"Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance,
this great land of ordered liberty, for if we stumble and fall,
freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin."
by:
Henry Cabot Lodge
(1850-1924) US Senator for Massachusetts (1893-1924), US Congressman (1887-1893), and historian.
Date:
1919
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Reader comments about this quote:
If we stumble and fall.... No where else in the history of the planet was personal liberty held to be the highest value, the highest morality. If America does not soon reinstate itself as the leader of moral values, the leader in freedom to innovate, invent and produce, we shall suffer the fate of tyranny and the world will follow. We are the bar that needs to be kept high.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The liberal termites in Washington are working day and night to destroy our economy and our few remaining liberties. We must throw them out in November.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    Apparently in Jim K's twisted world of logic we already are not free, at least we are not free to be liberals whatever that is! If having opinions and views and coming together in the public arena to discuss them and decide them is anyones definition of freedom then Jims harangue against it is just a definition of dictatorship. As far as the quote the American experience at politics and philosophy and freedom has been great and has greatly influenced the world but let us not become jingoistic about it. As the Conservative President of France said after Obama's victory, "What a great country is America."
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, if liberals did not force their views on us-then we would have no problems with your kind. You make liberal socialist programs from social security to Obamacare mandatory on everyone and give individuals no choices.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Wake up, all of you. This country has offered one of the greatest freedoms, that of speech, but to think it is the fount of liberty is to be totally ignorant of history. Do you actually think the Mexican "Cession," the Spanish-American War,the 100-plus invasions of Central America and the Caribbean, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were wars to protect America or to bring democracy to those peoples? Read some Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and a few other liberal---yes, liberals, the people who have been responsible for all the real progress in this country.
     -- D, Fort Worth     
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    What the statist theocracy that now infests this land has done to destroy this great land of ordered liberty with what was a marvelous inheritance is more than a trifle. Compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, slavery by the inorganic ethos, funny money wealth confiscation, etc. are all unlawful usurpations of that which was originally set forth. Life, liberty, property, and inalienable rights are all at the whim of the statist theocracy, not administered or protected by law. Dick from Ft. Worth named but a few more example's of inheritance lost.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Progress, the way you mean, is the Progressive movement. Yes, they've done things, but not for our country, for themselves. For individual power, not individual liberty. Many liberals and lefty conservatives would love continuous hand outs, so if that is the progress your speaking of, you can have it. Nothing is perfect, but Liberalists are at least running away from the "norm", which has been a slow death for at least 60+ years. "The discovery of freedom" is a read for you, D, Fort Worth. There is a reason we alone have succeeded in "freedom". I for one don't want Obama, or more appropriately, Pelosi, to toss it all in the garbage for socialism. That's just me.
     -- M.Brown, Florida     
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    cal,lewisville, You hit the nail on the head when you said "and give individuals no choices." When no choices are offered this means the individual does not have the liberty to say yes or no and when this happens freedom no longer exists. Just wait until martial law is declared under authority of the patriot act, then the absence of the ability and right to pick and choose will be highly noticible then.
     -- Anon     
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    Money and greed have consumed our country from the top down, at the Federal level, to State, County and City. Even neighbors will cheat each other for a buck. It is hard to find someone who will give an honest days work. Our jobs have been given to third world peoples who can barely make it on the few cents an hour that they make. We are falling in comparison with other countries in education, health and standard of living. We now have an imperialist government that violates international laws with impunity. Our news is controlled by very few corporations on public air waves and is editorialized propaganda intended to placate the masses. Yet, there is squabbling between left and right and the middle; divided we fall. Looks to me that we have been conquered since the police and military are at the ready to jail any who peacefully protest. Weapons to ward off demonstrators will cook your skin. Prisons are ready with rail tracks that go up to the entrance, and gas connections in place. We have been made docile and fearful to speak out. Other countries are becoming less tolerant of protest and using the Chinese model. We are not free but are ignorant. Go against the powerful and you stand to lose everything.
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
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    WOW, thank you Judith, very well said
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Cal you miss the point, no one is forcing. The point is if the majority of people can not make a choice and have their views be dominant we are not free. It does not matter if the majority is liberal or conservative, if they are estopped then none of us are free. I think you are mistaken in some of your assetions Judith but right with your sentiment in others. This site and many commentators emphasis something call "liberty" but there other things needed for successful living things like commitment to honor, community and things that also seved to make us great.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    GEEESSS Waffler, do you even know where you live? Do you know the history of this country? Do you know it is NOT a bleeping democracy? It is a REPUBLIC, by design, or is trying to be one, but so many of our rulers are lifting their leg on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights this country is turning into a weak, milk-toast, brain-dead society and it is thanks to people who are too ignorant to realize what they were GIVEN and what is their responsibilty to leave as a legacy. LIBERTY, not a pile of debt and dead soldiers across the globe, money without worth, media that propagandizes, the list is long, as we are witnessing at this time. We need able bodied people to board the freedom train, not stand on the corner with a hand out...have you never heard of self-reliablity, self-responsibility, or self-sufficiency? Have you no pride in yourself? No love of your country? One cannot take care of those in need until they have taken care of themselves. I am so frustrated words fail me. In fact, you must be playing devil's advocate for sake of an argument...there is little honor in forcing anyone to do something against his/her will. That would not make us 'great' but enslaved.
     -- abigail, hb     
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    You are full of it Abigail. We have had this argument years ago, you are a simple newcomer to this. Rush Limbaugh has mislead many by his oft repeated canon "The United States is a republic, not a democracy". This statement is totally bullshit to capture the minds of the non-thinking. The fact is that we are a "democratic republic" or a republic that is "of, by and for the people". That are many so called republics Abigail, North Korea is a republic, China is a republic etcetera. The dictionary defines republic as any country that is not a monarchy. In the 1700's the term was revolutionary and meant a politcal entity which is governed by the people who live there. The French Republics were basically anti-monarchy, anti-aristocrat etc. Today the term means a geographic area in which the people living there have the power to govern without outside intervention. Now internal as we know republics are dictatorships, (one man rule), aristocracies, party dictatorships (China. North Korea) religious dictatorships, (Islamic Republics) Iran etcetera. Now the United States of America is a democratic republic. As far as the dictionary it also defines a true republic as a representative democracy which is what the USA is. As far as the word REPUNLIC goes it has two parts RE and Public. The literal meaning of the phrase is Re=return, go back and Public=people. So the word means return to the people, back to the people, thus all authority comes from the people. Elsewhere the dictionary simply says a republican form of governmetn is frankly a democracy and voila a democracy is a republican form of government. Ipso facto my dear friend. Now as far as knowing where one lives I think it is you who should look into the mirror and examine yourself very, very carefully. All that other stuff aout self reliance, piles of debt, dead soldiers, pride, your apparent dislike of the society in which you live, has nothing to do with the discussion of whether or not the United States of America is a republic, a democracy or a democratic representative republic. You are fairly new on this site, be careful there are many clowns on this site that will screw with your mind. What scaes me is how many screwball thinking adults actual exist on here.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Good comments by all. Waffler never ceases to offer Orwellian arguments for his own servitude -- at least those that love liberty know where the ideal ends in America while Waffler must obviously consider himself on the side of the favored house slave lucky to have the position he is in as long as he doesn't piss off the 'master.' And again Waffler repeats his ignorant definition of the word 'republic' derived from the Latin 'res publica' or "public thing," refers to a form of government where the citizens conduct their affairs for their own benefit rather than for the benefit of a ruler. Framers of the U.S. Constitution intended to create a republican government: Article IV, Section 4, states "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…." James Madison put forward a sophisticated concept of republican government in the Federalist Papers preceding the passage of the US Constitution. He explained in Number 10 that a republic must be contrasted with a democracy. In the eighteenth century the term "democracy" meant what is now called a pure or direct democracy, wherein legislation is made by a primary assembly of citizens. In a pure democracy, Madison argued, there is no check on the majority to protect the weaker party or individuals and therefore such democracies "have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention," where rights of personal security and property are always in jeopardy. In Number 39 of The Federalist Papers, he returned to this theme, saying that a republic "is a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior." Generally, such leaders as Madison and John Adams believed that republicanism rests on the foundation of a balanced constitution, involving a Separation of Powers and checks and balances. While some democratic principles were incorporated in the US Constitution, the rights of mankind were never subject to vote. For example, Congress could not make a law requiring all free citizens to buy insurance or be imprisoned -- that, by the way, is what the socialists are proposing today -- and even with a very solid majority that could pass nearly any reasonable reform, they still are unable to convince Americans that the people must do whatever the federal government tells them to do. I am pretty sure this entire charade has another nefarious purpose: to drive a wedge further between the citizenry. Why? Judith's comments best explain. I agree that the government is interested only in more power and that that power is then abused to licentiousness. More the reason to cut off the federal power to steal from us to wage wars internationally and domestically.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I believe that this will be true !
     -- Francis Furguiele, Bellflower     
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