Opinion Piece By Keith Estes – April 22, 2019 – In 2018, I watched Schindler’s List for the first time. At that time, I had been a conservative for only about five years. So, the story was new educational material for me. I had no specifically related historical knowledge to help me discern what parts of the story were fact and what parts of the story portrayed creatively licensed material. That did not matter, though, because whether influential parts were historical fact or creative drama written in to keep the audience engaged, valuable civic and social perspectives were gleaned.
At one point in the story, Nazi’s stormed into the Jewish ghetto and brutally murdered numerous residents while gathering everyone else for the concentration camp. This part of the story reinforced, for me, the idea that constitutional conservatism is the best lens through which to view governance and civic participation. The Nazi aggression and power grabs in Germany (and other surrounding areas) could not happen in America. At least, it should not happen in America as long as we uphold and pass on the blessings of liberty granted to us by the founders of this nation through The Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights.
As affirmed through The Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
If the victims of the Nazis, instead, had unalienable rights reinforced by a constitutional framework like America’s, would there ever have been a “Third Reich”? If the Jews and other victims under Hitler’s advancements had protected rights like religious liberty, freedom of the press, and a right to bear arms, I contend that there would have never been a holocaust.
Progressive statists (individuals with ever evolving political precepts whose goal is furthering government’s role into the place of God and conscience) have desperately tried to control our citizenry through the gradual erosion of our civil liberties. The only way to combat the political arsonists that have militarized government as a weapon against us is to use the weapon that the founders provided us to limit government abuse in the first place. We can collectively fight against progressive statism by individually and assertively wielding the sword and shield of The Declaration Of Independence & The Constitution to advance liberty.
The “how” is the difficult question. We all have different skills and experiential wisdom. Oskar Schindler rescued around 1,100 people. He took great risk and although he wished he could have done more, he did what he could and accomplished what was cited as an “objective good” in the movie–while facing deadly uncertainty. If we increase our efforts in upholding and passing on the blessings of liberty, we can be grateful for the fact that we never needed and will never need an Oskar Schindler.