In this post I will attempt to begin to outline the approach I am trying to take in talking with people about the upcoming election. I hope it makes sense and is a logical, systematic approach that I can use when the time comes. I share it in the hope you will find it helpful. Please let the rest of us know of things you are doing, and let me know if you see flaws in my approach or ways it can be improved.
First point: America did not become great because of politicians, her military or her economy. She became great because of her founding principles.
So, what is a principle? My definition, (which is borrowed from I don't remember who): "Something that is true for all people, in all places, at all times."
Arguing for this can be very challenging today because our culture has to a great degree bought into the notion that there is no such thing. As such, everything is a matter of personal opinion. In such an environment it can be difficult to establish the idea of "founding principles". Fortunately, we do not have to rely on anyone's personal opinion in identifying these principles. They are spelled out for us clearly and powerfully in the Declaration of Independence, excerpted here:
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness..."
If you have not already done so, I encourage you to try to memorize this passage from the Declaration, especially from, "We hold these truths" on. (I included the first paragraph because of its reference to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God", which is the underlying, overarching basis for the rest of the principles contained therein.)
[Note: It goes without saying that I am no expert or authority on these things. But that does not disqualify me or you from speaking about them. On the contrary, it should rather serve as another testimony to the wisdom and genius of the Founders that they were able to put such profound ideas into a form that ordinary people like us could understand and apply to their lives."]
Until next time, keep fighting the good fight for freedom.
Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
August 6, 2012
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