OPINION – How serious are you about freedom? A great many Americans sense that it is in decline but remain unsure as to what they can do to defend and uphold it.
There’s no shortage of voices commenting on the passing scene. This is particularly true when the subject involves freedom. But which voices deserve our attention?
Amidst a cacophony of commentators, there are some voices that carry more weight than others. These are the voices of those individuals who have moved beyond lip service and who actively walk the walk of defending freedom.
They have moved from complaining on the sidelines to playing an active role in moving the cause of liberty. The reason their words are worth considering is because they have paid the price to personally understand the principles and practices of freedom.
They are classically educated and have carefully studied history and the works of the greatest thinkers. They understand the necessity of original research and the importance of original sources. They are problem solvers rather than partisan hacks.
They speak and write with a power and gravity that eludes parrots, polemicists, and shills. This power is not based upon their understanding alone, but also on their ability to live up to the principles they espouse with great consistency — even when it is inconvenient. This is what separates them from mere politicians and opportunists.
Like all individuals who are having real impact, they attract the relentless opposition of those who live to smear and discredit others. It never occurs to their critics that tearing down what others have built is nothing like actually creating something of value. Their detractors have little of significance to add since they thrive on discontentment.
It requires great courage to remain true to one’s principles in the face of public antagonism. But it takes no courage whatsoever to be a critic these days. The anonymity of the Internet has greatly exacerbated this tendency.
Truly great individuals often have great personal challenges and tragedies to overcome while on their chosen path. The greater the individual, the greater the demons they likely had to wrestle along the way. But it is the struggle and the tenacity to continue following their dream that acts as a strengthening and refining process in their lives.
More often than not, the greatest battles they fight are not played out on a stage for the entire world to see. Instead, they consist of the personal struggles that are won in private moments and known only to the individual. They are often rejected because they are not well known. But if simply winning the approval of the masses were an effective test of legitimacy, we’d all be looking to Lady Gaga for advice.
One of the best examples of an individual who walks the walk and speaks with clarity and authority on the subject of freedom is my friend Oliver DeMille.
Nearly 14 years ago, I first met Oliver when he filled in for Senator Jake Garn at a banquet for the Southwest Science Foundation in St. George. I was impressed with his call for statesmanship in every facet of our society.
What impressed me the most about his call to action was that it was directed to the common citizens who are tempted to leave leadership to others. DeMille believed that there are seeds of greatness in each of us and that we each have an indispensable role to play in this life.
I greatly appreciated his emphasis on allegiance. He unflinchingly prioritized the need for allegiance to God, to family, and then to country. He didn’t just call for smarter voters, he called for men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage to inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.
This message sparked an awareness in me that there was much more that I could be doing with my own life to fulfill a sense of personal mission. I count it as a great privilege to have been mentored by Oliver DeMille and I can attest that he is one who truly walks the walk.
DeMille has faced deep hardships, personal trials, and betrayal that might have crushed lesser individuals. He has paid a price that few others were willing to pay. He has endured the kind of vicious opposition that few of us ever will and has remained true to his principles.
This is why when he speaks on “the Battle for Liberty” tonight at the Life and Liberty Forum being held at the Dixie Center St. George, it would be wise to be in the audience. RSVP requested, follow the link for details.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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