Sunday, February 8, 2009

Panama City News Herald Editorial

VIEWPOINTS: Congress is the new face of tyranny
Comments 12 | Recommend 1
February 07, 2009 09:00:00 AM

Let me begin by saying this is not written as a Republican, Democrat or member of any political organization. This is written as an American, an American who was raised with love of country, tears up on the playing of our national anthem, can barely hold up on the playing of taps.

I seem to recall a couple of old sayings: "What goes around, come around" and "History tends to repeat itself." A little more than 200 years ago, our forefathers pledged everything they owned, including their solemn word and their honor to work toward freeing themselves and their neighbors from the tyranny of an oppressive yoke.

Time has passed, generations have passed and history is repeating itself. The only difference is in the location of that tyranny. Tyranny has moved a few thousand miles west from England to Washington, D.C. We should all have a replica of the revolutionary flag that had in its field "Don't Tread on Me" flying in our yards and from our balconies.

From my days in school I remember reading about our ancestors crying out, "No taxation without representation." The only difference I see between then and now is in the notion that we are represented. I am reasonably confident that there may be a few in Congress who represent their constituents, but on a whole it appears they only represent their egos, their self-interests and their never-ending need to possess power.

Knowledge of our history seems to be fleeting. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable." His contemporary, John Adams wrote, "Children should be educated and instructed on the principles of freedom".

Our founders warned us of the potential troubles of democracy. Mr. Adams warned, "But a Constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." George Washington warned, "Guard against the impostures of patriotism." Benjamin Franklin probably simplifies a course of action the best: "Diligence is the mother of good luck"

We need to become more diligent, more aware of our history, if for no other reason than the reminder from Thomas Paine: "If there is trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

John Manville, Lynn Haven

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