Imagine that it is early morning and as you look out you see an army in front of you as far as the eye can see, you know that you and your fellow soldiers will have to stop or at least delay this massive force in order to save your family, freedom, and homeland. This might have been the experience of the 300 hundred Spartans who defended Greece at Thermopylae, giving the Athenians enough time to evacuate their city and prepare the naval defense of the Greek city-states. Many people are probably familiar with this story and the incredible bravery that was shown by the 300 Spartans, however we probably don’t think about the remarkable effect this one moment in history has had on all of our lives.
Imagine that the Persians had successfully defeated the Greeks; it is likely that the flowering of Athenian democracy would never have occurred and with that some of the greatest thinkers of all time, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, would have been lost to us forever. The Persians didn’t even have words for things like freedom or citizens, these ideas have come to us directly from the Greeks. So important was Greek freedom that the author of the history of the Greek and Persian wars, Herodotus, was forced to leave Persia for Greece in order to obtain the freedom to write. The great technological, scientific, and philosophical ideas that came out of Greece and laid the foundation for the modern world came about because of its extraordinary history of freedom, which was unique in all of the ancient world. These ideas laid the basis for Western Civilization and it is probable that without a free Greece there never would have been a Rome, a Renaissance, or an Enlightenment, and most importantly, there never would have been a United States of America.
So why discuss this story so soon after the excitement of a successful election, it’s because the truth is that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We currently have a president who has publicly discussed his desire to usurp the rightful powers of Congress in order to create amnesty for illegal immigrants, and who has willfully disregarded the constitutional rights of Americans through the NSA and the IRS. This is a president who has tried to force nuns to violate their religious beliefs and who lacks the strength to defend loyal Americans in places like Benghazi. All of this should make us worry about what he my attempt over the next two years and it should remind us of how difficult it is going to be to roll these abuses back. However, as the story of the 300 shows, it doesn’t take a large number of people to turn things around. Oftentimes all it takes to secure freedom is the strength and courage of a brave few who are willing to give their all in order to defend their own freedoms and the freedoms of others.
This story also shows us why liberty is worth fighting for. Freedom changes the world; it allows us to be all that we have the potential to be. Liberty has created some of the greatest, most prosperous civilizations the world has ever seen, including ours. I truly believe that as conservatives we can and must defend these liberties and that we can and must begin to turn back the encroachments on our liberty, but again, it will be hard work. We will have to be actively engaged, not only during election season but all throughout the year. We need to make sure that we are educated about what our government is doing and that we are watching how our representatives are voting. We will have to remind them that they represent us and remind them of why we helped get them elected. We will also have to be actively engaged with our fellow citizens and tell them why freedom is so valuable. It’s time for conservatives to renew a belief in constant vigilance and create a legacy of freedom that will last for many generations. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
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This was first published at The Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/8/overbeck-misplaced-hope-in-progress/
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