Yesterday I shared with you a video clip from the HBO series “The Newsroom” in which news anchor Will McAvoy makes the bold (and true) statement that
While that may have been the most shocking part of the video for many people, it wasn't the most important.
No, the most important part of that video clip comes later when he says, after listing off many of the things that had made America great in years past,
"We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed..."
That is the single most important statement made in the entire three and a half minutes.
Because buried within that simple statement are some very heroic concepts... concepts we have tossed away in our rush to become the most self-indulgent culture in history.
It is our duty as citizens to be informed about the nature and character of the men and women who want our votes.
It is our duty as citizens to educate ourselves and to satisfy our own curiosity about the events that shape our nation, not from media sources that have their own political agenda, but from any and all sources that will actually let us get to the truth of the matter.
Being a citizen means doing for others, not just ourselves. That means we must put aside our own personal self-indulgences, if only for half an hour in a day.
We will, for example, stand in line for days to buy the latest iPhone, yet we won't stand at a soup kitchen counter and help feed the homeless for half an hour.
Worse, we won't even donate a penny of our income to help those less fortunate than we are.
We will stand in line for hours until Walmart opens and then crush people to death in our rush to get the best deal at Black Friday sales, yet we don't even know our own neighbor's name, let alone what he does for a living.
Worse, we don't even care.
We complain endlessly about political corruption and dishonesty and yet today, as the evidence against Barack Obama and his complete screw-up of and repeated lying about the September 11th, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack is overwhelming... the majority of Americans don't even know the names of the men who were murdered because President Obama refused them military assistance in their most desperate hour!
Politicians love ignorant voters.
Politicians prefer citizens who have no clue what is happening around them.
It makes it so much easier for politicians when they don't have to actually explain their actions (or inaction) to an informed citizenry.
H.L. Mencken said it best when he wrote:
"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself... Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable."
The Founding Fathers in America did not create a nation so it could be tossed on the ash-heap of history a scant 200 years later. They created a nation with the full understanding and foreknowledge that the only way America could survive is if each and every citizen did their part to ensure the government was doing the will of the people, not telling the people what that will ought to be.
A government's job, first and foremost is to protect the liberty of its citizens. Both here at home and abroad, President Obama is not protecting our inalienable rights. He is tossing them into the trash, fully confident we will do nothing to stop him; fully confident we're too self-absorbed to pay attention to what he is doing.
Restoring honor and dignity to government is a simple 3-step process.
1. Educate ourselves.
2. Demand our politicians do our will, not their own, while in office, and
3. Replace them the second they deviate from that path.
I said simple, not without effort.
It takes time to educate ourselves. It takes time to become fully informed citizens. I get that.
Isn't our very freedom worth that little investment?
Isn't our very freedom worth the tiniest of sacrifices?
Veteran's Day is just around the corner. That's the day we honor those who have paid "that last full measure of devotion" as President Lincoln so famously said.
We shouldn't honor those brave men and women one day per year. They entrusted us with the duty to remember them each and every day... by our actions to preserve the Liberty they paid for with their very lives.
Politicians, like diapers, must be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
While that statement is undeniably true, it is only possible for politicians to become corrupt, inept and selfish when we good and decent citizens allow ourselves to be distracted... when we abstain from our single greatest responsibility:
Educating Ourselves First
Only then can we make rational decisions inside the voting booth about the men and women we are about to elect to political office.
And in case anyone reading this doesn't know the answer to the question I posed earlier and are curious...
Here are the names and photographs of the four American citizens the Obama administration watched die on September 11, 2012... in case you want to do something about that injustice, no that national disgrace, just a few short days from today.
- J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya
- Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer
- Glen Anthony Doherty
- Navy SEAL Tyrone S. Woods