This I Believe

Daniel - Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: freedom

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” This statement by Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers, rings louder today more than ever before in the wake of the U.S.A. Patriot Act. It is our civic duty to preserve our liberty and to keep it from being robbed from us in the blink of an eye. As the days pass I can see the few freedoms we still enjoy are being slowly diminished.

The use of fear tactics by our government has been their greatest tool against the American public. Their propaganda has lulled the populous into a state of belief that terror runs rampant on the streets of America. They lead us to believe that the only way to prevent such terrorist activity is to give up a few of our freedoms specifically granted to us by the Bill of Rights. We need to keep in mind that our freedom was bought and the price was high. Many patriots have spilled their blood in order to preserve our liberty.

It has been said that if you choose to stand up against our government you are a traitor or labeled un-patriotic. Well if this is the case then the minute-men of 1776 were not patriots of freedom. If it wasn’t for the dissenting ideas of our founding fathers we would most likely still be living under the tyrannical rule of Great Britain. Our fore-fathers stood up against their oppressors and decided that they were going to resist the idea of taxation without representation. They championed their cause of freedom from the monarchy and faced peril in their resistance. The overall outcome of their defiance was liberty for the colonists. The vision they had for our country was a land where every citizen was free to pursue the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that dissent is the most patriotic thing that we as Americans can do. It is important to understand that once our freedom is gone it is hard to regain. Our federal government was designed to be an institution of the people, by the people, and for the people. I think that the biggest part of the checks and balances system needs to be the American taxpayer. Our elected officials are servants of the public and it is their responsibility to keep our interests in mind. When they fail to meet their obligations it is up to us as citizens to speak out and demand that changes be made. We not only owe it to ourselves but to the countless numbers of brave men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our freedom.