“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”–– Benjamin Franklin
The definition of the word essential is, “absolutely necessary; extremely important.” Of course, when you ask people what they deem absolutely necessary, you will get a plethora of responses. There are some who would say love is essential. I am sure there are corporate CEOs who feel that systems creating efficiency and boosts their ability to stay in business would be essential. However, there are some basic things that are essential for our survival: oxygen, without it we die; water, without it we dehydrate, and die. And, the above quote from Benjamin Franklin offers an essential quality for our existence: liberty.
The word liberty can come to mean different things to different individuals, and Abraham Lincoln explained that very well, “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatable names—liberty and tyranny.”
When it comes to the current virus issue we are facing in America called COVID, I submit that the quotes of Franklin and Lincoln are quite relevant. We are being “fear-mongered” into surrendering the very essential thing we have in a constitutional Republic liberty. And, if you are not familiar with the classical liberal theories of one English philosopher named John Locke, you should be. Locke postulated in his Second Treatise of Government in 1689 a revolutionary ideal: Natural Rights Theory. Locked asserted that as individuals we naturally have rights granted to us, not from government but our Creator: life, liberty, and property.
Thomas Jefferson adopted that principle and codified it in the words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Therefore, individual liberty is enshrined in our founding document as essential, not granted by man, government, and therefore not one for man to misconstrue, as Lincoln purported in his quote.
But, in America right now, we have elected officials who believe that they have an enumerated right to determine, not just what is essential, but also, who. That is a usurpation — a gross one, indeed — leading us down the path of destruction. What do these petty tyrants and usurpers claim as they erode our essential liberty? That they are doing all of this in the name of our safety, our health, and our lives.
There are those who may believe that this is only an issue from a federal government standpoint. They are wrong.
This is an issue here in our beloved Texas where a governor decided, unilaterally, that he could determine who and what was essential. A governor who told certain businesses that they were not essential. The result of that unconstitutional edict was that Texas became the #1 state in America for Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Texas became #8 in the nation for business closures and saw 15 percent of Lone Star State restaurants close, for good. Millions lost their jobs. We have not fully recovered, as nearly ten thousand small businesses were lost. If you are a small business owner, your business is essential, as you had the liberty to start it.
When we allow ourselves to be ruled, not governed, by edicts, orders, mandates, and decrees we are no longer residing in the Texas Republic . . . we are subjects, serfs, in a constitutional monarchy. Our liberties are to be protected by the rule of law, our constitution. Government — including governors — governs by the consent of the governed . . . not seeking to subjugate those governed.
The first hospital in the country to mandate its healthcare providers to get a COVID vaccine was Houston Methodist. We have Texans being denied certain therapeutics, treatments, and protocols to remedy COVID. Even after constant requests from the people, and even certain elected representatives, there still has been no call for a special legislative session to pass into law the rejection of unconstitutional shot and mask mandates in Texas.
Texans should have the liberty, as they constitutionally have the right, to determine what is best for their bodies . . . not politicians or bureaucrats.
I recognize that just as oxygen and water is essential for the survival of our bodies, so is individual liberty to sustain the Texas Republic. When elected, I will never usurp the essential elements of Texans, your life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. When we protect our liberty we are victors, when that liberty is undermined we become victims.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Lt. Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)
To receive LTC Allen West’s Monday Message directly via email each week, sign up via the “Get Involved” form below!