Monday, February 18, 2013

Never Surrender - Special Washington's Birthday Edition

Try to remember the coldest you’ve ever been. Maybe you were out skiing or shoveling snow. Your toes felt like they were on fire inside your winter boots and you pulled the fur-trimmed hood of your down jacket over your head to warm your frigid ears until you could make it back inside for a cup of cocoa and a hot meal.

Now imagine the same cold – but you have a thin blanket instead of a down jacket, “inside” is a small, drafty log hut, and your meal is a fire cake of flour and water cooked on a rock. And you’re barefoot.

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge
Photo source: Wikipedia
Those were the conditions at Valley Forge, PA, when American rebels under the leadership of George Washington made their encampment during the winter of 1777-78. Badly outnumbered by the British - who were warm and safe in Philadelphia - the Continental soldiers were willing to endure pain, cold, hunger, and disease for two reasons: they believed in freedom – and they believed in George Washington.

In the winter of 2013, the weapons may have changed from musket balls to words, but Americans are still fighting for freedom. President Obama's State of the Union Address was a laundry list of proposals for additional government intrusion in our lives - including new restrictions on the right to bear arms and new taxes on the productive. As Obama criss-crosses the country, trying to foist his noxious agenda on the public, he can count on the support of the mainstream media and the education establishment: once again, those of us on the side of liberty are outnumbered. But we are fortunate to be able to conduct the fight under infinitely better conditions than our forbearers at Valley Forge. The life of George Washington in general, and the winter at Valley Forge in particular, help us gain both perspective and inspiration for what lies ahead.

The special Washington’s Birthday edition of my free newsletter, Never Surrender, discusses some of the best books and movies about our first president – books and movies filled with stories of what freedom is all about, and the high price that every generation must pay to secure it. Subscribe by February 28 and automatically be entered in a drawing to win a copy of your choice of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or Glenn Beck's The Overton Window. To subscribe, please e-mail

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about hospital gowns, freedom, and never surrendering. Check it out on

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