America began as a vision, shared by a council of people who believed in a haven of both liberty and equality, an asylum against tyranny. When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they transformed the United States of America from a vision into a reality, and later cemented the reality with the creation of the Constitution. They created a government with checks and balances, a limited government, but the limitations of its power were primarily reliant upon the virtue, vigilance, and valor of the citizens of the States. Without these traits, the government would be able to pervert the spirit of the Constitution, causing a sort of “death by a thousand cuts,” slowly convincing the citizens that the Constitution did not mean what it truly meant, and warping it until the limits upon the government’s power were no longer relevant, and it could restrain the population with the shackles of oppression. With the restoration of virtue, vigilance, and valor, however, the slow tightening of corruption’s noose – the same noose that is tightening around America today – could be reversed.
In the previous article, “A Modern Fall of Rome?” Satio states that, “We cannot expect to live in such moral filth and remain free.” Without virtue, America’s standard of what is acceptable is obsolete. When the majority of a population commits regular adultery – whether through the traditional methods or pornography – betraying the trust of their loved ones, how can the population expect the government, which is a representation of the populace itself, to keep in a virtuous relationship with the Constitution? When such value is compromised, the population will find that the very framework that both formed the government and placed limitations on it (with the purpose of protecting Americans’ freedoms) will be disregarded and the freedom of the citizens will be removed. Not all is lost, though. There is a precedent of nations noticing their lack of virtue and restoring it. America has done this itself several times, such as in the 1940’s with the ending of Japanese internment camps, the resolution to no longer use weapons of mass destruction, and the limitations placed upon the terms of elected officials in the federal government. America can still recover from the lack of virtue today, provided that America chooses to recover.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms [are] in the physical.” The meaning of this quote is that without the stark reality that rebellion or a similar disaster brings, the government would never know that something is wrong with what it’s doing. Without vigilance, nobody would notice that there is corruption, or that something is amiss. Vigilance is crucial to the survival of the nation. Its sworn enemy is apathy, which falsely leads people to believe that all is well, and there is nothing to be concerned about. Apathy is beginning to spread. This past election was a wake-up call to America. It was the midnight raid that escaped the lookout’s sight, teaching him the hard lesson to be ever watchful so that it wouldn’t happen again. America needs to be vigilant, and America will be vigilant. As long as there are those who remember the events of disastrous pasts, or those who remember the calm before the storm, America will remain vigilant. The lookout’s fire has been lit again, and all that needs to be done is to watch, and take action if there is something amiss.
Finally, America needs valor. Valor, that gleaming star in a dark night, the lighthouse’s beacon during a storm at sea, is necessary to the citizens of America. It is fighting when hope is fleeting, when all seems lost, and the only path remaining seems one of madness. It is this bravery, this audacity, that repulsed Great Britain like a thundering wave when the Colonies decided that they wouldn’t be thrown around. Whenever there are seemingly insurmountable odds, valor will be there to make the impossible possible. American citizens can utilize their valor in the defense of their rights by making a stand, by sending a message across to the corrupt that their actions aren’t unknown, and that their crimes won’t go unpunished. Justice will always be served as long as the valiant are there to make certain that it is.
Freedom has always been vulnerable. In the past, it has either been preserved or pirated based upon whether or not the citizens of a given country have been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to retain it. America has been a country that has always made the necessary sacrifices; this is why it has been the refuge of the “huddled masses, yearning to breathe free…” for 240 and a half years. It has been the longest-lasting constitutional hegemony to ever exist. It has a history of being the stubborn cliff, repeatedly beat upon by waves but never truly beaten, never caving nor collapsing, defending against the erosion of the country’s shores. It is the duty of every American to defend their rights, both natural and constitutional, and assist Lady Liberty in standing resolute against the waves of tyranny that are constantly beating upon the fortresses of freedom in this world. Eventually, Lady Liberty will succeed in ending the torment, but only with the aid of virtue, vigilance, and valor, the motto of the Restorers and a code for every honest citizen to measure themselves by, in order to continue to restore a more perfect union – the union of the United States of America.