Let Freedom Ring
Protect the life, liberty and property of each person
Does the Constitution commit this country to any particular ideological or economic theory? Many have studied this question and say no, it does not. Subject to the constraints of the Bill of Rights, Congress can set taxes as high as it wishes and dedicate the proceeds to redistributionist policies rooted in government-owned enterprises and heavy-handed regulation.
“Wait,” you say, “that doesn’t sound right. That’s not capitalism or the free market.”
Well, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes explained, the Constitution is actually “made for people of fundamentally differing views.”
But how different, really? Could the Constitution withstand the ending of private property and free-market principles, such as the right to contract? Or withstand the control over the media for dissemination of news and opinion? Or ending the right to worship as we choose, and ending the right to possess firearms?
Many say the Constitution could not withstand such, but that Americans can decide such issues through their elected representatives, subject to the Bill of Rights. So if more Americans choose more socialism than capitalism, then so be it. After all, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “It is the people’s business — the election is in their hands. If they turn their backs to the fire and get scorched in the rear, they’ll find they have got to ‘sit’ on the ‘blister’!” But while the Constitution may not restrict future generations to any particular ideology (or economic theory), it’s also important to note that it was written against a backdrop of natural rights theory, which explains the fundamental purpose of government (as also expressed in our Declaration of Independence) is to protect the life, liberty and property of each person.
With that said, can one embrace a socialist (globalist) cause and still honor the Constitution? I don’t think so, especially knowing that the Founders intended for government to “secure the blessings of liberty,” which would be non-existent in a socialist, Marxist, communist -- globalist -- form of government.
With Memorial Day just behind us, it’s important to remember that our soldiers take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States – to secure our liberties.
So, do we dishonor those men and women in our military, especially those who gave the last measure of devotion, by not speaking out or by voting in ways that erode those liberties they died securing? I think so.
And speaking of Memorial Day, do you know that only about one-half of U.S. adults say that they are very familiar with Memorial Day’s purpose. So, before we go any further, and for the other half of the Americans who don’t know, Memorial Day is to honor those who died fighting the nation’s wars. You may be most familiar with Memorial Day as signaling the “unofficial” beginning of the summer vacation season each year, not to mention crazy low sale prices on everything from mattresses to mini-vans.
While Americans do enjoy the threeday weekend that Memorial Day brings, we must understand our freedom is not free but a gift from our soldiers. We must understand that, since our nation’s founding, over 2.8 million soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat, or as Lincoln described it, “the last full measure of devotion.” These are the men and women who have defended our nation’s liberty and for whom the Memorial Day observance seeks to honor.
And yes, our children may know only of backyard barbecues, swimming pools, family get-togethers and mom or dad having a day off from work on Memorial Day. They barely know socialism or pacifism. They know not of car bombings in their neighborhood markets and air raid drills. They hardly know religious intolerance, limitations on what news they can read or what subjects they may study or how they may dress or express themselves politically or otherwise (although the times seem to be changing in these areas, as well).
But they know not of these matters only because of the men and women who jeopardized their own well-being to protect the countless millions of us who will likely never know them by name, nor know the last words of those who died in battle or the convictions within their own heart that allowed them to leave the safety and security of their home and family so that so many of us can remain within ours.
Our children (and we) know freedom because someone else paid the cost of admission for them (and for us). And by observing Memorial Day as a more solemn occasion, we are less likely to dilute the significance of our freedom nor the lives sacrificed in defense of it. In the words of Lincoln, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not endure long.”
So, as another Memorial Day passes by, let us remember that we need not wait until the last Monday in May each year to honor those who died fighting the nation’s wars. For me, at least, it should fall on every day of the year, and in doing so, the oath they took can live on within us all.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at email@example.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.