Wednesday, August 11, 2021

To the editor,

Our freedom depends on commitment that goes beyond politics, beyond individual beliefs, sometimes beyond our efforts to fully understand what freedom, democracy, or our “rights” really mean. It goes to the very nature of humanity, the need to protect and preserve a way of life that is precious beyond our understanding. It has been our willingness to sacrifice that has given us the resiliency to endure as a nation.

Wrapping oneself in the flag, either literally or figuratively, does not make you a patriot. A true patriot is a good citizen above all else. The responsibilities that freedom requires demands much from us. We have often failed to meet the demands that political and societal freedom demands yet even at our worst we have never succumbed completely to the ideals of our country’s abiding principles.

Yet I worry that now that we have reached a precipice from which, if we do not pull back from will lead us to lose those freedoms we so dearly cherish. We have lost something of our national character. What has happened to our nation that would object to life saving vaccinations or complain about the loss of personal freedom because we are asked to wear a mask to protect one another from a terrible disease. At this moment in time, it seems that we have forgotten that we are the United States of America. The hallmark of being an American has always been to come together in times of crisis for the common good.

But today, we have succumbed to radical political rhetoric and have refused to listen to the voice of reason or common sense. Our winter of discontent is upon us. Our National Character has weathered many a trial. However, if we allow our freedoms to be eroded by demagogues, senseless rhetoric, and armed insurrection we will not endure as a free and prosperous nation. Freedom is not cheaply won but it is easily lost if we lose hope and our virtue.

Otis Anderson