One, in military uniform, shook my hand, and leaning toward me whispered a thought I have never, and shall never forget:

“I want you to know I would gladly do battle anytime for a Commander in Chief who understands what this country is about as you do.”

The thought of moments like that encourages me whenever events tempt me to believe that it does no good to write and speak as I do about the meaning of the American creed expressed in our nation’s Declaration of Independence.

Sadly it also came to my mind when I read a WND article over this Memorial Day weekend in which “Navy Capt. Eugene ‘Red’ McDaniel said it’s been some time since he ‘reached a point where I decided that the [government] leadership [in Washington] isn’t worthy of the sacrifices people are making for it.’”

What I’ve been hearing from people all around the country confirms that Capt. McDaniel is far from being alone in his opinion. In the past several years I have written many articles in light of events that justify Capt. McDaniel’s loss of confidence in the national officeholders the elitist faction’s twin Party sham has, in one way or another, foisted on the people of the United States for the last twenty years.

But nothing confirms it more than the fact that he feels as he does, along with many others who have faithfully answered the call to duty (a call that is supposed ultimately to come from the people of the United States, with the government acting only as their instrument.)

Many have left the military on account of that feeling. Others who continue to serve in good faith, are nonetheless burdened by it. Believe if you like that their feeling is merely a consequence of bureaucratic propaganda against budget cuts; or natural resentment against the demand that our people in uniform do more with, while resources are being squandered in ways that actually aid and abet the enemies we ask them to fight.

These material considerations are undoubtedly real. But from the days when George Washington’s Continental Army left the bloody prints of unshod feet in Pennsylvania’s snows, America’s Armed Forces have had the heart to do battle even when resources were scarce and uncertain.

Of course material resources matter!

But they never matter as much as the moral heart and good conscience of the people making use of them. American troops, and Americans in general, have often shown the ingenuity to persevere, whatever resources they had to work with, because they would not forget or give up on what they were fighting for. This allowed them to endure vicissitudes even when government power was being perverted in the interest of some self-serving clique.

Americans persevered precisely because of their belief that, at the end of the day, they did not strive and risk their all for “the government” and/or its leaders, but for their survival as a people informed and constituted by the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”, which their government exists to respect and to secure.

Capt. McDaniel and many other Americans have proven beyond doubt that they are faithful to that truth.

Isn’t remembering that fact the true and explicit purpose of Memorial Day?

But what truth is there in our words and gestures on Memorial Day if we fail to uphold our duty as citizens, acting faithfully as members of the sovereign body of the American people, for the cause they approved by their service and sacrifice? This has been the consistent message of U.S. Presidents and political figures when they were truly willing to represent in office the faithful heart of America that our

Armed Forces have represented on so many fields of battle.

Tragically events have proven, and are now proving every day, that in both so-called major Parties the self-serving elitist gangs that now routinely call themselves our “leaders” (not our representatives, which is what they are supposed to be) is no longer willing to represent America’s creed. They no longer subscribe to it.

These “so-called leaders” have cast away America’s creed, and are working ever more openly to make us do the same. They seduce those they can, with promises of material gain. For the rest they prepare instruments of coercion with which to enforce their obedience.

Their preparations are succeeding.

They will continue to succeed until our decent liberty has altogether perished, unless the great multitude of Americans still faithful to the premise of God-endowed right resolve and act, by Constitutional means, to discard them before they complete the fatal project of discarding America.

The best way to preserve the cause of true liberty is to serve it, remembering that we ourselves are called, as a people, to embody it.

It is lamentable that those in Washington do not deserve our confidence. It is more lamentable, however, that we have for so long tolerated the sham Party system that exists to entrench them in good offices they consistently refuse to perform.

Are you among the patriots, like Capt. McDaniels, who have utterly lost confidence in these office holders? Are you, and all those like Capt. McDaniels, yet willing to respond to the call of your duty as citizens, of whom the Declaration says it is their right and duty to throw off political institutions abused “to reduce them under absolute Despotism.” The present sham party system is just such an institution.

Too many of us have replaced allegiance to our creed and Constitution with allegiance to that liberty destroying sham.

When will you stop mourning for a failed and hostile leadership, while sheepishly accepting the partisan sham that falsely validates them? When will you act as the leaders all our citizens are supposed to be, to make sure our politics embodies the faith and goodwill our government is supposed to represent? When will you return to the Constitution, mining its rich veins of political prudence to rediscover what are supposed to be the foundations for our activity as citizens?

We are supposed to elect representatives to secure our God-endowed rights, not leaders to lie to us. Not rulers to beguile, seduce and overpower us. And most certainly not God-rejecting demagogues seeking to fasten their tyranny upon us.

The fault for these false choices lies not in our Constitution but in ourselves.

We are forever electing to be slaves to a political process that no longer even pretends to represent our good will. Are you sick of specious elections in which victory after victory is a triumph of the sham?

We will again celebrate a true Memorial Day only if and when we remember its cause, by acting to make our elections what they are supposed to be among a people determined to be truly free.

Are you ready yet to commit to securing the restoration of that true liberty by doing politics the Constitutional way?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Dr. Alan Keyes
Once a high-level Reagan-era diplomat, Alan Keyes is a long-time leader in the conservative movement. He is well-known as a staunch pro-life champion and an eloquent advocate of the constitutional republic, including respect for the moral basis of liberty and self-government. He has worked to promote an approach to politics based on the initiative of citizens of goodwill consonant with the with the principles of God-endowed natural right.

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