A people without a king

It is in our nature. We aren’t our politics. We aren’t our government or our president or even our Constitution, which is subject to revision from time to time. We are the people who decided that rather than just change kings, we’d do away with kings altogether under the radical theological premise that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, irrespective of the king’s good opinion. A people with no king showed the world that life without tyranny is possible, and in fact that no tyrant walking the Earth is powerful enough to stand against a nation of truly free men. Castro, Putin, Maduro, Kim — they are sad and more than a little ridiculous by comparison.

It emphatically is not the case, flatulent rhetoric notwithstanding, that the desire for freedom has been planted in every human heart. But where it has been planted, Americans know a kinship beyond blood. When Ronald Reagan demanded of Mikhail Gorbachev “Tear down this wall!” no one asked, “What’s in it for us?” We already knew.

We still know.