I wonder who will defend you when the cold and unyielding blade of tyranny is held to your throat? When others are poised to spill liberty’s lifeblood under the guise of progress and safety, who will take a stand, risk their life and limb so that this republic can remain free? Well, I guess that we are all too busy to worry about things like that; I mean how likely is it that there is some force out there trying to erode every freedom and liberty that our forefathers fought and died for? How likely is it that there is some force out there attempting to oppress and rob those who might oppose it?

OK, so I know what you are thinking; I thought this guy was going to talk about local issues and local politics, not rant like a madman about the dangers and evils of uncontrolled government. The sad fact is that the dangers and evils of uncontrolled government are local issues, and a big part of how our local government derives and expands its power. We have allowed the enemy to gain a foothold, and if our ignorance and indifference continues our town and the republic will be lost. Whenever we stand by and let our neighbors be violated and abused, all of us suffer. If we allow our own interests to have more importance than the rights of all others, then evil is one step closer to victory and we are one step closer to slavery. When the “vision” is so important that we; rob the elderly, lie to the public, and under the cover of darkness butcher the laws that are in place to provide the limitations of the powers and scope of government, then we should just put on our blindfolds, light a cigarette and wait for the firing squad, for we will be next.

As we go about our business this holiday season (that being the season in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) I think it is important we look back to that cold Christmas night in 1776 when Washington and the weary American troops crossed the Delaware, claimed victory over the Hessian force in Trenton, and moved on to secure Princeton, too. What would those men say to us if they were here today? Do we honor them and those who came before and since, those who sacrificed everything so that others could be free? As we eat our fill of turkey and holiday sweets, do we remember those hungry boys shivering around the campfire, their stomachs empty and yearning? While opening gifts giving our thanks, do we consider the gift that has been bestowed upon us by the long line of patriots who refreshed the tree of liberty with their blood?

In future columns I will tend to identify and focus on specific issues as they relate to local government. I hope to inform, inspire and irritate. In the coming weeks, this column will put forth a voice for those who previously had none. Thank you for reading and let me know what you think.

Ryan McDonald lives in Windham.

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