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Thoreau: "Government is Best Which Governs Least"

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A Senator’s Dream — Authored by Booklady

While perusing the Internet today, I saw a blog post entitled “A Senator’s Dream” written by a woman who goes by the pseudonym Booklady.  I found it moving, and hope that you will be so moved as well.  You can find the original post of the piece here, but I have copied it in its entirety in this post. 

A Senator’s Dream

Dear Senator,

Once, many years ago when a young country had a dream, a man said, “Gentlemen, if we do not hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately.” Mr. Franklin knew of what he spoke, still he and other men and women of vision and integrity went forward at the risk of their own lives to forge a new nation based on personal liberty and limited government.

 Something has gone wrong. The document these men constructed in order to form a more perfect union was bought with blood, sweat and tears and now it has been shredded by greed, power hunger and dishonesty.

Who has allowed this to happen? We all have. We have become complacent, giving over our right to self-determination to self-serving elected officials and the propaganda of the media. In 1913, our government gave us away to the National Reserve Bank and since that time, we have seen the erosion of everything we as Americans purport to hold dear.

We the People can no longer stand aside and watch while we’re sold to the highest bidder, while our troops fight wars of nefarious design, while free-enterprise morphs into greedy corporatism, while the government we have entrusted with our very survival and safety enable irresponsibility and while our Constitution is dissembled into a worthless piece of paper. Shame on us all.

What will we tell our children? Our grandchildren? What will you, Senator, tell your son or daughter about your contributions to maintaining their freedom or your complacency that aided in the destruction of their future?

Tonight when you lie in bed, and in your dreams, you’re greeted by the men who risked being hanged to give you the privilege to sit in Congress, and the privilege to ensure the liberty of your children and their children’s children, what will you tell your forefathers? Will you tell them you stand proudly against the shadowy manipulators who are destroying their hard work, or will you tell them you fear being hanged by the press and those who disregard the Constitution in favor of self-interest? Will you tell them you are comfortable and that their vision is outdated and irrelevant to today’s world? What, Senator, will you say to them?

Will you see me and millions of patriots standing in the crowd gathered on the Potomac watching as General Washington rallies his army of poorly-shod, cold and hungry men to free a nation? I’ll be there, Senator, standing between the soldier in a tattered jerkin who fought at King’s Mountain and the young soldier who charged up Bunker Hill. I’ll be just behind the men who planted Old Glory on Iwo Jima and the firemen who raised the flag over the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center.

I’ll be the one who steps into the boat, bearing the only title of note at that moment: “I’m an American.”

General Washington, his mouth set firm against the odds, will search my face as if he knows he should recognize me by name, but little will such matter at this time when the name American is enough. “Yes, child?”

Against the gunmetal sky, he looms like a tall scarecrow whose straw has been too little of late. Still, his countenance is unmistakable: a commanding presence of grave calm wrapped in a blue cloak. He is flesh and blood, as real as any man who has ever lived. “I would join you, sir,” I say.

I cannot tell if his knitted brow is born of his respect for my sincerity or if he is amused by this woman who dares to stand upon the front line against the enemy. “Are you not frightened?” he asks.

My whole body quivers with fear, but the fear comes not from worry about possible physical harm or from worry about my unlikely talents as a soldier, but it wells from deep within where I know the inevitable consequences if the rebellion suffers loss. I cannot abide that thought. “Yes,” I tell him. “I am afraid, but my love of this land and her people far exceeds all other concerns.”

A tall man with a receding hairline steps to the general’s side. With his fist clinched over his heart, he fills his chest with a great measure of the frigid air. “Give me liberty or give me death!” His words, filled with conviction, stab my heart with admiration for the men who willing to go forward despite the poor odds of success and the certain fierceness of battles to come.

Another man, tall and lanky, sweeps from his head a stove-top hat. “Are you willing to give so much, ma’am?”

“What of you, sir?” I ask. “What did you give to preserve this union? Do you regret it?”

His shoulders straighten and his chin lifts. “I do not. Should I have known in advance of a deranged man and an abruptly interrupted theater performance, I would not have ventured any other course. At all costs, a united states must be maintained.” His long coat flaps in the cold wind and the river roils beneath the boat, yet he stands steady upon the rough planks. “The sacrifices tear at my heart; the men who died, were bloodied and maimed, remain into eternity upon my soul. Still, I would walk the same path and take the same seat at the theater in their honor and in honor of this land. My price was no more than theirs. Is this country worth as much to you, ma’am?”

Before I can answer, a chill shakes me to the bone. I pray it is not lurking cowardice but winter’s wrath that shatters me.

Suddenly, I am warmed by an arm that goes about my shoulders. “Dear Mr. President,” the man says while with his free hand he adjusts the wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose. “You are frightening the lady with your stern manner.”

“It is not he who frightens me, sir,” I tell the portly soul propping me against the ill winds blowing over the Potomac. “It is the fear that none will defend your vision, that none will stand with us to safeguard the Constitution and bear laurels upon the honorable names of those who may only be remembered by their grieving families, but are victorious heroes nonetheless. I fear a people who call themselves American, yet no longer recall what sacrifices have been made and still need to be offered in order to keep watch over liberty. I fear the light in New York Harbor will go out and the Lady’s life drained forever from her. I fear darkness; the end of our republic.”

“How can that be?” asks a man in a brown cloak fastened about his neck with a pin cast as an eagle in flight. Arrows jut from its clutched talons. “The Continental Congress made certain a guiding light would always shine to show the way. Years we spent constructing a document that would be held above all others in order to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By my own good name and hand did I witness this done.”

“Yet,” I say, “many now feel it only a piece of paper and our trust has been betrayed by those who swore to uphold the Constitution. Obscene wealth is the new law of this land.”

A fire sweeps across his face and his weathered hands clinch the folds of his cloak as if he would strangle the cloth. His voice echoes across the valley. “They ignore the Constitution? What right? What manner of fool would set aside the very lifeblood of their own liberty?”

“We have become complacent,” I say. “We have taken education and replaced it with political correctness. We have given away our freedoms willingly in the name of security.” Displeasure is evident in the ire that rumbles deep within his chest. I continue. “I’m sorry, but it’s true. Many of our people no longer know or even recognize what rights our Constitution grants us, nor do they care. The free press you so diligently fashioned is now populated by media personalities and owners who care only for ratings and revenue. Truth no longer has a place in the news. Information is manipulated, disseminated to sway public opinion. We have replaced opportunity with dependency and opened the door with poor legislation, excessive taxing and unreasonable demands, for our industry to take jobs overseas. We have allowed racial and economic issues to fester by remaining silent while people are indoctrinated with victim-hood. The government has made them wards by promising the American Dream without it being earned and by promising to lift them up to a higher self-esteem without it ever being planted within them by personal accomplishment. People have become infected with misdirected hate while others simmer with resentment for having worked hard. We have remained silent while corporate greed spiraled out of control, then when Wall Street tumbled and we raised our voices in dissent of the government propping up business that failed by its own mismanagement, we were ignored. Our borders are flooded daily by illegal aliens who stress health care and industry and the government refuses to make safe our land. We have become so accustomed to lies we no longer recognize truth. We no longer have a voice, sir. In vain, We the People have appealed to our representatives. The answer has been clear: We the People serve the government now.”

The man with the stove-top hat steps out from our huddled group for a better view of the swelling crowd. “And where is your representative, ma’am; this man who swore to heed the voice of his fellows and defend with his very life the foundation of this republic?”

It takes only a second for my eyes to spy the deep blue flag emblazoned with a palmetto tree and crescent moon. I point. “There, sir.”

Mr. President wastes no time. “Sir,” he calls. “The time is late and we must leave. Will you come with us?” He pauses long enough to be certain he has my senator’s attention. “Before you answer,” he says, “you must need be aware of the import of your decision. If you choose to stay behind, let it be known that you also will be without liberty, that your loved ones will be in servitude, and that you, Son of the Republic, have been complicit in freedom’s demise. You, sir, should consider that once The People are no longer the voice of this country, that your voice no longer will be needed or welcomed. You, sir, and your position shall be obsolete. You must choose. Will you come with us?”

My heart pounds as if attempting to break free its bony cell while I wait and pray for this man I entrusted with my vote and support to respond. In the waning light, I can not see his face well enough to guess what resolve drives him. He stands quietly under the flapping Palmetto Flag as he, I imagine, wrestles the demon that fights to cast its vote.

With flourish, Mr. President places his hat upon his head. “South Carolina,” he says with a sigh. His head nearly touches mine as he folds at the waist to speak privately with me. “I know this state’s people well,” he says. “They have been known to be rather rash at times, but one attribute upon which you may always rest assured is that they are not afraid.” Save me, I want to say, but my appreciation for his confidence in us stays my comment.

The crowd swells forward and I lose sight of my senator. My heart now aches as if its natural work has become too burdensome to endure.

General Washington rests his hand upon my shoulder. “Come, child. Everyone must make their own decision.” For an instant, his gaze travels back to the surging patriots. With sadness, he adds, “While they still may.”

In the wind-burnt crags of his face, I see a lifetime of experience and resolve; I see a man I will follow without reservation.

I am surrounded by legends, by men and women of textbooks and historical memory. They are imperfect people, people of all colors and creeds, but in all I see strength and commitment, and in all I see the bond forged by the dream for a more perfect union. “The free and the brave,” I whisper on a breath that wisps like a fragile cloud in the afternoon air.

Suddenly, I realize I am no longer cold.

Wake not, Son of the Republic, from this dream that shaped America. Our Founders beckon to you and all America’s people to return liberty to this country and allow God, who guided them, to guide us now. Gather your people, for they are not afraid.

A believer in this dream,
A child of the Republic

State: SC

This was originally posted at the following url: 


Written by KJ Kaufman

January 15, 2009 at 1:31 pm