By Mike Scruggs
South Carolinian Henry Laurens (1724-1792) was the 5th President of the Continental Congress, from November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778. One of the most fervent of American patriots, he was a signer of the Articles of Confederation in 1777 and a key political leader during the Revolutionary War.
While on a diplomatic mission to the Netherlands in 1780, he was captured by the British at sea and charged with treason. The British declared war on the Netherlands, and Laurens was imprisoned in the Tower of London, the only American ever to have been imprisoned there. While imprisoned, he was treated with severity, yet he never wavered in his patriotism and loyalty to the American cause. He was released in exchange for General Lord Cornwallis on December 31, 1781. He resumed his diplomatic mission to the Netherlands almost immediately, although he never recovered his health, lost as a result of his 14-month prison ordeal. Meanwhile, the British burned his South Carolina home and destroyed or confiscated most of his wealth.
Laurens’ son, John, the eldest of three, was a colonel in the Continental Army and served on Washington’s staff. He was killed-in-action, however, in early 1782.
Laurens sacrificed his wealth and health and lost a beloved son in his unwavering dedication to the cause of liberty and the defeat of tyranny. His words are remarkably appropriate for our own troubled times. Every American should remember them:
“At a time when liberty is under attack, decency under assault, the family under siege, and life itself is threatened, the good will arise in truth; they will arise in truth with the very essence and substance of their lives; they will arise in truth never shying from the Standard of Truth, never shrinking from the Author of Truth.”
We are once again living in a time when liberty in under attack, and common decency is under assault. Never before have America’s founding principles and values been more aggressively threatened by an incumbent president and his party. Virtually everything Americans have believed in, worked for, prayed for, and fought for in the last 240 years is at stake. The vote climaxing on November 6, 2012, may be our last chance to turn back the radical economic and social agenda that is threatening our freedoms, our values, our prosperity, and our national security.
We must take back our country. I do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that unless Barack Obama, his party, and the sweeping socialist measures imbedded in the 2,700 pages of Obamacare are defeated in November, freedom may have seen its last hours by 2016. The American dream will become a totalitarian nightmare without hope of future remedy.
Do not be deceived by the mainstream media or be lulled to sleep by complacency. This election is a battle for the survival of freedom in America, and the enemies of freedom are straining every nerve to win by any means—deception, fraud, defamation, and intimidation.
We must take back our country. But just voting and watching the election news coverage on TV will not win it back. Political campaigns are won, when people resolve to participate, to influence their family and neighbors, and to do what needs to be done to carry forth the banner of truth and liberty to other voters. They must also make sure that like-minded patriots vote. When scarcely two-thirds of eligible voters register to vote, and scarcely half of those actually vote, the side that best mobilizes its supporters to actually show up and vote wins. .
Will you be helping to win back our country and our freedoms? Or will we forfeit the game and see America’s freedom and greatness swept into the dustbin of history? Saving our liberty and heritage is going to require hard work and sacrifice. Love of country, people, and principle is best measured, not by words alone, but by action.