Just back from a family vacation in the Granite State, this strong statement, the official motto of New Hampshire since 1945, adorns every license plate, and defines the very culture of this state. No other place so embodies the old fashioned Yankee virtues of industry, frugality, resolution, moderation, and order.
The entire quote, written by Revolutionary War hero, and New Hampshire favorite son General John Stark is “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.” Stark penned this famous phrase in a letter of regret to a group of veterans of the Battle of Bennington, who had invited their commander, now 81, and in poor health, to a commemorative banquet in 1809, 32 years after the August, 1777, turning point of the war.
Stark’s contingent of 1500 men was raised only a scant three weeks before the engagement, and would be facing British regulars along with Hessian mercenaries. Moments before the battle began, Stark climbed on a rail fence, and shouted, “Now, my men, over there are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds, 10 pence a man. Tonight the American flag floats over yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow.”
Flash forward 225 years to the present. How would these United States look to the man who also said that “undisciplined freemen are superior to veteran slaves…”?
- 15 months after 9/11, security measures are in place that seem to value political correctness over efficacy.
- A supposedly conservative President Bush praises the “seven principles” of Kwanzaa, a holiday invented in 1966 by Black Radical Ron Karenga. Interestingly, Umojo, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani are exactly the same principles as those of the ultra violent 1970’s urban terrorist Symbionese Liberation Army. All the while, the principles on which our country was founded fade evermore into the background.
- Much of academia is dominated by leftist America-hating misfits.
- Numerous state government budgets are in shambles, due in no small part to generous services being doled out to illegal aliens.
- Three years before our Bicentennial, our storied Supreme Court finds a fundamental right to abortion–a determination that would have surprised the Framers, to say the very least.
- The Bicentennial is presided over by an accidental Chief Executive, who assumes office upon the resignation of another supposedly conservative president. This faux conservative (Nixon) devalues the dollar, institutes Affirmative Action, orders wage and price controls, and brings the Vietnam War to its ignominious conclusion. Notably, North Vietnamese foreign minister Le Duc Tho refuses the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, while Nixon’s main man, the incredibly overrated Henry Kissinger, gleefully accepts it.
Stark would find his Yankee virtues replaced by precepts of effete compromise, loopy multiculturalism, creeping atheism, rapacious greed, and mind-control socialism. The liberty he so cherished was to be attacked only 39 years after he died with Lincoln’s War Between the States, and was to be wounded ever further with Wilson, FDR, and the rest.
In John Stark’s day, there was no shortage of heros. As we enter the new year, where are they now?