One of my favorite aspects about the Christopher Nolan masterpiece Interstellar was hearing Michael Caine recite Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” There’s just something about his voice that makes the first stanza of the poem stick in my mind.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
In the context of the movie, the poem highlights the characters’ (and the human race’s) struggle and survival in the face of almost certain defeat and death. In other words, the poem could be interpreted: If you’re going to go, go all in and don’t hold back.
It appears that today we are faced with the dying of the light. Truth, civility, and morality are dying. Politics have become increasingly polar and partisan. Hate and contempt have replaced civility. Both sides of the political aisle are now waged in an all out war where the rules are made up, and the facts don’t matter. The rule of law has been subverted on both sides because of pride and lust for power.
So what do we do?
When the colonies rebelled against King George and the British Empire, they did so not only because the Crown was a horrible, repressive tyrant. That was part of it, but the colonists were actually among the freest people in the world at the time. They rebelled because it was a matter of principle; they didn’t want anyone to tell them what to do or how to live their lives. And now here we are, in 2016, where people tell us how we need to vote or suffer major consequences. If anyone faced severe consequences, it was the early patriots.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were willing to give it all for what they believed in. To conclude the Declaration, Jefferson wrote:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
When each man signed the document, he essentially signed his own death warrant. But every one of them was willing to do it because of a deeply held belief that it was right. How have we forgotten these profound truths that are so apparent in our own founding document?
To those who support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, are you willing to pledge your Life, your Fortune, and your sacred Honor in order to follow someone who is without “Divine Providence?” If you answer yes to that question, I do not make judgments but wish you the best.
I, however, cannot answer yes to that question. I do not believe that Trump or Clinton will lead this country in the way of truth and light. They will not hold up the Constitution. They will not enforce the Rule of Law. Because they have not done so up until now.
We may not find someone that is perfect, but we must support people that espouse principles of integrity, morality, and honesty. For the sake of our Republic, we cannot give in and give up. I know that this may fall on deaf ears, and I may further anger many people, but I will not go gentle into that good night! It is easy to follow the crowd. It is hard to fight against it. I want to stand for the truths of life, individual liberty, the pursuit of happiness for all, and limited government found in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution – even when everyone else around me will compromise to “win.” These are the only things to which I can pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor.