Let’s face it – we are challenged, politically, economically, and culturally; while watching ridiculous appeals to communism, socialism, racism, street violence, and rank partisanship. We reel at media and social media, dystopian nonsense, and people rewriting history and science. We are tired. BUT we are not done.
Think about history, war and peace, advances and back steps, triumphs and tragedies. George Washington lost almost every battle of the Revolutionary War, until he swept in – with power and resolve – to win first at Trenton, then Princeton, then Yorktown.
In defense of liberty, Washington fought 17 battles in seven years, holding an unpaid rabble together, bound by love of freedom, resolve not to lose, and old-fashioned American cussedness.
Those battles were decisive and mounted despite the expectations of tyrants, mercenaries, and organized adversaries – that America could not, would not, and dared not try to win. Washington disagreed.
Fast forward to freedoms’ call in the War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI and WWII, and every war since, at home and abroad. In each, defeat seemed certain, odds long, hope distant, but we won.
Books like “Miracle at Philadelphia,” “Killer Angels,” and “With the Old Breed” describe the challenge to liberty. In the end, liberty prevails because of those who say when utterly exhausted, “We are not done.” They understand it, do not lose sight of it, do not abandon it, keep fighting for it, and win.
General Ulysses S. Grant, wrote: “In every battle, there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then…he who continues the attack wins.” That is what victory looks like.
We are in such a battle, one that may not look like the War of Independence, Civil War, WWI, or WWII, but in many ways is no less significant – to the future of the Republic. In 2022, the resolve, regardless of noise, nonsense, attacks, and unknown odds, that the right matters – is everything. We who believe in the Bill of Rights, in history and science, culture and competence, must resolve: We are not done.
This principle is timeless, not soft, not conjectural, not a backward look that favors the victor. It is a rock-solid reality, that when you resolve to win by holding firm to principle, when the principle for which you fight is vital, itself timeless, and amounts to defending life, truth and liberty, things do change.
When Winston Churchills’ life was recounted, little got made of his failings – failing at Gallipoli, stumbling on Ireland, economic policy, India. His strength was learning from mistakes, never losing his compass, hope, or courage. He was never done.
To what end? Churchill failed at almost everything, until his resolve saved the Western World in WWII, after which he senselessly lost an election, stayed engaged, won, and rebuilt his nation. “Success,” he quipped, “is the art of going from failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm.”
Later he wrote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” That is true in war, also at home – when battling for history, culture, and freedom. Not giving up, in the end, is the talisman of the victor, of the societal force which will carry the day, define what lasts.
So, where are we in America? We are in a place where truth is challenged, when our sanity is tested by insane notions – things like defining boys as girls, parents as terrorists, police and borders as unnecessary, life as not sacred, language as changeable – for politics.
Republican President Abe Lincoln believed in freedom, equality, compassion, and order, but he did not think much of ransacking the language for the sake of politics. He said, “How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying the tail is a leg does not make it a leg.” Bingo!
The challenge we face today – is chiefly about staying in the fight, since we know the truth, as does the Supreme Court, more than half the nation, all those who came before – who guide us now. The battle before us – as 2022 moves into its second, consequential half – is not that complicated, even if it takes heart, confidence, courage, and stamina. It is to say, with resolve: We are not done.
So, stay strong. That is what those who preceded us did when odds were long, victory elusive, with freedom and truth unclear. They stood up, believed in the future, stayed focused, and said “We are not done.”
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