Letter: The "Land of the Freebies and Home of the Knaves"

Letter: The "Land of the Freebies and Home of the Knaves"

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I came from a family of Democrats. My grandfather's tavern in upstate New York was a frequent meeting place for Democrats including the late Congressman Sam Stratton who used to speak there regularly. But the Democrat party has lately come to represent “the Land of the Freebies and Home of the Knaves” instead of “the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

The purpose of America – the reason for the founding of America – was "civil and religious liberty, and intelligent piety.” Maybe you don't agree with such principles as “Ordered Liberty,” “Natural Rights,” or “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” but shouldn’t people at least have a conversation about these enduring principles before we discard them and allow the “fundamental transformation” of the United States of America?

America was the symbol of freedom when I was growing up in Saudi Arabia in the 60s (as the daughter of an American engineer); and when I was studying in Beirut in the early 70s when Lebanon was still free, before Civil War broke out in 1975. America was the symbol of freedom when I went to work in Tehran, Iran in 1978, and escaped on Christmas Eve that year, fearing for my own safety, three weeks before the Shah was forced into exile and replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini. I didn’t understand our Constitution as well as I should have then, but I knew that America meant freedom, and freedom was special.

America was still the hope of the world when I traveled behind the iron curtain and befriended Natasha, a Soviet tour guide. She yearned for freedom. We invited her to visit us in the United States, but she explained she could not. Her government, the USSR, wouldn’t let her! Can you imagine living under a government so powerful that it keeps its people inside the walls? Well apparently, the U.S. government may do exactly that (regarding corporations) in the near future.

America is under attack from inside and out. The rule of law is becoming non-existent. Our most senior leaders promote lawlessness and fuel violence instead of enforcing the laws. Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights (freedom of speech, religion, assembly, self-defense; freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures) are all under attack.

Our very borders are under attack. Felons and terrorists are flooding into America with the goal of destroying orderly institutions that have taken generations to build (not to mention businesses that have taken lifetimes to build). And if they seize our government and replace it with one of their own choosing, it will not be Of the People, By the People, For the People. Our only “rights” will be the ones they choose to give us.

I’ve seen oppressive government from the inside, and it is essentially slavery. America has already confronted the Constitutional crisis of slavery, and fought a Civil War to defeat it. I would rather die trying to preserve freedom for future generations than live under the kind of country we are about to bequeath to our children.

American Exceptionalism is not perfect because people are not perfect, but it is a great experiment in principles of freedom and self-government. It requires virtuous people. It is the presence of justice. And justice cannot exist except in the absence of injustice.

We must return the Constitution to the center of our political life, or the idea that was America may be extinguished for a very long time.

Elinor Bartlett