Lest we forget

Published 10:52 am Friday, March 7, 2014

To the Editor:

Few of us were alive when Calvin Coolidge was the president of the United States (1923-1929). Nor, I dare say, are many of us today aware of who he was or what he accomplished as president.

But, with my limited knowledge of him, I believe we as a nation would benefit greatly by knowing more about his approach to the kind of government that will serve this nation, or any nation, best – a government having limited power as defined by our Constitution.

While reading a book recently, I came across a portion of one of President Coolidge’s speeches which I think bears repeating for the benefit of us today. He said, “The Constitution is not self-perpetuating. If it is to survive, it will be because it has public support, such support is not a passive, but an active operation. It means making adequate sacrifice to maintain what is of public benefit.

“The Constitution of the United States is the final refuge of every right that is enjoyed by an American citizen.

“So long as it is observed, these rights will be secure. Whenever it falls into disrespect or disrepute, the end of orderly organized government, as we have known it for more than one hundred and twenty-five years, will be at hand.

“The Constitution represents a government of law. There is only one other form of authority, and that is a government of force.

Americans must make their choice between these two. One signifies justice and liberty; the other tyranny and oppression.”

I am much alarmed by what is happening in our country today as I’m sure most of the readers feel the same. The freedoms that we have taken for granted are being eroded by an ever increasingly powerful, coercive, over-reaching government that is not upholding the constitutional freedoms that it vowed to protect.

This loss of freedom affects us all: young or old, male or female, black or white, rich or poor.

As President Coolidge himself said: “If it [the Constitution] is to survive, it will be because it has public support.”

So, let us wake up to what is happening today, speak up, vote for those who will defend out Constitution and implore God to give us the wisdom and courage to do so.

Kilby Hodges