Cal  Thomas

There are many ways to lose freedom -- conquering armies, surrendering without a fight. Unfortunately, we are currently surrendering our freedom, not to a foreign power, but to our own government.

The growth, reach, and cost of big government is happening before our eyes and eroding our liberty, largely because too many Americans are not familiar with the brilliant system of government our Founders established. Progressives prefer a "living Constitution," which is constantly changing to conform to their ideology. What it is not is the Constitution established by the Founders.

In a comprehensive publication, "The Roots of Liberty: Unlocking the Federalist Papers," edited by Scott D. Cosenza and Claire M. Griffin, it attempts to remind us of the Founders' intent and why their vision, if not renewed by each generation, will quickly fade, America along with it.

Tim Donner, president of "One Generation Away," which, according to its website, is "committed to restoring, strengthening and preserving the vision of a free America by applying our founding principles to the issues of today," (and on whose board I serve as an unpaid member), published the book through its Cornerstone Project, says "Roots" has "so far been welcomed by public and private schools in six states."

For those of a certain age, "The Roots of Liberty" will remind us of our high school civics classes, but as government continues to expand and President Obama increasingly ignores the boundaries placed on the Executive Branch, it will serve as a needed reminder of what makes America unique in the world and how it can be quickly destroyed if sufficient attention is not paid to our founding principles.

What should attract young people to "The Roots of Liberty" is that the editors have updated the 18th-century language, using instead paraphrases and modern words that will resonate in contemporary ears, without harming its original meaning.

Here's one example: "(James) Madison supported dividing the national government in a way such that each branch in and of itself would be a type of safeguard against tyranny. Because each branch of government was simultaneously separate and interdependent, it had to work together with the other branches in order to achieve the goals of the national government."


Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.