On Friday the 13th, ordinary Americans throughout the country gathered in groups in homes and other meeting places to hear talk show host Glenn Beck of Fox News call them to become the people we were "On 9/12 (2001 when) no one in the government had to tell us what to do. We just did it. We went and we found a place to give blood. We went and we gave money. We gathered together. We gathered our family around. We prayed. We were the people that our grandparents were and nobody had to tell us."
And then, politicians began to do what they often like to do best - tell us what to do. President George W. Bush urged us to "do our patriotic duty and go shopping." Soon we were back to the political game of arguing over who the villains and the victims are and which party could best identify and resolve problems facing us. In recent years We, the People, seem to have lost our independence and our confidence and have turned increasingly to "experts" in education, finance, government, politics, health and the media to tell us what to do, how to do it, when to do it and how much to pay for the privilege of being "taken care of."
What Glenn Beck did on Friday was to call the people back to the principles this nation was founded on. We really CAN:
1. Know that God helped the Founding Fathers create this great nation and He will help us save it if we ask for His help, as did George Washington and others of the Founding Fathers.
2. Choose what type of American we want to be. We can be free and independent, or we can be wards of the state in heavy debt for the rest of our lives.
3. Choose courageous leaders who lead us TOWARDS unity, honor and integrity, rather than leaders who create contention, factions and hatred for others with different views.
4. Restore honor, integrity and courage in our government by first restoring those qualities in ourselves, our families, and our own communities.
I attended the meeting for the Salt Lake City group that met Friday at Noah's in Sandy, Utah. They were expecting about 600 people. According to one of the Noah's employees, there were 800 there 15 minutes before the program started and people were still coming in during the first 30 minutes of the show. I enjoyed what Glenn Beck had to say, but I was amazed at what the audience was doing.
I had contributed 550 copies of the first printing of my book, A Hunger for Liberty Leads to the Declaration of Independence, and every copy was snatched up and people were asking for copies until long after the show ended. Before the show started, they were reading the books.
As I watched and listened to hundreds of people who seemed to have not only a great thirst for information, but a desire to come together and change what is happening to them, they reminded me of what happened before the Declaration of Independence was written.
My book starts with the history of the French and Indian War that began in 1753 and led to the Seven Years War in Europe, which was the world's first World War which involved India and Britain's East India Company over trade issues. As a result, there not only was a massive debt but also trade monopoly issues as a result of that war. When King George III became king after his father died in 1760, he and his ministers were trying to figure out a way to pay for the wars fought in the 1750s while maintaining trade monopolies for the East India Company.
George III and his ministers came up with an 18th century form of a stimulus plan, to solve the problem: Taxing the American colonies, while limiting their ability to trade. The Sugar Act, passed in 1764, was designed to raise money while limiting the American Colonies' ability to buy French Sugar. This was followed by a series of acts: the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, and the Townshend Acts. The Colonists responded by boycotting tea the East India Company monopoly brought in. The East India was losing so much money it was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1773, so Parliament responded by taxing the tea at its source in India, and not allowing any ships other than ships owned by the East India Company to bring tea to the port at Boston. Three East India Company ships, laden with tea, sailed into Boston Harbor in late 1773. The owners were sure the colonists would purchase the tea, however, they did not. In December of 1773 seven thousand people attended a town meeting in Boston and asked British Governor Hutchinson to send the ships back to England. He refused.
This led to the Boston Tea Party and Parliament retaliated with a series of oppressive acts against Massachusetts, beginning with the passage of The Boston Port Act on March 31, 1774, which closed Boston Harbor, and the Massachusetts Government Act passed on May 20, 1774 that eliminated any self-government in Massachusetts. These acts were called the "Coercive Acts" in Britain and the "Intolerable Acts" in the Colonies.
As these events took place over a period of about 14 years, a little noted event took place on March 4, 1773 when Dabney Carr, a friend of Thomas Jefferson, rose in the Virginia House of Burgesses and moved that they form a Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry. The Committee would be "tasked with contacting the legislatures of each colony so that they could join Virginia and offer concerted opposition toward British encroachments."
That correspondence committee suggested by Dabney Carr saw the need for a meeting of delegates, which led to the formation of the First Continental Congress composed of 56 delegates who met in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. They passed the Declaration and Resolves which laid the groundwork for the Declaration of Independence which would be passed two years later by the Second Continental Congress.
As I watched the audience respond to Glenn Beck's program and talked with many of them following the meeting, I saw a 21st Century version of the organization of the Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry suggested by Dabney Carr that led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence states: "Mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by altering forms to which they are accustomed." On Friday I saw a thousand Americans who have suffered enough from media, government, and political party lies, arrogance and spending that they seem ready to work for, and vote for, some REAL change.