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The Times That Try Our Souls

Friday, 24 November 2000 12:00 AM

"The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."

To hear the media tell it, the current electoral standoff here in Florida is merely a temporary glitch in our political system that at its worst will devolve into a standoff between the winner of the contest and the sharply divided Congress he will face after the inauguration.

That may be so, but the mainstream media elite in their materialistic mindset fail to understand that the crisis is far deeper than that: It is crisis of our national soul, a crisis that involves the very essence of our republican ethos. We are either a nation of laws guided by a higher authority expressed so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence or a confederation of rabble seeking the satisfaction of the moment through whatever means available, fair or foul, and at any cost to our personal morality.

The battle being fought out in South Florida is the age-old contest between good and evil, between the rule of law and the rule of the corrupted demagogue. Its outcome will determine whether America continues to abide by the Constitution of the United States, rooted in the respect for the rights of all citizens and determined to protect them against the excesses of a government that has slipped its moorings and is adrift in a sea of corruption, illegality and immorality.

A Gore victory, wrested from the rightful winner by the use of every form of electoral chicanery and larceny would signal the advent of the age of anything goes: If you want it, take it, no matter what you have to do to get it.

It would signal the existence of a new generation of Americans – today’s version of the summer soldiers and the sunshine patriots, who are willing to stand by and allow the most cherished American values, morals and ethics to be trampled underfoot.

To paraphrase Paine, corruption, like hell – where it is bred – is not easily conquered. Yet, as Tom Paine wrote, "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

The corruption we see reaching its climax today in Florida was bred and raised in the hellish eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration. Personal and public morality were scorned, the rule of law became the rule of the unlawful, and the nation’s system of justice was perverted into a sanctuary for the miscreants who infested the administration and the public square.

The worst excesses of this corrupted and tyrannical administration are now being played out in Florida. Nothing is sacred, not the ballot nor the will of the people nor the members of the armed forces in far-flung outposts around the globe, not even the private lives of the electors – who are now, it seems, being subjected to the inquisitors who exist to blackmail into impotence the foes of the Clintons and the Gores.

It’s all a replay of what we have observed for the past eight years – and a preview of what we will experience in the years to come should the Gore campaign’s coup d’etat succeed.

Out souls are being tried. How will we react?

Our answer will determine the fate of this nation and our children and grandchildren. Will America be once again that shining city on a hill, or the Sodom of our age?

It’s up to us – all of us. And the time is now.

Faugh a’ Ballagh!

Phil Brennan pvb@pvbr.com

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The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the...
The,Times,That,Try,Our,Souls
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2000-00-24
Friday, 24 November 2000 12:00 AM
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