Ronald Reagan’s timeless analysis given decades ago is more relevant today than ever before. He said, “This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” President Reagan realized that American liberty was not built upon a monolithic, centralized national government controlling every area of our lives. He recognized that America was founded upon decentralized plan of self-government which was lived out by our Christian ancestors and enshrined in our Constitution.
Voting wisely this fall is absolutely vital if we are to maintain any measure of freedom. But equally urgent is the need for Americans, especially Christians, to focus the other 364 days of the year on mastering the art of self-government. Samuel Adams pleaded with his generation to unite and teach their children “the art of self-government” and the “virtues of Christianity.”
A 17th century philosopher of liberty, Hugo Grotius, said that only a self-governing individual can lead a family, city or nation: “He knows not how to rule a Kingdom that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man govern well a Family that knows not how to govern himself; neither can any govern himself unless ... he be ruled by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.”