It is indisputable that a number of our constitutionally-protected natural rights and basic liberties are under assault by the progressive left, chief among them the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, followed closely by the First Amendment right of free speech.
But as any American who cherishes their liberty well knows, that precious liberty must be closely guarded against those who would usurp it, hence the decision by the Founding Fathers to explicitly lay out the fundamental rights of the citizenry in the Constitution.
One man who understood this all too well was a former slave named Frederick Douglass, who was taught to read the Bible by his master’s wife while still in bondage, according to the Constitution website.
Douglass understood that being able to read and interpret the Bible, along with other literature, granted an incredible power of knowledge and an ability to “circumvent tyrants” who would infringe upon his natural rights were he to remain ignorant of them.
But Douglass also knew that knowledge alone couldn’t stop a would-be tyrant from imposing their will upon him and others, and realized that the inherent right of self-defense, among other rights, was also necessary to protect one’s liberty.
Thus, Douglass wrote of three specific “boxes” upon which every person’s liberty rested: “The ballot box, jury box, and the cartridge box.”
A fourth box, the soap box, was later added by the late Georgia congressman Larry McDonald, who stated in 1983, “There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.”
The first box, the soap box, is representative of the First Amendment and is symbolic of a person standing atop a raised platform to exercise their free speech in addressing a crowd.
The ballot box is representative of the individual right to vote, presumably for politicians who will work to defend liberty from within the government.
The jury box is symbolic of both the right of the people to enjoy a public trial in a court of law, as well as the right of juries to nullify the prosecution of unjust laws by a refusal to convict. It also symbolizes the ability of the people to hold corrupt authorities accountable.
Finally, we have the cartridge, or ammo box, which of course represents the Second Amendment, and is a last resort of an armed people when the first three boxes fail to defend liberty from those who would infringe upon it.
Sadly, all four of those boxes designed to defend liberty are themselves under assault by the progressive left, with the Second Amendment ammo box and the right to defend oneself from tyranny the foremost target by virtue of their incessant push for gun control.
But our First Amendment soap box is also under attack as the left seeks to censor and oppress the free speech of their ideological opponents. The integrity of the ballot box has also been called into question as voter fraud runs rampant.
So too has the jury box been undermined by the left, first by way of activist judges who deem themselves fit to make laws instead of interpret them, but also by the left’s tendency to try their opponents in the court of public opinion through the mainstream media, social media and veritable online lynch mobs.
In this day and age, when the left seems intent on subverting individual rights, it is just as important as ever that we all keep these four boxes of liberty in mind — as well as the correct order of their usage — to defend that precious and precarious liberty from tyrants who would snatch it away.
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