In the darkest days of the American Revolution, when Washington’s troops had suffered defeat after defeat and were on the ropes, Thomas Paine wrote the following:

“These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

These words helped jump-start the beleaguered spirits of a newborn nation fighting for its survival.

Fast forward to today.

Americans aren’t at war—although sometimes it feels like there is— but there is a cultural war going on for the preservation of our Constitutional system.

On one side, there is the mob hell-bent on defeating that system and replacing it with their authoritarian inclinations. Then, there are those on the Right who are trying to prevent the mob from succeeding, ensuring that the torch of liberty is passed from this generation to the next.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “we are in a battle to preserve a nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal; and we are engaged in a great cultural war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

We can’t allow the government of the people, by the people, for the people, to perish from the earth.

Instead of cannon, guns, and bayonets, today’s weapons are social media, the press, and cancel culture.

Cultural institutions have been turned against those who seek to defend our founding principles.

The Bill of Rights is under assault, and this assault on our inherent rights has only accelerated during the pandemic.

Fear has been used to chip away at individual rights in the name of safety.

That is not to say that the pandemic wasn’t serious—it was—but with freedom comes risk. There is no system on earth that can fully guarantee safety and happiness. That is up to the individual and no one else.

People must be allowed to make their own decisions, and as long as those decisions don’t infringe on the safety of others, it is up to them to weigh the risks.

If the pandemic was as deadly as, say, the Spanish Flu of 1918, then common sense would dictate that people would take the appropriate precautions on their own to avoid contracting the virus.

It is great that seniors are getting vaccinated because they are the most at risk of dying, but those in the younger age groups should have been allowed to live their lives and take precautions and weigh the risks themselves.

But instead, governors around the country exploited the pandemic to wield the iron fist of government and still to this day, with cases continuing to plummet, are unwilling to fully let go of their newfound power.

In the culture, our kids are taught fake history—like the 1619 project—claiming that America is a racist country, and that police are hunting black people in the streets.

The system must be burnt to the ground and a new system must replace it, and they intend to win the culture war at all costs so that they can be the ones to do it.

Marx and Mao both wrote about a blank slate upon which a new socialist utopia could flourish and the world could begin again. Mao wrote: “A blank sheet of paper has no blotches, and so the newest and most beautiful words can be written on it, the newest and most beautiful pictures can be painted on it.”

We also can’t be pessimistic about our future. To do so, will only ensure that the mob will win and we will be relegated to a generation of darkness.

Aldous Huxley made this point when he wrote: “faith in the bigger and better future is one of the most potent enemies to present liberty: for rulers feel themselves justified in imposing the most monstrous tyranny on their subjects for the sake of the wholly imaginary fruits which these tyrannies are expected to bear some time in the distant future.”

Let’s not shirk from this challenge. The struggle for liberty has always been a constant battle. Never in our history has it not been under attack, so let’s not be the first generation to lose that battle and surrender to despotism.

Or, in the words of Ronald Reagan: “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.”