As the year and decade draw to a close, we leave you with quotes from Virginia patriot and Revolutionary hero Patrick Henry. As with all great, legendary orators and thinkers, his words were/still are prescient. Among them are two lesser known rhetorical flourishes during his famous ”Give me liberty or give me death” speech at the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, at Saint John’s Church in Richmond. In one, he asked:
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
No, we shouldn’t. We shouldn’t lay down with the expectation that vague and demagogic cries of “hope” will lead us to prosperity and liberty, while those espousing the hope, in fact, deviously take us down a path of oppressive limits on our freedom, rather than the freedom afforded by limited government, for which Henry fought.
Nor should we lay down in expectation that this fad, too, will run its course. It can be fought and won, despite the current wisdom, because as Henry also foretold:
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power . . . millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations. …
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
From all of us at The Family Foundation of Virginia to all of you: Our best wishes for a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous New Year, one in which we all will need to be vigilant and redouble our efforts in the political battles ahead.
If only we could. … Bringing in the New Year with Patrick Henry would be a blast!