Setting Brushfires of Freedom in the Minds of Men

I do love American patriot Sam Adams.  He was a brawler and intellectual who passionately believed in the cause of liberty, while also understanding that strategic patience and persistent public agitation were as valuable for effecting change as punctuated bursts of outright rebellion.  His fingerprints were all over the Boston Tea Party, but he was also instrumental in forming Committees of Correspondence across the colonies that helped shape public opinion into organized action.  He grasped the bigger picture and played a most dangerous game exceedingly well against the world's foremost empire.  What is more, he found power in being the underdog.  He appreciated the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics beyond the battlefield.  "It does not take a majority to prevail," he once averred, "but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

What a splendid turn of phrase — setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.  It provides so much insight into who Adams was.  It didn't matter how invincible the British Empire appeared.  It didn't matter how few resources he might have had at his disposal.  It didn't matter how many of his contemporaries said it couldn't be done.  He refused to stop whispering words of revolution.  He insisted on being a thorn in the side of the Crown.  He struggled for years to awaken in his fellow colonists a new American identity imbued with a sense of moral purpose and dedicated to the protection of human liberty.  As the American colonies' most ardent arsonist for independence, he never stopped setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.  He lit small fires everywhere, fueled a conflagration, and changed world history forever.

That's a lesson for us all.  No matter how small your personal act of defiance against tyranny, it is consequential in ways you may never know.  Every Biden sticker next to a gas pump reminding Americans of Democrats' war on domestic energy production is a "brushfire."  Every shared video showing crossdressing men stealing victory from female athletes is a "brushfire."  Every email highlighting evidence of 2020 election fraud is a "brushfire."  Every political cartoon mocking the World Economic Forum's "Great Reset" agenda to usher in global communism is a "brushfire."  Every religious gathering protecting the sanctity of life and rejoicing in God is a "brushfire."  Every private conversation calling out "climate change" as a Trojan horse for maximizing State control over the economy is a "brushfire."  Setting small fires wherever you can makes a difference. 

When you speak your mind, you are not just screaming into the darkness, waiting helplessly for the anti-free-speech goons at Twitter or Facebook or Google to censor what you say.  You are lighting sparks.  When you refuse to abide by the State's endless spate of delusions and instead stand for truth, others see that they are not alone.  When you celebrate how Sam Adams and his small guerrilla force of patriots turned the world upside-down, then you also celebrate how an "irate, tireless minority" is an extraordinarily effective force for change.  When you express yourself with conviction, you are setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of Americans you may never even meet.  Your refusal to conform empowers strangers.  Your refusal to submit weakens the "woke."  Your light enlightens others who wish to be free.  That is the power you command.

One of the most effective weapons the political left possesses today is its perceived appearance of popular support, when it instead depends entirely on institutional authorities to force its delusions down Americans' throats.  The left's control is a complete and utter charade.  There are not majorities of Americans, or Westerners generally, who struggle with the biological distinctions separating men from women.  But if you listen to the small minority of "experts" who have reached the heights of academia or the pinnacle of the medical profession, you could be excused for thinking that belief in transgenderism is pervasive today.  The vast majority of Americans are worried not about quixotic battles against a naturally changing climate, but rather about the harsh realities of inflation, illegal immigration, and out-of-control crime.  Still, if you listen only to the World Economic Forum's oligarchs, talking-head pundits on cable news, or Green New Deal communists, you would be convinced that no issue has ever captured Americans' attention as the weather does now.  Cheap energy, good jobs, personal security, family-oriented culture, and American economic growth appeal to Americans of every race and ethnicity.  Yet the political Establishment in D.C. and their enablers in the corporate press dedicate all their time and resources to promoting racial conflict, job-killing globalism, war in Ukraine, open borders, and criminal conspiracies against President Trump!  

The prevalence of the left's worldview, in other words, is an illusion constructed on lies told over and over by people in positions of power, authority, and influence.  When the left's sacred tenets are questioned, belittled, or mocked, their legitimacy unravels quickly.  One day the CDC is respected as a venerable institution for scientific study beyond reproach, and the next its partisan agendas and obvious politicization render it untrustworthy.  One day, the mainstream news is trusted as a viable defender of the people against the corruptions of government, and the next, it is widely understood as an engine for propaganda working at the behest of government.  One day, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are seen as members of opposing political parties, and the next they are understood more accurately as coconspirators of a single Uniparty working against the wishes of the American people.  

The point is this: when Sam Adams was setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men, he may well have been working against majority opinion in his time.  Those setting brushfires today, however, are already in the majority; they simply have not acted like it in quite some time.  When the people finally wake up to that reality, there is little they cannot overcome.

There's a piece of advice I've always found sufficiently motivating.  Its origins are disputed, although it's sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, who, like Sam Adams, understood well how to set "brushfires" in the minds of men.  It's a simple maxim: "If you're going through Hell, keep going."  That is to say, if everything around you feels like a battle these days, then fight on until you're free again.  Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed solves nothing.  If you let the devils beat you here, then Hell is where your journey ends.  If you pick up your sword and move forward, though, setting brushfires of freedom wherever you go, not only will you get out of Hell alive and intact, but you'll find an army of fellow travelers fighting alongside.  Perseverance and fortitude conquer all and make the taste of victory that much more sweet.

So keep lighting fires.  They save more minds than you know.

Image: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr, public domain.

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