April 19, 1775. The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. Contempt had been breeding however, for well over a decade. The British government, in an attempt to increase revenue by taxing the colonists, introduced The Stamp Act (1765), The Townshend Tariffs (1767) and the Tea Act (1773). This taxation without representation was met with heated protest. The colonists simply wanted the same rights afforded to all other British subjects.
The end result of the Revolutionary War is well documented. The United States of America fought for and won her independence from Britain. The fight was not won through superior firepower, sheer strength or by outnumbering the enemy. In fact, this war was won by a vastly unskilled, under-trained and often-outnumbered band of commonplace, everyday men. The population of the colonies was approximately 2.2 million. One-third of that population were loyal to the crown. Many fled to Canada or back to England. It is estimated that only 3% of able-bodied colonists were actively engaged in the battle for freedom from tyranny. Yet, they won because they stood resolute for something they believed in, something they were passionate about. They won because they walked away from the pre-determined rules of engagement and created new tactics to win the war they were engaged in.
Fast-forward 243 years. We once again find ourselves in a fight for freedom over tyranny. Our 1stand 2ndAmendment rights are at stake. We have sectors of the public circle that want nothing more than to eradicate not only conservative speech in public arenas, but also the very existence of conservative thought. From our colleges and universities, where academics have deemed conservatism to ne narrow-minded, bigoted and hate-mongering, to our public school systems where the very liberties guaranteed by the 1stAmendment are being stripped away, but only from those that passionately believe in God, the Constitution and conservative ideology.
Conservative voices are being shouted down on public university campuses and not being allowed to speak. They are being threatened with arrest for trespassing if they step on a campus, but liberal protestors are not being deterred by the same law enforcement when they barge into conservative speaker’s engagements.
We have a football coach fired from his job for silently praying after football games. This Marine Corps veteran is being denied his basic 1stAmendment right, one he put his life on the line to defend. It is a silent prayer. But it is the topic of his prayer that is the issue. This man is praying to God, therefore we must mandate that he not do that on the field after all the players have left. Would this coach have lost his job had he been Muslim? To those on the left, Christian prayer should be kept at home, in private.
According to them, they should be free to proudly live whatever type of life they want to publicly. Any attempt to disagree is narrow-minded and intolerant. Transversely, conservative-minded people should keep who they are on the down low. Keep it private. There is apparently no place in this nation for any thought process that disagrees with the Bastions of Berkeley.
This nation is more polarized than ever before. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you are on. It only matters that we take a stand to fight for what our founding fathers implemented as our freedoms from tyrannical rule. Our Constitution mandates fundamental rights for all of our citizenry. It does not provide verbiage or concessions for anyone to walk on those guaranteed rights because you do not agree with the ideology of the ones exercising those rights. Those rights can only be removed through due process of law. They cannot be stripped away by wearing a ski mask, smashing windows of local businesses and screaming louder than those you disagree with.
Like those who paved the way for us 243 years ago, we must decide to be part of the 3% that are actively engaging in the fight for our freedom. Make no mistake… we are at war. Shots are being fired. We must resolutely take a stand. Decide which side you are on, and then defend it passionately. Are you on the side of good? The side that believes that all Americans have the same rights? Or do you stand on the opposite side of the field of battle? The side that says there is no room for any school of thought that does not adhere to the liberal agenda. The true narrow-minded, intolerant individual is the one that will not allow another to speak and simply agree to disagree. You can believe that your school of thought is 100% correct, and it may be. But the minute you refuse to give a voice to those who disagree, you have proven yourself to be a fool.
We have gained our independence as a nation from tyranny with only 3% engaged in the fight. We can and must do so again.
Mitch McKinley is a man of faith, a patriot, a US Army veteran, a husband and father of four. He owns his own technology and security consulting firm and is a proud to be a native Texan.