“Give me liberty, or give me death!” With that thunderous declamation on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry, the trumpet of the American Revolution, punctuated his famous speech that forever changed the course of history, and with it, mankind’s pursuit of liberty.
Henry’s powerful oratory convinced the Second Virginia Convention – a group of men who were terrified about the consequences of engaging in treasonous activities – to pass three resolutions that were essentially a declaration of war on the mother country.
Those seven words are not merely brilliant rhetoric from a bygone year. These words still deeply resonate in the 21st century with a large segment of the American population that passionately defends the ideals and principles of Henry, and the other Founding Fathers.
Yet as fate would have it, Henry’s speech shares its anniversary with the birth of an ignominious assault on our American way of life. On March 23, 2010, ObamaCare was signed into law – marking a massive down payment by the president on his pledge to “fundamentally change America.”
This law serves as an important reminder to the American people to heed the advice that Henry bellowed to his fellow countrymen to maintain constant vigilance of the threats to our individual liberty.
With its passage, for the first time in the history of our nation, the federal government decided it could regulate Americans’ inactivity – a sad departure from the limited-government framework our Founders established.
This anniversary comes on the heels of an historic Supreme Court case that will set a monumental precedent regarding the authority and power of the federal government. On March 26-28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a lawsuit filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to decide the constitutionality of the individual mandate and of the federal government’s attempt to coerce states to expand their Medicaid programs.
If the individual mandate is struck down as unconstitutional, the Justices also will be charged with deciding whether or not the entire law should be thrown out due to its lack of a severability clause.
But even though the Supreme Court will release its ruling on the case in June, this is no time for liberty advocates to rest of their laurels.
The tea party made a profound impact on the policy debates of the past three years by being modern-day trumpets in the fight to preserve liberty. Will we continue this legacy as the trumpets of the new conservative revolution and defenders of liberty moving forward?
Though Patrick Henry was best known for his oratorical might and steadfast adherence to his convictions, he also had a hidden prescience that offers great encouragement for us in our effort to eliminate ObamaCare. On this day, 237 years ago, Henry said, “There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free…we must fight!” And fight we shall.