Have We Been Fundamentally Transformed?

Typically I try to write in a way to make people think. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I have no inner need for people to validate my thoughts. I also try to write in a way so as to encourage people to dig deeper, and it is my goal to reach people who otherwise might not agree with my “conservatarian” point of view. 

A lot of people are writing and talking about the end of eight years of  President Obama, the end of "an error," as many have said. They are also giddy over the inauguration of Donald Trump. As I read of the anticipation of his presidency, he is either the savior of the republic or evil incarnate. The poor guy has just been sworn into office. Time will tell, and so will the media. Will the media ignore and/or gloss over perceived errors? Will YOU?

I want to look back at the past eight years, not at what Obama did to the Republic, but at OUR fundamental transformation.

I have always been interested in politics and history. I guess I see all of this as the history in the making.  Whether I am writing about a historical event or fiction, I see myself there in that time and place. In that sense, I appreciate that I do not have to use my imagination as I witness events day to day.

As a history buff, I understand that our founders were transformed by the events of their day. They were fiercely British, and they viewed themselves as British citizens, not subjects and not colonists. After all, the “colonists” well understood the technical aspect of their situation. However, they had just spent a number of years helping the British fight the French. The subsequent increase in taxes and regulations to help pay for the war plus keeping the colonies “in line” helped to put many over the line.


Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 Lee WrightFlickr | CC-BY-SA

According to historian Robert Calhoon, there is a consensus among historians that roughly 40-45% of the white population of the thirteen colonies supported the Patriots. An estimated 15-20% supported the Loyalists, while the balance kept to themselves or remained neutral. The population at the time was about 2.5 million. In a way, it was our first civil war-  dividing families and friends over the movement. Even Ben Franklin was estranged from his son.

Fast forward to 2009. Just two years earlier in 2007, the iPhone was introduced.  The fall of 2008 saw one of the largest worldwide financial crisis ever. Just a little more than seven years before, the nation was attacked on 9/11/01. Some very significant events occurred in a relatively short time, events that would fundamentally transform our way of thinking and our nation.

During the time of the Obama presidency, our lives have changed in many ways not connected to him. Amazon changed the way we shopped. Our communications have changed dramatically. The media and how we receive our news has changed from the 5:00 evening news to 24/7 and online. Social networking is now essential to business, politics and to each of us personally. Tablets have largely taken the place of laptops which had previously displaced desktops. Many of our normal legal matters are now accomplished online.

Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Android, Kindle and Google Maps are all ten years old or younger!

Honestly, my political transformation began 20 years ago; however, the Obama administration planted the need to further my education. I thought I was pretty sharp on the Constitution; I was not.  Thankfully, there were free classes on it. There was very little about Barack Obama that I would call positive during his tenure, but the drive for many to better their knowledge and understanding of the Constitution was a big positive for the Republic.

Since our founding was Biblically based-  our laws, our system of justice, and the idea that we are to be personally responsible-  it only makes sense that a Bible verse fits our responsibility not only to God, but to our Republic.

1 Peter 3:15-16 NASB: but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

What sort of “Patriot” are you? Do you shout down the opposition, using all caps if necessary? Do you call them morons or idiots? Are you trying to educate them or belittle them? As with the parable of the sower, not all will be receptive. Our job is not to force learning; it is to plant a seed.

Let’s compare our duty as constitutional patriots to the verse above. Sanctify is to set apart. Make it a part of your heart, your inner being. Being ready means educated, well versed, and prepared to answer with facts and reason. Just as a person’s allegiance is to God and not a preacher or church, our allegiance is to be to the Constitution, not a president or a party. We know people will call us names, but we are to be the stronger and better person. Understand that when wrestling with a pig, you’ll both get filthy and muddy - but the pig likes it.

If you have not yet become transformed, I hope you will respond as if your republic depends on it, because it does. The Heritage Foundation has excellent free courses on the Constitution. There are groups around the country dedicated to teaching the Constitution, the founding, and original intent. Founder’s Keep is one such group that is set to open chapters around the country. I’m sure there are others.

We did not win our independence by fighting the British on their turf and with force on force on their terms. We had to outsmart them. They were fighting for wages and following orders. We were striving for freedom. We must be smarter than our opponents, and just as the first Patriots had to contend with Loyalists, so must we. There will be those who profess to be following the Constitution, yet are loyal to something or someone else.

Our country is divided, maybe nearly as much as it was in 1860. Having emotional arguments will solve nothing and only serve to divide us further. The technological advancements over the past decade could be used to bring us closer to the truth, and the path we should be walking. Or, it can help make the divide even deeper. 

You are responsible for your thoughts, actions, and behavior. 

Because someone on the other side is being unreasonable does not give you the right or the excuse to respond in kind. We must be better than that so we can heal and continue to enjoy the success that liberty brings. 

Photo Credit: "Transformers NIKON", © 2007 chia ying YangFlickr | CC-BY

Written by Michael Murphy The Voice of Reason

The Voice of Reason

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