The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that only the strong are able to stay free. The title for this post came from President Ronald Reagan who said that the only way our nation could have peace was to be so strong that no other nation would even consider attacking us. He said, "Peace through strength," and then he acted to make our nation strong.
Our Founding Fathers wanted peace for their new nation, and they understood that peace comes through strength. They understood that being a nation prepared to defend itself would provide protection from greedy nations wishing to profit from American prosperity. I have no doubts that our war with terrorists could have been much shorter and less deadly if acted with strength and unleashed the full power of the United States military.
Benjamin Franklin wrote, "The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for 'tis a wise and true saying, that `One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.' The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent."
Franklin said later, "Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth, that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; thence it will soon be thought proper to treat us not with justice only, but with kindness, and thence we may expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us; unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as tame as those in the eastern dominions of Britain [India], when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying 'Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.'"
A common description of George Washington is "First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington understood the realities of life. He fought for the cause of liberty and risked his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor fighting for the independence of Americans. He wanted peace, but he declared, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
Our Founders passed their policy of peace through strength down to their descendents. Americans have been known for their love of peace and their willingness to go to war to preserve peace.
This may be one of the "fundamental changes" brought about by the Obama Administration. By the out-of-control spending and the policies of the federal government, our economy may be destroyed to the point that we have no means to wage war. By their dismantling of the military and opening it wide to perverts and people who hate our nation, we may have no manpower to fight a war. By our President going on a world-wide tour apologizing for our country and bowing to our enemies, we may lose the respect - and thus the fear - of nations who want to subdue us. In order for us to maintain peace and keep our freedoms, we must be stronger than all other nations. Real peace can come only through strength.
Ideas and quotes are from The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, pp 181-188.