I've always loved the somewhat facetious image above, but this Independence Day I'm reminded of the true sacrifice behind it. This image of Washington and his Revolutionary army crossing the Delaware under the cloak of night during Christmas is inspiring. His underfunded motley crue of warriors faced insurmountable odds but Washington never lost faith, never showed apprehension. They had freedom to win. There was no time for anxiety.
Several months ago in Wisconsin, I remarked that Madison was ground zero for the new American Revolution.
But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and heart of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
- John Adams, 1818
We are undergoing a second American revolution right now. For nearly two generations we have acquiesced to ever-increasing government and a rotting culture. Several decades past the time conservatives should have been in the streets protesting, we're finally doing so. My generation and the one before it has for so long lived off the credit of another's valor. No more. That gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach is the hunger for freedom. The sense of burden you feel on your shoulders is the call of liberty in peril.
Some of the most conservative and reverent among us realized that if you can't get angry when your rights are being systematically deconstructed, when can you get angry?
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
- Benjamin Franklin
We went from a country full of minutemen at the ready to a society of individuals who felt that the payment for the freedoms they enjoy was fulfilled. Said John Philpot Curran in a 1790 speech:
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.
The famous painting chronicling Washington's crossing of the frigid Delaware on Christmas shows the lengths to which patriots would go to protect their freedoms. (the honeybadger-esque text is icing on the cake).
We've woken from our apathy to a world much changed from the one envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Over the course of the last few years, a new breed of minuteman has emerged, the intrepid citizen journalist with a camera as his bayonet and a Gadsen flag hoisted upon his shoulder -- or her shoulder, I should say, when you look at the leaders of the grassroots movement. The spirit of 1776 has returned; the Sons of Liberty exist across the nation from coast to coast. The hyper-informed citizenry no longer believes the propaganda on television, not with the advent of the new penny presses: new media. State-by-state and national poll numbers give us insight into this; the only way we can lose in November at this point is if we ourselves snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Let your mind and heart reflect this Independence Day on the monumental task ahead of you: our last chance to set America on the right course this November. It will take a House majority, a 60-seat majority in the Senate, and lastly, the White House. You need to change hearts and minds; you need to work within the culture, beyond rallies and placards.
Are you ready to cross the Delaware? Are you ready to turn the odds to your favor?