Fiction writer Brad Thor has been in the news a bit the past few days after an interview he did with Glenn Beck led to Beck’s suspension at SiriusXM Radio. Thor is an unashamed conservative and defender of liberty who has staked out an anti-Hillary and Anti-Trump position in this year’s presidential election and that has made him a target for attack by Democrats, Republicans and others.
Thor has been fielding a lot of questions about his political activity lately, and one more than others has leapt out at him… Why are you risking everything to speak out so vocally? Thor is a very successful fiction writer who could lose many of his fans be speaking out as he has, and yet, he continues to do so seemingly without concern for his own wellbeing.
So, why does he do it?
I am often asked why I speak out for liberty. Why risk it? Why not keep my head down? Why not let someone else fight that battle?
The easy answer would be to agree and to just walk away from the fight. But that’s not how I was raised.
As the son of a United States Marine, I was raised to do the right thing no matter how hard, and no matter what the cost might be to me.
There’s something else I was taught – any fight worth fighting needs leadership, something that has been woefully in short supply in this country for far too long.
President Ronald Reagan so wisely warned us that:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
I have never forgotten President Reagan’s words. They weren’t just a warning, they were a call to action. His words should animate every American – no matter what political party or preferred candidate. There is no more worthy fight than the fight for liberty.
It is a very delicate thing – won at great cost, yet so easily lost. It is incumbent upon all of us to zealously protect and keep it from harm.
In his “Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge,” Thomas Jefferson said this:
“…experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth, that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes … whence it becomes expedient for promoting the publick happiness that those persons, whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or other accidental condition or circumstance…”
In other words, the best way to prevent tyranny is to wake (illuminate) people to it, to present examples from history to them, and to encourage them to guard against its encroach. The call to action should be heeded without concern to one’s career or standing in the community – i.e. the responsibility of defending liberty falls to all of us.
During a radio interview with Glenn Beck last week, I raised an article from Foreign Affairs which laid out the case that Donald Trump possessed the hallmarks of a Latin American-style strongman such as Argentina’s Juan Perón or Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. Examined through the lens of Donald Trump’s own history of words and behavior, I found the article chilling.
Clearly establishing that I was putting my thriller writer hat on and positing a hypothetical scenario, I asked what would happen if Donald Trump did turn out to be an American caudillo? What if he suspended the Constitution and a cowed Congress was too afraid to move against him – i.e. impeachment? In such a scenario, where the American president had become a full-on dictator, a tyrant, I asked what patriot would step forward to help remove him from office? Never once did I suggest assassination, but sadly, that’s where some have taken it.
For those of you who follow and read me – you know I take very seriously the difference between a Democracy and a Republic. In that highly informative video I like to post, “The American Form of Government,” the difference is summed up very well. In a Democracy, a posse catches a horse thief and votes unanimously to hang him. In a Republic, the sheriff shows up and says, “You can’t hang him. I’m taking him back to town for a trial by a jury of his peers.”
That is the essence of a Republic. We are a nation of laws – and must always remain so. Should we ever have a dictator usurp power, I want that dictator brought to justice by standing trial in front of the entire country. I would not want that person assassinated. Such drastic action would throw the country into greater turmoil. A trial would reinstitute public confidence in rule of law, and hopefully begin to help restore confidence in our system of government.
Safeguarding the Republic against a dictatorship is a topic of conversation that dates back to the Founders. My point in the interview was that if we had to unseat a president without the backing of the Congress, we would need a patriot along the lines of George Washington to lead the country from tyranny back to liberty.
As an author of fiction, my primary job is coming up with hypothetical situations. As an American, my job is to help see that liberty is protected and that a freer, stronger, more prosperous nation is handed to the next generation.
Doing the right thing is hard. That’s why so few people do it. Together, though, we can spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children that the United States, and liberty, only grew stronger under our tireless watch and stewardship.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com