Some 235 years ago, what we so often refer to as “the American spirit” surged across battlefields in Concord and Lexington, Mass., as farmers, physicians, businessmen and laborers spilled their blood and sacrificed their lives to turn the tide of the American Revolution.
Scholar T.H. Breen, writing in The Wall Street Journal, recalls that thousands of farmers rushed toward the impending conflict, including one named Isaac Davis, who was shot dead by British troops in Concord. “He knew well his danger,” Davis’ wife would say later in an interview (cited by Breen), “but was a stranger to fear.”
On April 19, 1775, writes Breen, “ordinary people … became central figures in the overthrow of imperial rule.”
Another such person was Dr. Joseph Warren, a Boston surgeon who would lose his life in the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. He is perhaps best known for proclaiming his hope that “I shall die up to my knees in blood” in order that he would not yield to the Brits.
Minnesota’s member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Michelle Bachmann, recalled another example of Warren’s steadfastness a few months ago in Washington during her speech at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), as she challenged today’s patriots, in the face of renewed threats to American exceptionalism and our personal liberties, to summon their courage as never before.
Bachmann celebrated Warren’s wish for citizen soldiers: “Act worthy of yourselves.”
It was a line from what amounted to a pep talk Warren had given only months before he would die in battle.
“On you depend the fortunes of America,” Warren said. “You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
The liberty those men bestowed has been a precious gift indeed. And here we stand, 235 years later, our country in danger, our enemies numerous and powerful. They taunt us not with muskets and bayonets, but through the calm deception of an enemy within, dwelling among us, methodically denouncing what makes us a unified nation.
Led by a President who has prepared for a lifetime to seize his Socialist destiny, the radical lawmakers in Washington have taken control of health insurance (1/6th of the economy) and recklessly seek control of our financial institutions, automakers, energy production and, ultimately, our freedom of speech and religion. This week, President Barack Obama seized $20 billion from oil producer BP because it was easier than actually implementing a plan to combat the BP oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The emergence of this pattern of government takeovers enrages and awakens citizens who are now rushing to the battle lines like Davis and Warren.
This ensuing battle of liberty against tyranny is the result, Rep. Bachmann has said publicly. This is a “gangster government” mentality, brazenly displayed as the remedy to any crisis, real or imagined. They will do as they please, take what they want, and without regard for the will of the people or the direction of the polls.
Former President Clinton accused Bachmann of using phrases like “gangster government” to rally the masses toward the boiling point of violence.
“The Democrats are very serious about taking me out (in 2010),” she told a breakfast meeting near Chicago last April attended by this correspondent.
It’s not just the rise of the Tea Party movement, an awakening of citizens that recently saw 11,000 pack an arena in Minnesota to see Bachmann and her special guest, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The battle is intensifying toward November, she said, because the gangsters are beginning to trouble independents and even registered Democrats.
“We are more unified than we have ever been,” Bachmann said of Conservatives. “We’re in a unique position — finally — where we can begin to pull Democrats our way.”
To shrink from the challenge now would dishonor the brave founders who took up arms in 1775, ready to wade through currents of tyrannical blood.
The message rings out again, 235 years later: Act worthy of yourselves.