Day 317: The Extreme, Part II

It’s Day 317 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve and Day 77 of The Curfew Buckeyes Ignore.

Deb and I are doin’ fine today.

This latest round of winter weather came to an end overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. How much snow we got is anybody’s guess, but it wasn’t much. Maybe eight inches fell overall, settling to a picturesque four blanketing Second Chance Ranch by the time the sun (allegedly) came up yesterday.

The most populous corner of our country got dumped on, though. Nor’easter. Having lived in that region for over two decades myself, I’m somewhere between jealous and relieved — part of me wishing I was four-wheeling again along unplowed rural roads in the snowy Connecticut hills, the rest of me indescribably thankful that I’m no longer dealing with three-hour winter commutes and urban paralysis.

Recent images out of NYC reminded me of being caught in that once-great city during a few big snowstorms in the ’90s. The first time it was fun — rolling through a blizzard aboard the Metro-North, watching ill-prepared pedestrians navigate the drifts, taking a wild ride with an African-immigrant cabbie who’d never seen snow before. After that initial experience, however, I wanted to be anywhere but a snowbound New York.

Winter or summer, snowstorm or sunny skies, I wasn’t born for the city. I’m glad I made the decision 20 years ago to come back Home where I belong.

Today I mean to close the deal I made at the end of Sunday’s post, “Day 314: The Extreme, Part I.” To recap, the subject goes back to the previous day, when I suggested that “America was founded by extremists, not centrists.” Part I presented a basic historical context and cast the Founders as the revolutionaries they truly were — extremists for Liberty, radicals of their day.

It occurs to me that the word “extremist” is so loaded these days, thanks to overwrought leftist media, that applying it to the men who birthed our nation doesn’t seem to make sense. That’s because we’ve romanticized the Founders, reducing them to two dimensions. We don’t fully grasp their passion, their stubbornness, their toughness and their righteousness.

An extremist, in any society, is in the minority and holds an unpopular view. That’s undeniably true of the Founders — colonial Patriots who fought for independence from the Crown have been labeled “the Three Percent,” and plausibly so.

An extremist advocates for taking action unthinkable to the complacent masses. The Founders promoted a path to independence from their “British brethren,” even if it meant confronting the most powerful military on Earth.

An extremist is engaged in a cause greater than himself. The Founders and contemporary Patriots were driven to establish a new nation to protect individual Liberty.

An extremist is prepared to face the kind of risks that most will not. The 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, by doing so, committed high treason and risked execution for their crime.

An extremist knows the difference between what’s lawful and what’s right. The signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor — and while some of those men lost one or both of the first two because they violated English law, none sacrificed the third.

An extremist doesn’t compromise. The Founders didn’t cave. They didn’t bargain. They didn’t compromise. They defended Liberty with their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

Do our Founders sound to you like centrists? Moderates?

America was founded by extremists.

Notice that violence isn’t essential to extremism. Neither are acts of vandalism, destruction, bomb-throwing and so on. Nor is extremism confined to one or another political niche, no matter what State-controlled media tell us.

Sometimes a crank is nothing but a crank and a vandal is just a vandal. Busting shit up “to put it to The Man” is the virtue signal of a thug, not the mark of a principled extremist.

Right now America is in serious need of extremists. We need People who aren’t afraid to hold and press unpopular views. We need People who accept risks and take principled action in the great cause of Liberty. We need People guided primarily not by law but by right, People who refuse to compromise.

Without extremists, America will not survive.

At the end of every Ubi Libertas post you’ll find the hashtag, #LibertyOrDeath. It’s not meant to be fatalistic. It’s not some shallow call-to-arms. It’s my tribute to a Founder by the name of Patrick Henry, an expression of principled opposition to living under tyranny and an acknowledgement that death is preferable to that prospect.

I realize that hashtag makes me an extremist.

I also know that we’re all witnesses to tyranny.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath