09.22.2021 0

We Must Rise to Restore Constitutional Government

Are we willing to pledge to each other “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” for freedom?

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull

By Cheryl Chumley, Guest Columnist

When we think of Virginia patriots, most of us think of Patrick Henry, the man who gave us the immortal battle cry, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” But there is another Virginia patriot equally deserving of our gratitude, Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Nelson, who would go on to become one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born Dec. 26, 1738, into Virginia’s privileged society. His family was wealthy, and he was groomed for the good life. Educated at Trinity College, connected with high society – he could’ve been whatever he wanted in life. But he came of age at a time when the Boston Port Act was passed by British parliament, choking off trade and killing the economy of that city’s residents. Nelson became very angry at how the British were treating these Massachusetts people, so he started using his own money to buy supplies for them. He later continued his resistance of British domination and arranged a tea party at Yorktown and dumped two chests of tea in the river. As time wore on, he entered politics and commanded a militia in Virginia. And this is the part that really inspires.

During the Revolutionary War, British Gen. Cornwallis used Nelson’s own home as his military headquarters.

The National Parks Service reports the home shows evidence of cannonball damage to this day.

How many of us today would do the same for the cause of liberty? Are we willing to pledge to each other “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” for freedom?

The war between freedom and radical progressivism is raging today. Are we prepared for the battle?

To fight the far left effectively, we need first, clarity of mind. We need to see the battle for what it is. Nelson could’ve stayed with his high society lifestyle, but he saw the threat from Britain, and he saw the threat to freedom for all. And he knew the Massachusetts fight was his fight in the end. He had the clarity of mind to fight for the universal principle of freedom – and so should we.

To fight the left effectively, we also need passion of purpose. We need to fight passionately, tirelessly, righteously. It was righteous indignation that drove Nelson to fight against the British. That passion served him well – and it will serve us well today too, against the never-ending authoritarian impulses of the left.

And finally, to fight effectively we need perseverance at all costs. Nelson personified this quality. And we should too. The left will never, never, never quit. Socialists and communists and collectivists will never say “Okay, we give. You win.” They can’t. This is it for them. Their lives are mostly secular and atheist, so they put everything they have into driving for power and control. It takes massive perseverance to keep on fighting against a force that never stops – it takes perseverance at all costs.

It takes the kind of perseverance only God and faith can bring.

Nelson died a poor man. The war ruined his business. Virginia never repaid the money he gave to fund the militia. And he was buried in an unmarked grave at Yorktown’s Grace Church so his creditors couldn’t hold his body as collateral. You’d think he’d be bitter, right?

But when he was asked if he were angry at how he was treated after a life of giving so much – according to National Park Service records – he said this: “I would do it all over again.”

Today we must all rise to restore constitutional government. And we will need Nelson’s clarity of mind. His passion for purpose. And his perseverance at all costs.

Cheryl Chumley is the Opinion Page Editor at the Washington Times. She shared these remarks at an anti-Critical Race Theory event Sept. 21, hosted by Jonathan Emord in Fairfax Station, Va.

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