Look through the binoculars of history, and you can see many an issue spread out among the fertile fields of people going about their business, with those issues fading into the fabric of those daily lives. The timeline of history seems to move along with relatively few bumps, and from those broad-sweeping binoculars, local issues barely make a mark.
Get out your microscope, and you don’t have to look far to see issues of importance that spike that timeline into a flurry of activity, passion, indignation and sometimes fury or destitution. At that level, the timeline of history becomes a bumpy road, jagged with issues and situations that have names, places, generations of families attached.
It’s for this reason that Tip O’Neill so rightfully said that “All politics is local.”
The timeline of history, though moving steadily forward, inexorably determined to tick off
the days and years whether man chooses to be a part of that journey or not, is fraught with potholes, pitfalls, walls and mountains by the second and the minute, where local politics play out.
225 years ago, one of those giant bumps the timeline reveals with your binoculars occurred. The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 courageous men, who determined to release the shackles of their government that bound their exceptionalism, and charge into history headlong, cognizant that their future was not promised, only promising.
This document, the penultimate example of the Age of Enlightenment, was an instrument of education for these men. It was a pamphlet of “who we are” and “what we stand for” amongst the tales of Euripides and Caesar their classical education required of them. It was their manifesto. A declaration, yes, but more than that, it was a piece of their soul. To each other through this document with which they claimed their right to self-Determination, these men pledged their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honour.
Self-Determination is a bulwark of the American Dream. It holds up the walls of our lives from a foundation of Liberty. Without our right to Self-Determination, to make our own path, choose our associations and acquaintances, and to have our grievances well-redressed with those who would represent us, there would be no Dream House of Freedom, no buttress against the enemies of justice, no roof of private property to protect us from the storms of collectivism. Self-Determination lay at the heart of what makes America exceptional.
Without that bulwark, that wall of Self-Determination, you cannot build the American Dream House. And without those houses, America cannot continue to build, nearly 400 years after his sermon, John Winthrop’s “shining city on a hill, watched by the world.” That city shines a light into the very hearts of men and women across the globe who have the patriotism of our Founders and need only a glimmer of hope across the sea to believe that, yes, one day, they too shall feel the warmth of the torch of liberty.
Men and women for centuries on this sacred land called America, and for well over a sesquicentennial here in Texas, have known that Self-Determination is precious and should be guarded with fearless rhetoric and all means of legal restitution and retribution. To take away one’s right to determine their future takes away their right to live as God intends — nay, commands — them: by their own free will.
With this in mind, take your binoculars off the timeline of College Station and Wellborn, and look with the microscope our Founding Fathers hoped you would study all things political and local.
And ask yourself one question:
Why should Wellborn residents be denied the right to Self-Determination by way of an up or down vote on annexation, if our Founding Fathers saw that such a right was integral enough to their very own existence that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their very sacred honour to guarantee the citizens of Wellborn that opportunity?