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“Freedom,” President Ronald Reagan said, “is a fragile thing, and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.”
These are words worthy of our collective rumination as our republic and time-tested institutions stand strained like never before.
In the past year, we have witnessed the once-unthinkable. Governors across the country unilaterally and indefinitely constrained core rights — all without a peep of input from the people’s duly-elected legislative representatives. A mob incensed by lies and vitriol from an unhinged president of the United States stormed the Capitol and successfully stalled the peaceful transition of executive power. And our national debt, with little notice, has grown beyond the size of the country’s entire annual gross domestic product, a dangerous fiscal threshold that threatens American solvency for the first time in history.
Self-rule requires societal self-assessment. An honest reflection on the worrying political state of things today reveals we must do better — and soon — for American democracy to continue and thrive.
Freedom in the United States has before, of course, had its foes. The Confederacy, […]