Ronald Reagan once famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Not only was Reagan a great communicator, but many of his quotes seem to be more relevant today than when they first came out of his mouth. One doesn’t have to look hard to notice that the America in which we grew up is changing, and not for the better.
The American dream that I knew growing up centered on working hard so that someday I could own my own home. It also meant that I could do or be anything that I wanted to be as long as I pushed myself and worked hard. The only barrier to success was my own work ethic.
Sadly, our government stepped in and decided to “help” people achieve the American dream. No longer did you need to work hard in order to own your own home, you simply needed to fill out the necessary paperwork. If you couldn’t afford a home, the government had a program to fix that too.
There is example after example of our government stepping in to “help” us succeed. Unfortunately, all our government really did was create a culture of entitlements. While our politicians thought they were helping people achieve the American dream, they were actually undermining what made America great in the first place – personal responsibility.
Reagan’s quote about freedom never being more than generation from extinction is a warning to us all that we must work to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy. In essence, Reagan is making us all responsible for not only maintaining our freedoms, but for preserving them for future generations.
If you take a look around, there are now a number of groups willing to do whatever is necessary to preserve and maintain the American that we all know and love. There is no better example of this than the Tea Party and 9-12 groups. Still, there are some who are unwilling to use the tools that our state constitution provides us to wrestle control of our destiny away from the politicians and give it back to the people.
I bring up Reagan’s freedom quote because I continue to be frustrated by those who refuse to seriously consider the merit of the constitutional convention that is available to voters this fall.
On Monday, two Des Moines attorneys, Bill Brown and Bill Gustoff, were guests on Steve Deace’s radio program. They were invited to discuss their support of the constitutional convention. Yet Deace and his regular sidekick, Jen Green, refused to take seriously the option of voting for the constitutional convention. Instead of having a thoughtful conversation about the subject, they basically spent two hours attacking it.
Deace’s main objection to the convention stemmed from his belief that the delegates who would be elected to represent the people at the convention, wouldn’t all share the belief that all of our fundamental rights are granted to us by God.
Deace’s position is one on which he has based his entire radio program and political activity. Deace’s statements seem to indicate that he believes we live in a theocracy, not the democratic republic that our founders devised. Our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution both highlight the Judeo-Christian values that out nation was founded on, but those documents stop short of establishing America as a theocracy.
What I found interesting about Deace’s position on the constitutional convention is that it is inconsistent with the other things for which he is currently advocating. If the constitutional convention is a non-starter because there is no guarantee of who the delegates will be, how can he turn around and advocate for the removal of judges through the anti-retention effort?
Once Iowa voters oust a judge through the retention process, it will be up to the judicial nominating commission to select a slate of candidates to replace the ousted judge or judges. That 14-member committee is currently made up eleven Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent. One of the two Republicans is a donor to Tom Harkin, the Democratic Party, Roxanne Conlin, and Bruce Braley.
So let me get this straight, the constitutional convention is a non-starter because the delegates may not share Deace’s world view, but he is willing to let the state judicial nominating commission that is dominated by liberals select our judges. And, unlike the proponents of the convention, he has no plan for changing the judicial selection process. This makes no sense.
I advocate for the constitutional convention for a number of reasons, but the main reason is because I see our state and nation slipping away because of the liberal’s incremental assault on our values and freedoms.
Reagan’s freedom quote should be a rallying cry for our generation. We can no longer stand by and watch our values and freedoms erode before our very eyes. Reagan didn’t call on us to fight for our freedoms only when we think we can win. He called on us to do what is necessary to ensure that future generations remain free.
Like Deace, I believe Iowans should send a message by using our right to vote no on the retention of three supreme court justices, but I also believe that now is the time to for Iowans to take back the reins of their government from the political class by calling for the constitutional convention.
In the last couple of years we have watched the legislature and executive branch allow the courts to redefine marriage. We have watched the legislature and the governor usurp Iowa’s spending limitation law. Which of our other rights are we willing to let evaporate before our eyes before we decide to act? Property rights? Second amendment rights? Something else?
People like Steve Deace need to answer a simple question. If not now, when? If not us, who? If not this, then what? As Reagan often reminded us, freedom comes at a high cost. We should be willing to do what ever it takes to maintain our rights. Remember, it’s our government – let’s take it back
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