Newsmax Article– Nov 5, 2018
Our Founding Fathers were indeed great men. Like every human ever though, they were not perfect. Like most great men, their flaws were eventually revealed. Many of our Founding Fathers used slave labor, though it was customary to the world during their era.
However, the Founding Fathers ideas and vision for a free nation were as close to perfect as a republic could ever hope. One minor flaw in their “putting pen to paper” was stressing the rights of the individual, with few mentions of responsibility. Contemporaneous belief was that these responsibilities were understood. That understanding has eroded generation after generation, leading us to modern society, where rights are celebrated, yet responsibilities are ignored or even rebuked.
To not immediately run off any liberal reader of this article, I will gladly reference the Second Amendment first: the “right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As a strong supporter of this specific right, I am disappointed that there is no mention of the responsibility to learn to use and carry the choice of weapon dependably. There is also no mention that is a responsibility of trained and capable American citizens to practice this right to protect our loved ones and neighbors. Those ideals were understood, but regretfully, were never referenced.
Regarding the First Amendment, one of the prime examples is the modern-day media. They cite their right of “freedom of the press,” but rarely is there mention of the responsibility of the unbiased and ethical practice of their profession. The “mainstream media” has evolved into a branch of the Democratic Party, openly supporting its candidates while attacking any conservative opponent. This also holds true for media support of liberal beliefs and causes like global warming, abortion rights, transgender issues and other progressive concerns.
The openly practiced bias has brought the American peoples trust in the media lower and lower over just the past 10 years.
In an eerily accurate prediction in “Animal Farm” by George Orwell , he states, “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas of which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to say it… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the high-brow periodicals.”
One of the rare Founding Fathers’ Constitutional references to actual responsibility is “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” Here is an obvious instruction to the citizenry. As we’ve seen in modern times, many Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests have quickly turned violent. The fact that people show up masked and with common items that can be used as weapons (bike locks, helmets, etc.) is a clear indicator that “peaceably” is a term that will not be honored. However, it seems that our Founders have included the key to allow police to immediately and Constitutionally quell such violence gatherings.
Lastly, I will reference the right to vote. Obviously, there is no responsibility assigned as to which way you should vote. Also, it is indeed your right to not vote. Nonetheless, if you do value your freedoms and want to truly act as an American citizen, it is your responsibility to inform yourself of the issues/candidates, and then vote.
In all their brilliance, even our Founding Fathers probably could not possibly have envisioned some of the violent, uninformed, and responsibility-avoiding members of our modern-day generation.
We should all not only know our basic American rights, but also how to responsibly practice them.
As Alexander Pope famously stated in “An Essay on Criticism” in 1709, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Merely practicing your Constitutional Rights, without accepting and abiding by their inherent responsibilities, is arguably more un-American than not practicing them at all.