Reagan Warned America: Freedom…One Generation Away From Extinction

by | Jun 14, 2021 |

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Ronald Reagan warned us that liberty is not the default way of things, not even in America.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didnt pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our childrens children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Ronald Reagan – “Encroaching Control”, March 30, 1961

If liberty in America falls, where will you go? Tell me, what nation in the history of the world has so protected the individual rights of its citizens? Where else have you seen a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Where in history have leaders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of independence and liberty? Where have so many millions risked everything for the dream of living free? While some Americans call for the destruction of our liberties, and so many more sit back and watch, have any of us considered what would happen if freedom, liberty, and individual rights are allowed to continue their downwards slide into oblivion? We get glimpses of what life in America will be like if We the People do not take up our responsibility and return the rule of law to our governments and our society.

Vaccine Segregation

Oregons Governor, Kate Brown, is pushing plans to create a vaccine passport” system, and to require businesses, employers, and houses of worship to demand proof of vaccination to enter without a mask. New York and Washington State have plans to create segregated seating at different events based on a persons vaccine status. While governors of both states plan segregated seating at outdoor stadiums, Washington Governor Inslees plan would extend that to graduation ceremonies and churches as well.

If that stick isnt enough to get people to comply with the governmentsobsession with an experimental vaccine, states and cities around the country are using bribery as a carrot to encourage compliance. Ohio started with five $1 million dollar lotteries, and so far Minnesota and Los Angeles are offering chances for cash and prizes to those who submit.

Schools, from elementary to university, are requiring that children take this experimental vaccine to attend classes, even in the face of mounting evidence they do not need it. Government and private schools alike are using our children as guinea pigs for human testing on the vaccine, while more and more reports of serious adverse effects, including death, are being reported to the CDC.

No one seems to care that the Constitutions of the states and the United States forbid such mandates. No one is being charged for depriving people of their constitutionally protected rights, which is, by the way, a federal crime. It seems the American people are not only ignorant of the supreme law of the land, they are unaware that their rights are disappearing before their eyes. If that isnt bad enough…

A recent Gallup poll found that 57% of Americans support requiring proof of vaccination to board an airplane, and 55% for attending events like concerts, shows, or live sports. So it is not just governments that are coming for your liberty, it appears half of the American people are as well.


Mask Control

No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; 

U.S. Constitution – Amendment V

From the lockdowns to mask mandates, Americans have been deprived of their liberty and property without due process of law (defined as a legal or governmental process designed to protect the rights of the individual). Yet it seems many Americans are not only willing to suffer the deprivation of their rights, but stand there like a fraternity pledge, painfully yelling, Yes, sir! May I have another?” We have let unelected bureaucrats act like petty potentates, determining who can go where, when, and how. We have watched while people were arrested for the crime” of being outside without a mask, even though that offense cannot legally be called a crime since most were imposed by executive dictate. Even those established by law” are void since they violate the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of the United States.

Many Americans have abdicated their freedom to live at the whim of the CDC, mayors, and governors. They let the bureaucrats tell them how to live, often in direct contradiction to their own evidence, and wait with bated breath for word from the bureaucrats at the CDC, their statehouses, and city halls, for the privilege of exercising their right to be at liberty in public. If that irony doesnt make you question the state of liberty in America, I dont know what would.

Yet even today, with all of the evidence that COVID-19 is only truly dangerous to a small demographic in America, that going unmasked does not spread the virus, and that medications are readily available to treat the disease, you will find people going out of their way to challenge those daring to live free from the tyranny of mask mandates. Does anyone else find it strange that those who are so afraid of you being unmasked may somehow make their masks and vaccines ineffective, will get closer than the six-foot recommendation to tell you so? Are we free in America when our neighbors are willing to call the police for living our lives while endangering no one?

Cancel Culture

There was a time in this country when people were proud to say I vehemently disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today, disagreement is frequently met not only with derision, but with attempts to destroy the dissenter. Doxing, cyber-bullying, and attempts to get people fired all seem to be common responses to disagreement.

Liberty does not mean always winning the argument. It means allowing others their point of view and only restraining them when they actually harm someone. And no, hurting your feelings is not actual harm. We used to learn this as children when we were taught, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We have so allowed generations to be infantilized into believing that reality will morph into their desired form that they expect others to indulge their fantasy. Theyve been indoctrinated with the idea that they can never be wrong, that thinking something is true makes it so, and that they have the right to demand that others comply with their wishes.

Freedom of speech, press, and religion are all being suppressed in America today. Not simply by the government, but by crying children throwing temper tantrums, expecting to get their way. Liberty cannot exist in a land where the right to be different is not protected.

End of Liberty in America

I was speaking to a group of college students not that long ago. During the Q&A, one student made what I think is an interesting statement. What was the big deal, he asked, with infringing on peoples rights if what you are doing is the right thing”? After all of the infringements, he said, society hasnt collapsed.” One of the advantages that come with age, I told the student, is experience, which leads to perspective. I pointed out the examples of riots and looting, cancel culture leading to the suppression of free speech and even free thought, plus the fact that we were meeting online because governments said we couldnt meet in person. These were just a few examples of how society had collapsed”. Given a few minutes to think about it, I could have come up with many more. Why do I think this story is important? Because it shows how close we are to liberty dying in America. We are witness to the fundamental change of America, a change from the land of the free to the land of the safe.

That is how liberty dies, not with a bang but with applause. Liberty dies when we change from the land of the free to the land of the safe, from the land of liberty and individual rights to subjugation and collective duty. Gone are the days of John F. Kennedy, who said:

Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

John F. Kennedys Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

Today, everyone seems to be looking for what their government will do for them. And as that young college student showed me, liberty is now a strange and foreign concept to the rising generation. Live and let live has become anathema to those who will inherit the nation we leave to them. After two centuries of people coming to America for their chance of freedom, what happens next? The most famous words of the poem on the Statue of Liberty are:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The New Colossus – Emma Lazarus, 1883

What happens when there is no more freedom for those poor huddled masses to breathe? Where do we go for liberty and freedom when it falls in America? The answer, Im afraid, is nowhere. Liberty will be gone, a distant memory, a fable told to children by the few left who remember it.

Yes, it appears freedom has been abandoned by many in America, but that does not have to be the end of the story. As Ronald Reagan said, [freedom] must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”. We can fight for liberty. We can, as John Jay told us, read and study the Constitution, recognize when our rights are being violated, and be the better prepared to defend and assert them. We too, can hear the call of Captain John Parker at the battle of Lexington:

Stand your ground. Dont fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.

Captain John Parker, to his Minute Men on Lexington Green

Freedom will not survive in America unless those of us who still cherish it are willing to fight for it. We cannot do it alone. As Benjamin Franklin said after signing the Declaration of Independence, We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” It will not be quick and it will not be easy, but if freedom is to remain, not just in this country but in the world, then we must fight for it.

As his father was losing his fight against blindness, Dylan Thomas wrote a famous poem. As we fight against the loss of freedom, let us rage against the dying of the light of liberty.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

– Dylan Thomas

Paul Engel

Author and speaker Paul Engel has spent more than 20 years studying and teaching about both the Bible and the U.S. Constitution. That experience helps Paul explain difficult concepts in a way most people can understand. As one manager described, “Paul can take the most complex idea and explain it in a way my grandmother can understand.” Freely admitting that he “learned more about our Constitution from School House Rock (a Saturday morning cartoon) than in 12 years of school,” he says that anyone can be a constitutional scholar. Since 2014 I have been helping everyday Americans read and study the Constitution of their country and teaching the rising generation to be free. Using news and current events as a springboard, I explain the Constitution and encourage others to stand up and secure the blessings of liberty for themselves, their children, and the nation.

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