Where the Hell is Patrick Henry When We Need Him?

((I originally published this article on the Dont Tread On Me website on December 1st of 2011. Since that time I have grown in my admiration for our founding fathers immeasurably. No, they did not face FEMA camps, surveillance drones and all the electronic gizmos and whirlygigs that we do but they had to face the dreadnought of their day and face it they did. They did face prison ships with an unbelievably high mortality rate. They were tortured, hung, shot, had their wealth seized and their homes destroyed, yet they never gave up. Mr. Patrick Henry was one of my favorites. He reminds me of Joshua in the Bible. So without further ado I present to you a true American patriot and I wish I had the courage to stand by his side.))

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation — the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?

No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it comeIt is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775

6 thoughts on “Where the Hell is Patrick Henry When We Need Him?

  1. This is indeed a great moment in his life. One we all should look at and fail not to act.
    GOD has already Blessed America, it is time Amerika Bless GOD before the K is permanent
    Be Prepared, Be Thankful, Be Prayerful,

  2. Excellent stuff.

    Words from my favorite founder.

    “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
    – James Madison

    “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
    – James Madison

    “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
    – James Madison

    “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”
    – James Madison

    “War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits.”
    – James Madison

    “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”
    – James Madison

    and finally….

    “Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done.”
    – James Madison

  3. What the GOP needs to realize now, is that Paul IS the BEST option to run against obama. He will bring in the disaffected democrats who are upset over all of obama’s lies and half truths as well as the independent vote that neoconservative candidates will never receive. Me personally, its Ron Paul or nobody on my ticket. I will not vote for a another neocon puppet president who will just give us more of the same… because that’s exactly what we would get with gingrich, or romney, or even santorum. Better to keep the big O and not hurt conservatism with the further collapse that WILL occur with any of them.

    Anyone who promotes more war and less LIBERTY is a false option. Gingrich and Romney will have to defend themselves against their past. How can they debate O on his healthcare mandate, when it was modeled after Romneycare and Gingrich supported single payer. They hold the same opinions on terrorism and the need to expand Patriot Act type legislation such as the new NDAA which basically shreds the Bill of Rights.

    Take a good look around at what little bits are left of our way of life…. do you like what we’ve had thus far? It can get much better with Dr Ron Paul. We can return to a free market and sound currency which made our nation the greatest on the Earth. We can liquidate the debt and get back to real growth, instead of this propped up sham of a recovery which we can all see is such a lie. We can get our freedom and our privacy back (Patriot Act revocation), and do away with all of the federal regulation. Things are handled more efficiently, the more local the control is.Who knows what is needed in your State or your community? You and your neighbors, or bureaucrats in DC? Return the powers usurped by the Congress to the States. Or we can go the other way….. more TSA invasions of your body, troops on the street, spying on everyone, everywhere, at all times.

    We can intervene in Syria , and press on into Iran…FOR ANOTHER LIE….. We can continue to sacrifice or young enlisted men and women for a foreign policy that has been and is currently all about control of other nations natural resources…. such a worthy cause…. YOU SHOULD ALL BE GLAD TO LET YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS DIE FOR OIL if you vote for any one of those puppets…. because that has been the case (if you will admit it to yourself or not). Why can’t we do the right thing for once. Stand Up for the Constitution! Be proud Our Leader isn’t an Adulterer and a Warmonger! Stand Tall that he IS THE MOST PRINCIPLED MAN who would have held that office in a long time. Regain the Moral High Ground we have lost. Ron Paul is the ONLY WAY TO PROSPER! Restore Our Republic NOW…

  4. Pingback: My Two Cents Worth. | Codgerville (Home of the Country Codger)

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