Let’s Talk Once Upon a Time

It’s hard to believe so much can change in so little time.  Once upon a time news reporting was totally unbiased no matter what channel you watched.  Politics today has become the topic of fairy tales where truth and fiction overlap seamlessly.  Education was once about learning not indoctrination and once upon a time families gathered to discuss world and domestic events whereas families today are as devided as the Hatfields & McCoys of the 1890’s..

There was a time long ago when America’s freedom was a distant dream.  Men of great courage gathered, attempting to separate this rebel nation from the Big Bad Wolf across the sea……and for what purpose?   FREEEDOM……yes freedom, that illusive gift given to all men by the creator, yet taken away so easily, either by choice or oppression.  Of course, you can always live off the grid in seclusion, where freedom is determined by your own abilities but the realities are that modern society is governed by rules; rules that are determined by elected or appointed officials often enforcing oppression rather than freedom.

Yes…once upon a time man was free to choose….today individual freedom is being hijacked by the notion that individualism is somehow racist or selfish, where choices should be made for the betterment of the group, known as collectivism.  Our country was built on the determination of a few who understood that freedom is not free and sometimes is paid for by the blood of many.   Yes, once upon a time men of courage stood up to the forces of tyranny to insure individual freedom resulting in the American Revolution (1775-1783), a battle essentially fought for freedom from the British monarchy.  The cost of this freedom was the death of 1 in 20 able bodied men living in America and another 15,000 Americans who died in the War of 1812, fought again against the British who continued to restrict American free trade rights abroad.

America was founded on the principle of restricting government in favor of control by the people.  In short, America was not a copy of any other country but a unique experiment that threatened the strangle hold of Monarchs and Kings over the people. The freedoms, as described in the Bill of Rights of our constitution, were unheard of and ushered in an era of migrants willing to learn, sacrifice, prosper and participate in the exercise of individual freedom.

Ronald Regan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”. What is it about freedom that is always sought but rarely achieved?  In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish historian said: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

Once upon a time is no longer.  Tyler’s statement has shown to be accurate. Modern politics has distorted democracy.  Politicians hide behind the “Rule of Law” they impose but feel no obligation to follow.  Just two examples are:

1-    Obamacare: Realizing that the law they just passed would also apply to them, Congress panicked. Many in Congress are attorneys and crafted a healthcare loophole for themselves that exempts Congress from Obamacare.

2-    The Freedom of Information Act:  The Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the right to request access to records from any federal agency.  When Congress enacted the law they conveniently made certain that all members of Congress were exempt.


Freedom is one thing we all think is good, yet few are willing to fight for.  Presently, our freedoms are being eroded by intrusive government data mining and the blatant disregard for the law, as recently disclosed by high ranking FBI, CIA and Federal Judges.  When government disregards the will of the people or worse, ignores that will, individual freedom is an illusion.

It will serve us well to understand two basic terms:

● Individualism:  Individualism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs to him and that he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the product of his effort, and to pursue the values of his choosing.

● Collectivism: Collectivism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs not to him but to the group or society (as in Hillary’s book; It Takes A Village”) of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group’s “greater good.”


In my book, “The Declaration of Dependence…A Betrayal of the American Dream”, I meticulously point out that “words have meaning” and not understanding the subtle changes introduced by a “progressive” minded government, results in the slow destruction of the “individual” in favor of the “collective”, where government becomes unresponsive to any of us.

Let’s be clear, any attempt to circumvent or alter the meaning of our “inalienable rights”, is war against “individualism”, the foundation of freedom.  There is NO INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM in “collectivism”, only the trappings of tyranny.


Author: Sal Martingano

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