Henry, Patrick

After a great deal of thought regarding the antipathy to violence which occurred in comments and such over at Roberta’s site in the past few days…I have to quote this portion of a great speech. Oddly prescient when viewed from today’s perspective. You may feel the same way. Or not. At some point of provocation, these words will become much more relevant to you…..

“Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! 

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.”

Read the whole thing. Understand  that the enemy is not the same, but the logic is. I do not advocate war, nor violence. But the question which Mr. Henry asks is a valid question today. How would you answer him, were he to appear before you? I know my answer. Do you?

Follow the link….Read the whole thing.



5 thoughts on “Henry, Patrick

  1. If either of you believe I have an antipathy to violence, you are misunderstanding me.

    I will not initiate force. I will most certainly respond to it. –And that's one of the most basic difference between libertarians and conservatives: you're willing to kill people who disagree with you; I'll only do it if they try to kill me.

  2. "you're willing to kill people who disagree with you"

    Wrong, of course, on every count. Firstly of all, if I were willing to kill people who disagreed with me, there would be a trail of bodies the length and breadth of the mississippi. Secondly, it has nothing whatsoever to do with disagreement. Third: Conservative. Really? I mean, really? I've been called a lot of things, but conservative? I have no idea whatsoever would give anyone that idea. I'm boggled that anyone could look at me with their eyes open and say "Conservative" Certainly the same is true of Mr B, other than in the personal monetary sense, Mr B is all about conserving his cash.

    "I will not initiate force. I will most certainly respond to it"

    So, the force that has gradually leaked away your freedom is not a force you're willing to respond to in any way.

    Look: Those who take away your freedoms will never provide you with the opportunity to "Respond to that force" The forces they employ are precisely the type of forces you will allow them to use until you have no freedom at all. They do this because they know exactly what they can do and not cross "your line".

    The largest quarries in the world have been beaten out of the living rock by brute force for hundreds of years, and yet, gentle rains falling on the colorado plains carved the grand canyon, which dwarfs all the work of man. Likewise, creeping incrementalism has already destroyed the lions share of our freedoms.

    No political process will ever undo this, and there is no hope that it can, ever. I wish I were wrong about this, but I am not.

    You labor under the impression that I advocate violence. I only advocate action. I myself have a deep and abiding antipathy to vioence. I've been up close and personal with violence in my life that would make you get down on your knees and beg God to erase the memory of what you just saw. I hate it, and eschew it, but I also know how and when to make tough decisions.

    You know so little about me that literally every supposition you make about my character or intentions or actions (or political inclinations! "Conservative!!!!")is diametrically opposed to the actual truth. And you have pasted this caricature onto me, and your own prejudices prevent you from even lifting a pasted-down corner to witness the truth, at all.

    That's fine. I neither seek nor desire anyone's approval, and I never have. I don't care that you don't know me, nor will you bother to even figure out who I am, but don't be surprised when I laugh at comments like "you're willing to kill people who disagree with you" there is no possible way you could have missed the point of everything I say more completely.

    But then, to paraphrase a poster common at tea parties, these days, "No matter what this says, you'll say it means I'm willing to kill people who disagree with me"

  3. Never before in my life has anyone had a more erroneous impression of who I am, what my intentions are, or what I represent. There is no possible way you could ever be more wrong about me. But, to paraphrase a poster growing common at tea parties, "No matter what this says, you'll say it means I'm willing to kill people who disagree with me"

  4. You mistake my willingness to use violence for my protection (or those around me)for a penchant for violence. My only concern with your stated position, Roberta, is that you state that in no circumstances will you fire first, ever. And IMHO, that makes you weaker, and a target, if only because you are willing to back up beyond any point in order to not be the first to initiate.

    I am not willing to use violence on those who disagree with me (else you and I would have had the showdown already…as would Og and myself) but rather am willing to use it to maintain my way of life and my welfare.

    God knows, if disagreeing with me meant that I had to shoot someone, I'd have made the papers already, and I'd likely be out of ammo by now.

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