No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, and abilities, of the worthy men and women who serve our nation, and state, as elected representatives. But different individuals see the same issues in profoundly different ways; and, consequently, I would hope that my comments to follow will be taken not with the connotation of disrespect if my position is profoundly opposed to those in the seats of political power. Fellow citizens, this is no time in our history for ceremony. There is nothing in what has been accomplished to date here in Wisconsin, or out in Washington, for which we should, in full retrospect, rejoice. Ours is now a legacy of tyranny, we have allowed the very documents of freedom to be bastardized into enslaving mechanisms which have brought us into bondage; tyranny of the people, by its government. I should consider it treasonous not to raise this matter now and, moreover, an act of shear cowardice and disloyalty towards the human race for whom life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness I revere above all other things.
It is to be expected for those buying into the interventions and usurpations of liberty to indulge in the illusion of hope. If we should just elect a new gang to guide us, all will be better but the reality tells a different story. We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth. The truth of reality, for it is real. We listen to the siren of the gods who tell us that spending, the effect, can bring us wealth, the cause. We sit transfixed as we are transformed into bickering acrimonious gangs pitted against one another as both victim and parasite. Are we now relegated to a species who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern the essence of their liberty? For me, I am willing to know the whole truth, I have endeavored to find it out, to know the worst, provide for it and now warn my fellow man of its gravity.
I have but one pair of eyes by which I can see into this universe and they have learned that existence exists, that A is A. We can only know that which is real and to presume the future can be ignorant of the past is to purchase the fallacy of man’s greatest errors. Judging by the past, we have seen the tyranny grow with each usurpation of liberty taken like a stolen kiss leaving the living with only a fleeting belief that in another generation, or in some other dimension, victory and freedom will be ours. Suffer not to be betrayed by this kiss for it is the kiss of death worship and sacrifice. Let us not be deceived, these contrivances and handouts of a leviathan government are the implements of subjugation and tyranny. Can there be any other motive than the abject equalization of all men? To what other end could such a course lead us? We have argued hard and long in opposition to this nightmare of slinking socialism. We have done everything that could be done to alert those who purport to represent our liberty but sold us all down the river of statism. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the very halls of government, and have implored its interposition to arrest its growing tyrannical hands and its web of influence and dependency. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional insults; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the local boards of education, to the halls of the state capital, to the floor of congress, and the presidency itself. In vain could we only hope of reconciliation at this late date. There is no longer any room for hope and even less for any foolish compromises. If we wish to be free-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending-if we mean not basely to abandon the nobel struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained-we must separate from this bastardized union! I repeat it, sir, we must leave this nation at once! An appeal to secession and to the freedom of mankind is all that is left us!
They tell us that we are extreme, that modern society has moved beyond the quaint notions of individual liberty and freedom, that it is “democracy” which is the god to which we should worship. But this god is a god of sacrifice, not for us but by us. What event will it take to move our souls to act? Will it be next year, or the year after? Will it take an avowed socialist elected as president before we rebel? Or a United Nations to which we are subordinate in all affects? Shall we garner strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies have us fully enslaved at both the rhetorical and literal point of a gun? We are anything but extreme, if by extreme one implies an absolute demand for those inalienable rights granted to us by our enlightened forefathers. The battle is not to the intellectuals alone; it is to the vigilant, the practical, the traders and businessmen, the brave men and women who are willing to stand up and speak, write and argue for our independence from the United States. Make no mistake about it, our chains are already forged and many of us wear them yet do not even see them. Whether we like it or not, our die has been cast, our freedom has been taken, we must act or liberty will be lost in this world forever – let the struggle begin here and now!
It is, in fact, vanity hardly to be matched to extenuate this matter. Men may cry for compromise, but there is no compromise – we are in a war of ideas and ideals, any compromise is abject failure. The next gale that sweeps from the northeast will bring more tax, more restrictions, more regulations. Why do we stand idle? What is it that you wish for? Is life so dear, your free education, health care, and subsidy system so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me sucession, or give me death!
Please note that this presentation is a rhetorical exercise meant to raise some reflections and thought by using the form and format of Patrick Henry’s 1775 speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses. Similarities the March, 1775, presentation by Patrick Henry to the Virginia House of Burgesses is purposeful – portions of that speech clearly included and on purpose, as well as one notable sentence from The Declaration of Independence.