"They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be next week or the next year?" Will it be when Obamacare has metastasized into every sector of our economy?
"Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope? ... Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power." We are "millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty."
No, Patrick Henry is no longer with us, and the once-tyrannical British empire is not our foe, but this nation -- since it acquired its independence shortly after Henry's call for it -- has never faced such a sustained assault from within on its liberty and its founding principles.
It is high time that the conservative movement, the Republican Party and every American patriot united together to actively and fiercely oppose the statist assaults on our freedoms and, in particular, the legislative menace known as Obamacare.
But a large faction of our fellow patriots on the right tell us -- as they've told us nearly every time we've had a debate with President Obama over the budget -- that we must be more pragmatic and hold our fire because if we fight back too aggressively, we will be blamed for the government's shutting down and it will damage our cause far worse in the long run.
Well, the "pragmatists" usually have prevailed, but their predictions haven't. We always ended up caving -- though often the pragmatists have rationalized our defeats as victories -- and President Obama won re-election anyway.
It didn't have to be that way. I believe that we have more informed, freedom-loving patriots in this country yearning for a restoration of our founding principles than we've had in decades and that they are just longing for political leadership around which to coalesce -- and go to war, figuratively.
Some of the pragmatists accuse the defunders of allowing our passions to overpower our reason or of self-serving intellectual dishonesty; we allegedly know we can't defund but are angling to enrich or empower ourselves by pretending otherwise.
Some defunders, in turn, cast the pragmatists as RINOs -- Republicans in name only. Many are, but I happen to believe that most on both sides of the intramural debate are honorable and at least somewhat right-of-center.