Santa Monica, CA 90406
Fighting for Democracy
by Robert Moskowitz
More than two hundred years ago, a desperate band of patriots and freedom fighters led a ragtag collection of growing and vigorous colonies to rebel against the greatest military power on Earth: England. Our Founding Fathers risked their lives, their families, and their fortunes for an idea they fervently hoped would take hold: Democracy. Their rallying cry was simple: "If we don't hang together, we shall surely hang separately!"
Today, generations of Americans have shown that their vision was a good one. They cobbled together a Constitution, together with a Bill of Rights and a Declaration of Independence which have guided a diverse and contentious nation through many difficulties, world wars, changes of economics and technology, and following their lead we have emerged as the greatest nation on Earth: militarily more power, economically more advantages and wealthy, and politically and culturally more free and nurturing than any other nation that has ever existed.
But these advantages don't come free. They must be fought for, over and over again, with each new generation and each new challenge.
Even in the Revolutionary Era, the nation was divided. One third of the population was uncertain about trying to break free from England, one third wanted to stay loyal to King George, and only one third of the colonials believed in democracy and political freedom enough to argue -- and ultimately fight -- for our freedom.
It's not much different today. Generally speaking, a third of the population is entirely satisifed with the status quo, no matter how bad things get. Another third may be more or less dissatisfied, but they're unwiling to do much about it. At any given time, only a third of Americans are willing to put their comfortable lives on the line and take a stand against what is wrong or in favor of what is right. Sure, others may follow as the winds of change blow from one direction or another. But the core group interested in keeping America vigorous and growing, proud and free, is always a relatively small proportion of the whole population.
That's why it's important that anyone who cares deeply about American and wants to see it maintain its hard-won tradition of political freedom, economic growth, and multi-cultural openness must -- from time to time -- speak out, write letters, and even march in the streets to support what's right and good. If you don't fight for democracy, you cannot be sure you will keep it.
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