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The American Crisis, Part 1 | The Pragmatic Constitutionalist

TPC Guest:  “A Chatterer”

A note about “A Chatterer” – None of these are my words.

 As we watch America fall to pieces, I often can’t help but wish that her Founders could be here to guide us. They were prolific writers of anonymous letters and pamphlets, and since we no longer have their wisdom directly, I’ve attempted to repurpose their original words for 2020. If the Founding Fathers were here today, I think they’d be writing letters like these – a claim I feel reasonably confident in making, as they are all copied and pasted directly from their quotes.*

To the People of the United States: Friends and Fellow-Citizens,

The present state of America is truly alarming to every man who is capable of reflection. From the high ground on which we stood—from the plain path which invited our footsteps, to be so fallen!—so lost! is really mortifying. No Morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did—and no day was ever more clouded than the present!

We have been afraid to think. We have felt a reluctance to examining into the grounds of our privileges, and the extent in which we have an indisputable right to demand them against all the power and authority, on earth. And many who have not scrupled to examine for themselves, have yet for certain prudent reasons been cautious, and diffident of declaring the result of their enquiries. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country. Ceremony, and even silence, from whatever motives they may arise, have a hurtful tendency when they give the least degree of countenance to base and wicked performances.

There seems to be a direct and formal design on foot, to enslave all America. A Tyranny seems to be at the very door. A few ambitious designing men in every State, with their consummate Villainy, and Effrontery, are taking every measure in their power to increase the public distractions, hoping to reap a temporary benefit from the general wreck. The dullest eyesight could not but see to what all this tended, viz. to prepare the way for greater innovations and oppressions.

Rigorous, oppressive and tyrannical laws may be thought expedient, as instruments to humble our rebellious tempers, and oblige us to submit to further exertions of authority, ’till the claim to bind us, in all cases whatsoever, be fully complied with. What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power?

I mean not to exhibit horror for the purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers, that we may pursue determinately some fixed object. When designs are formed to rase the very foundation of a free government, those few who are to erect their grandeur and fortunes upon the general ruin, will employ every art to sooth the devoted people into a state of indolence, inattention and security. Our enemies would fain have us lie down on the bed of sloth and security, and persuade ourselves that there is no danger.

But is there no danger when the very foundations of our civil constitution tremble?

Is it a time for us to sleep when our free government is essentially changed, and a new one is forming upon a quite different system?

Is this tame relinquishment of rights worthy of freemen?

We are at this moment upon a precipice. The next step may be fatal to us. If a wrong step be now made, the republic may be lost forever.

The Honor & Safety of our bleeding Country & every other motive that can influence the brave and heroic Patriot call loudly upon us to acquit ourselves with Spirit. The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.We have received them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.

It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe. Let us look to our National character, and to things beyond the present period. We must save the country.

This interesting subject will be resumed in the ensuing paper. In the mean while,

I am yours,

“A Chatterer”

 * This letter, specifically, includes quotations from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Dickinson, John Langdon, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock.


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