- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 31, 2010

Culture challenge of the week: political passivity

Every Election Day when my children were small, I would take them with me to the local polling place. The school would close, but the gym played host to a steady stream of voters, each rewarded with the red, white, and blue badge of good citizenship: a sticker that said “I voted.”

On Tuesday, Americans will enter school gyms in Virginia, firehouses in Ohio and municipal buildings in California — and similar venues all across the country — to cast their votes.

But something’s different this year — not in the layout of polling places or the design of the little stickers, but in the hearts and souls of American voters.

Inspired by the vision of our founding principles, many will vote with a single-minded purpose: to reclaim the economic liberty, personal freedom and personal responsibility envisioned in the Declaration of Independence, protected by the notion of limited government, and guaranteed by our Constitution.

The new political awakening is composed of hard-working Americans who embrace personal responsibility as the flip side of individual freedom; who understand the importance of treating all citizens fairly, and believe that it’s imperative to provide for our families — and to be given the freedom to do so; who believe in traditional values like worshipping our Creator, protecting the vulnerable, and treating the least among us with human dignity.

It’s the “tea party” spirit.

And it stands in open opposition to the passive politics proposed by the liberal elite now in control. Scrounging votes for his fellow elites, President Obama has exhorted Americans to “keep believing,” to stay passive and hold onto the hope that Washington liberals know what’s best for the rest of us.

But something’s different in the heart and souls of American voters.

Tea party candidates, activists and voters have renewed a national appreciation for the need to fight to preserve the constitutional principles that were designed to secure freedom for generations to come. The end result, I pray, will be that we have seen political passivity replaced by a passionate patriotism that will extend far beyond this one election cycle.

How to save your family by working to protect freedom and truth.

While “hope” and “change” were the mantras of yesterday’s elitists, “freedom” and “truth” are the rallying cries of today’s ordinary Americans.

John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

That statement reminds us who we are called to be. That “faith” is a verb — an “action word.”

Our Constitution is the finest governing document of any country. And as voters, we need to work to make certain that our government protects our constitutional freedoms, whether they be economic, religious or speech. We must demand that we remain free to associate with whom we choose, to travel where we wish, to work in the fields in which we feel called, and to teach our children in the manner we think is best. As citizens, we need to renew our commitment to live up to the moral and religious ideals that make it all work.

Ordinary Americans need to continue to step forward and take charge. We’ve got to end the rule by elitists — those judges, elected officials and academics who presume to know what’s best for our families and our businesses, while destroying the principles that make our country a beacon of hope for the world. We’ve got to reclaim the freedom to prosper, unshackled by burdensome regulations; to demand that government restrain spending; to expect that those we elect will fend off threats both at home and abroad; to make certain that we create leaders who value and protect our intrinsic rights as human beings, beginning with the right to life.

On Tuesday, the protest turns into action at voting booths across the land; but the hard work has just begun. And Americans are ready.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at [email protected]

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