"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams

There was a time in this country where our leadership reveled in the exploits of patriots in great days gone-by. There was once even a time when our leadership was not content to simply do so, but to try to match those exploits with exploits of their own. A time when men and women were not merely content to read and remember words and deeds that made and shaped this nation for the cause of liberty, but had to add their voice and hands to that cause for future generations.

There was a time when men and women were not for sale, where their voice and vote was not up for grabs, not up for debate. A time when principles shaped hearts and minds and decision making. A time when public office was something to be taken up reluctantly, where it was viewed as something higher than the person aspiring to hold it, when it was something viewed as a most serious duty. A time when an oath was a solemn oath, not to be violated in fear of judgment of the people, and judgment before God. A time when accountability was king at all times, not just during an election year.

A time when journalism was feared and respected, when men and women couldn't be bought, when news stations were not owned by corporations in which politicians owned major shares. A time when journalists didn't fight over interviewing the latest reality show star or hot new band. A time when news was news, and not a circus.

A time when banks and illegal entities with "Federal" titles failed to manipulate currency. A time when people held a firm vision of what was right, and what was evil. A time when men and women were bound by conscience, not by missed loopholes. A time when "patriot" and "liberty" and "constitution" were not talking points at a rally with people holding signs, but captivating ideas in hearts and minds.

A time when parents taught their children how to learn, and didn't trust the government schools to "educate" their young minds. A time when the arts were an integral part of that education, and not abandoned for the sake of test scores.

A time when people were allowed to grow their own food and store it or sell it. A time when genetic modification of food was abhorrent. A time when the Federal Government wasn't the lapdog of the U.N. in the name of environmentalism.

A time when it was illegal to sexually assault any citizen for the sake of "security". A time when the author of the Patriot Act didn't profit from the sale of scanners at the airport. A time when it was illegal to hack into personal computers and phone lines in order to fight a faceless, nameless "terror". A time when it was illegal to indefinitely detain citizens for no reason at all. A time when it was illegal to fly drones over America, now declared as a "homeland warzone".

A time when the alternative to a foreign bank-owned liberal in an election was not a foreign bank-owned conservative. A time when the Department of Justice did not sell illegal weapons to people they were fighting a "war on drugs" against.

A time when war wasn't big business, and billions weren't made in nation building. A time when military men and women weren't asked to go six and seven times to a country that had nothing to do with our national sovereignty or security. A time when America would not close military bases at home, while building them abroad.

A time when the average citizen exercised every right given to them by the blood of their fathers and mothers, and that fearlessly. A time when freedom truly rang, and didn't ask permission. A time when there was a very clear line between principle and cowardice, and there was no allowance for the latter. A time where men and women were not content to have the boot of tyranny placed firmly on the necks of their children.

A time where fear and compromise was given no ground so that citizens could stand before God with a clear conscience and give their best account of the life they were given. That time lives on now, to the great fear and shame of those who would seek, for all time, to snuff it from the face of the earth. There is no greater time than the year we've been given. What will we tell our children when it is their time? Will we be content to simply say, "We did our best"? Or will we give them a true republic once again, as our founders did? What will be our answer when they ask what our gift to them is? Will it match that of Benjamin Franklin's as he left the convention? "A republic, if you can keep it."

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