Many of you will be too young to remember Red Skelton, but he was one of the great comics of the early days of TV who came out of vaudeville and a class act. All too often, we in this country take for granted our liberty and freedom, forgetting that it was paid for with the blood and lives of the men and women who have gone before. Thousands have laid down their lives defending freedom for those not yet born.
We have much to be grateful for, so let us take a moment to honor and give thanks to those great men and women who have gone before us and made the way. Today the attack is from within. Partisanship, greed, and corruption threaten to render our government ineffectual. Freedoms are being eroded and degraded, constitutional freedoms corrupted or ignored, all in the name of progress. Our founders warned us of such days.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.” James Madison
I watch elections in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and see people turn out in large percentages despite the threat of life and limb and look on our own with shame. We have nothing to blame for the corruption and waste in Washington but our own indifference.
“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” James Garfield
Now without further adieu, Red Skelton.