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America is crumbling, and we are responsible. If the decline is to be stopped, there is no time for political niceties, doublespeak, or hedging. Let me be clear: I am in favor of taking action. However, before we do, we must take time to honestly review the state of reality. If we are to have any chance of success, we must begin by acknowledging that the primary fight is in restraining man’s natural tendency to abuse others while trying to gain a personal advantage. 

The hearts of men are evil, and if men are given the opportunity to take advantage of others, they will. It is also important to acknowledge that human society is organized by humans (with hearts, as we already discussed, that tend towards evil). America’s Founders knew these things and attempted to create a system of government with the greatest chance of achieving success. They knew that adherence to Judeo-Christian values is what would give the American system the best chance of success. 

Since Creation, there has been a war of ideas on how society should operate and who should be in control. Historically, those in control were the ones who were able to physically dominate those around them. Kings were made based on who won battles. Power wasn’t given. It was taken. And to remain in a position of power, the powerful do things to consolidate and increase their position. In other words, they lie, cheat, steal, and use violence against those at the bottom of the heap—the people. 

The reason the “American Experience” in self-governance was possible in the first place was because of the physical distance between the powerful and the people in America. The people were literally an ocean away from those in power. By the time King George took notice of the American colonists, they and their ancestors had been self-governing for over 150 years (six generations). As evidenced by their fierce resistance, the Americans had little use for the power structure of England. 

For six generations, the American colonists lived in economic freedom. They had freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and freedom to associate—all without restraints from lords and kings. 

It was in this context that the Americans came up with their own reckoning of how best to organize a society. They knew from personal experience what not to do. They also knew from personal experience that self-governance works. 

The American Founders took pains to create a system of government with three equal but separate branches designed to reduce and slow the ability of men to oppress the innocent. Their brilliant solution ensured that power grabs would always be a two-to-one fight. 

They knew what they had given us was difficult to obtain. They also knew it would be even more difficult to keep. As Ben Franklin walked out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he knew how precarious our hold on freedom was. A woman asked him, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” His reply was, “A republic, if you can keep it”. 

I, for one, am proud of the Founders and what they achieved. The gift they gave us wasn’t a perfect form of government, but it was better than anything else before or since. They gave us a system that was designed to protect the innocent from the powerful, and it lasted 244 years.

While I am profoundly proud of America’s Founders, I have the opposite feeling about my own generation. We have squandered the gift of freedom that we were given. If feelings of fear and of being overwhelmed and of hopelessness are present, it is for good reason. We are about to lose freedom completely. 

So, let’s bring it full circle. Is there hope?

Would it be too brutal if I told you, “Not if you are relying on a man”?

It is time to return to the Heavenly Father. He is the only hope we have.

This is a commentary republished with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].