I’ve wondered for some time what that New Hampshire slogan really meant. On the surface it seemed to have the wrong people dying. “Leave me alone or die”, I thought, would make more sense, or “live free or kill”, but the meaning of the slogan is something different, as Walter Williams reports. He goes through some development before getting to the New Hampshire bit;
[Mark] Steyn points how it might seem bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of that alliance is pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists and the other half is homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Steyn argues what they have in common overrides their differences, namely, “Both the secular Big Government progressives and the political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential.”
I never thought it bizarre at all. I’ve referred to Progressives and radical Islam as somewhat kindred spirits for years. They both hate capitalism, both hate liberty in general, both want to control the individual, both hate the very fact that the U.S. and Israel exist, and both thrive on chaos and hate prosperity. I could go on for quite a while, but you get the point.
“Live Free or Die,” which graces New Hampshire’s license plate, are the words of John Stark, New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War hero. He uttered those words decades after the War when he was 81 years old, the complete sentence being: “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” Steyn says these words should not be interpreted “as a battle cry: We’ll win this thing or die trying, die an honorable death. But in fact it’s something far less dramatic: It’s a bald statement of the reality of our lives in the prosperous West. You can live as free men, but, if you choose not to, your society will die.”
This weekend as we celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the successful revolution that resulted, lets keep that in mind. To pledge one’s life, fortune, and sacred honor to the overthrow of an over-reaching government that possesses the most powerful military in the world is as serious as it gets, and many of those who did so faired rather badly during the war. We owe them a lot of respect, and only way to do that is to keep from throwing away that which they have given us.
How many Americans could even describe this country’s founding principles without getting sarcastic, to say nothing of being able to defend them? Try asking some of the people you meet this weekend and report back. I’m curious. Something like this; “Can you define this country’s founding principles?” and then, “What would you say to defend them if someone told you that those were outdated, inflexible, and dreamed up by some radical, violent, old, paternal, dead, white slave owners?” (use your own words)