OPINION – If someone were to ask you about the future of America, would you be optimistic or not?
My friend Steve Millet recently traveled to a number of Southern Utah communities to visit with their citizens regarding their thoughts on the future of our nation. He did not seek out the powerful and connected, although a number of community leaders did come forward.
Those with whom he visited were average folks from widely differing circumstances who, nonetheless, voiced a common love and concern for America. Nearly every one of them expressed to Millet a growing awareness that something is very wrong in this country. They sense that America is transforming before their eyes, shedding her defining principles and her liberty. They feel the need to intervene before it is too late.
The evidence of what is happening to our nation is quickly becoming undeniable. And it is most visible in the effect it is having on our young.
America is drowning in debt that will burden generations yet unborn. The mindset of thrift has been replaced with a thirst for instant gratification and a culture of materialism. Real money has been replaced with irredeemable currency that has lost more than 95 percent of its purchasing power in the last 100 years.
Our children are growing up in a state of perpetual war with its attendant costs in lives, treasure, and personal liberty. Essential protections from government power have been sacrificed to build a national security state that increasingly focuses inward on the American people as the likely enemy.
Mothers have been forced out of the home and into the workplace as irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies make it nearly impossible for households to exist on a single income. Entitlement programs have actively subsidized single parent households creating multi-generational dependency upon government handouts.
People are finally waking to the realization that their freedoms and limited government are vanishing as our Leviathan has taken root and grown.
Which brings us to the real reason that Steve Millet sought the input of others throughout Southern Utah: What can we do to preserve liberty and the promise of America?
In the tradition of true statesmanship, Steve has gone to work starting where he is and working with what he has, without waiting for official permission. He has written and recorded songs and presentations that teach about the Founders and their foundational principles. He has been educating and inspiring audiences throughout Utah by organizing his Great American Constitutional Revivals.
None of this is done with the goal of financial gain. The message of liberty is one that must be freely shared. Millet works long hours and pays most of the expenses from his own pocket, with the help of a handful of donations.
I’ve participated as a speaker in two of Steve’s events and can vouch for the fact that he is the first to show up and the last to call it a day.
His goal is straightforward; teach the people the principles of freedom and the forgotten history of those who implemented them at our nation’s founding.
It’s noteworthy that Millet has not allowed himself to be sidetracked by shiny things like fame or the partisan call of political power. He understands that not all of America’s problems require a political solution.
Political parties exist for the purpose of getting candidates elected. This means that principles often take a backseat to the quest for simple power.
Millet’s approach is based in helping people learn the principles and practices of liberty for themselves and then safeguard those principles by living lives of individual goodness and personal morality.
The essential nature of knowing these principles is consistent with what James Madison taught when he wrote, “The Freemen of America didn’t wait until usurped power had strengthened itself in exercise, and entangled the matter in precedents; they saw all of the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
The beauty of Madison’s idea is that it works when applied at all levels of government. The only thing holding most people back is that they have not yet applied themselves by taking responsibility to educate themselves.
As Millet puts it, “If we would have our liberty, we must first understand what it takes to be free.”
These words carry real influence when coming from one who is not asking anyone to do what he himself is unwilling to do.
If there is an America to be saved, it will be saved by people like Steve Millet who are willing to learn and live the principles of liberty.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2013, all rights reserved.