Now in this the winter of a patriot’s discontent, the bright shining light of the Liberty Lantern is on its home stretch back to its point of origin in New Hampshire, where it set out on its journey across all 50 States on October 24th. Set to arrive on New Year’s Eve, it is only one week behind its ambitious target date of Christmas Eve.
As previously reported in Human Events, the Lantern is a symbol of the famous “one if by land, two if by sea” warning of the British advance toward Concord in 1775. It was on April 18th of that year that two lanterns were lit and carried up to the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston. Paul Revere then set off on his famous ride to give warning.
Revere was to have made stops in both Lexington and Concord. He reached only Lexington before being detained by British soldiers but his mate, William Dawes, made it through. The Battle of Lexington & Concord took place the following day with a prepared colonial force in the field. The rest, as they might say, is American history still in the making (or unmaking).
Paul Revere never got to finish his mission as he had intended and yet, the ride did get finished. Paul Revere, his lanterns, and his ride played a vital role, both literally and symbolically, in helping to launch what has become the greatest nation in all of human history. In declaring its independence on July 4, 1776, and in codifying its construct with a constitution in September of 1787, the United States of America was born and with it all of the very best and brightest ideas of the Enlightenment crossed from the realm of the theoretical into that of applied.
Which brings us now to the modern-day journey of the Liberty Lantern and the need to place its bumpy path across our country into some sort of meaningful and lasting perspective.
It was by sheer happenstance that the Lantern spent Christmas in my home which is located in the north shore Chicago suburbs. At one point, it had been thought it might arrive here sometime around Veteran’s Day. It is also ironic that the Lantern spent Christmas in the State of Illinois which has become a home for British-style tyranny under the Governorship of J.B Pritzker and with added emphasis from the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot. There are few truths that are self-evident to that despotic pair as they have used the Chinese coronavirus as an excuse to impose totalitarian restrictions on individual liberty.
Nonetheless, it was here in my Illinois home that the Lantern celebrated the birth of Christ. It was my pleasure to pick up the Lantern in Springfield, Illinois on December 23 from Missouri patriot, Karen Donathen-Duffy, bring it up to Wisconsin on December 26th to be shared with that state’s activist Tamara Leigh, and then finally to deliver it into the hands of Lester Sumrall on December 27 on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana. All told, I spent about 15 hours behind a windshield as courier for the Lantern, which might seem like a lot until you consider Revere and his associate’s ride.
[caption id="attachment_200257" align="alignnone" width="225"] Karen Donathen-Duffy, Missouri[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_200250" align="alignnone" width="225"] Lester Sumrall, Indiana[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_200253" align="alignnone" width="300"] Tamara Leigh, Wisconsin[/caption]
And until you consider the effort of a single patriot who hatched this late 2021 idea all on her own and then enlisted the support of fellow patriots across the country to rally in support and to make the idea become a reality.
Our moment isn’t Revere’s moment-but we are having a moment
In 1775 America was a British colony subjected to the arbitrary whims of a Mercantilist King concerned only with maintaining an empire and leeching from its members all the spoils that could be extracted. George III, while not a Stalin, was certainly not the “philosopher king” envisioned by Plato. So great were his excesses that he became a sort of poster child for our Founding Fathers when a decade later they would severely limit the powers of the executive branch in their newly-formed government.
Colonial Americans who dreamed of individual liberty found themselves under the thumb of single ruler located far from their shores. Today in America, those who hold fast to the same notions of freedom find ourselves fighting a more insidious sort of evil spawned from an enemy right here within our own midst. The enemy is the collectivists among us coupled with their compulsion to replace individual liberty with their notions of the general will.
This time, the enemy is already here. Hence the need for a single Liberty Lantern. “One if by land.”
If you will, think of America today as though it were a giant wishbone. Half of that wishbone is constructed out of the formational elements of collectivism. These elements are the ideas born, nurtured, and expanded upon over centuries from the likes of Plato, Rousseau, and Marx. These men and others like them embraced notions of individual subservience to the whole, and the elimination of private property rights. Their half of the wishbone has been well made and heavily fortified, especially over the past century through the efforts of academia (such as the Frankfurt School) and industry (the masters of the universe in Silicon Valley).
The other half of that American wishbone is made from the elements of individualism and natural law. Its architects were men like Aristotle, John Locke, and Adam Smith. Its great source of strength comes from the cementing of its ideals in the U.S. Constitution as originally drafted and subsequently amended. It is on this side of the wishbone to which the various bearers of the Liberty Lantern have grabbed hold and have started to pull.
There is much at stake in this current contest to see who gets the bigger piece of the wishbone once it breaks. Not only are those in favor of individual liberty fighting an inspired and hostile opposition, but they may also be fighting history itself.
If Karl Marx were alive today, he would not claim ownership of anything that has happened under in his name from the 20th Century forward. He would not say that the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, or any other “communist” country had embraced his vision. He would recognize each of them for being nothing more than ruthless dictatorships. That said, let Marx take a peek at the United States today and he likely would say, “Ah, just as I’d predicted.”
Marx thought that his utopic end stage of history, a communist society, was a result of a predetermined progression leading to the inevitable downfall of capitalism and then what came next. Our country today and its accelerating trajectory along a socialist path is exactly what Marx predicted would happen.
There is a problem, however. Arrival at a final destination that turns out to be utopic under Marx’s construct relies on human nature being fundamentally decent, caring, and kind. No self-interest shall be present. Unfortunately, that is a bit like trying to eat by assuming you have a can opener. If a collectivist future awaits us, and if our nature is a bit “darker” than Marx credited it as being, then we are on a path that looks more like the Walking Dead than it does Woodstock.
That is why freedom loving Americans need to pull very hard on that wishbone. Our opposition is steeled, fueled on by rage, jealously, revenge, and envy. Our greatest asset? Our greatest asset is the bright light that shines from us comprised of truth, faith, and love.
Which brings us back to the Liberty Lantern and what it really means.
From one can come many
Ask Felisa Blazek, the active patriotic dissident who launched this idea, and she will tell you that the Liberty Lantern doesn’t belong to her, it belongs to the people all around the country who participated in helping to make its journey possible. Humility is a wonderful thing, especially when expressed voluntarily and not force-fed through circumstance. I’d suggest that in this case, however, humility might best be fashioned by wearing the success of the Lantern’s journey on her jacket’s sleeve. That might seem counterintuitive so permit an explanation.
The journey of the Lantern across 50 states has been anything but smooth. Unforeseen interruptions, from tornados to Covid, from deaths to withdrawn commitments, from volunteers suddenly un-volunteering, have altered its path numerous times along the way. This was more complicated than just having existing plans disrupted. Because the Liberty Lantern had a span of just three weeks between its transformation from a possible idea to operational execution, plans were being disrupted before they were even actually made.
How did the Liberty Lantern’s team adjust to these repetitive challenges and changes, you ask? Well, that “team” consisted of one person armed with only a smart phone, a cup of tea, and a vision being left to improvise, adapt, and overcome in real time. By any and all accounts, this was impossible to pull off and get this Lantern back to its point of origin.
As Galileo might say were he alive, “And yet, it arrives.”
The Liberty Lantern is just one single point of literal light born from the mind of one single patriotic woman. That point of light touched many across the country as it traveled. What we need today more than ever as Americans is not a thousand points of light, but hundreds of thousands, many million, points of light. We need more and more individuals to step up and act out. If enough individuals begin to spread enough individual points of light, then soon they will all become part of a brilliant, illuminating, and indistinguishable whole.
For every day the Liberty Lantern is late in arriving home it is actually arriving early. Whatever the project seemed it wasn’t, it was more. Wherever it fell short, it exceeded. Every setback it suffered along the way is a triumph. Every person not in the plans to carry it, but who ended up carrying it, is the person who was meant to carry it. Revere’s ride didn’t go as planned, but it worked as planned. Today’s Liberty Lantern is in good historical company.
Like members of the mafia, for those of us who are in the fight, this is the life we have chosen. We are meant to be creative, resilient, courageous. We see inconvenience as a state of rest. We act together when we can, and we act alone when we must. We have to do everything in our power and beyond our comfort in fighting to save our republic. We have to pull hard on our side of the wishbone.
I’m grateful that the Liberty Lantern rested in my window over Christmas. Despite the many lights that adorned the hedgerow, it was this single light that shone brightest. Its radiance came from the power of what one person can do with one idea.
What ideas do you have for your call to action to help save our country in 2022? What will you do to make them real? What will be your Liberty Lantern?