The Times That Try Men’s Souls

Two hundred and forty years ago, the Continental Army was camped in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in a winter much like this. Lacking food, clothing, and adequate shelter against the cold, hundreds of Continentals dropped their arms and left Washington for home. Approximately 6,000 Continentals stayed, and the fight carried on.

As I watch the snow fall, I find it impossible to endure the trials that our young nation’s soldier’s faced. Once again, our nation faces division in the dead of winter. It seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that we may be on our last legs. Or perhaps, you have the Joe Walsh mindset, which is that the United States of old is already dead.

The week of December 19, a light was shone at the end of the tunnel. Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit featured about 30 speakers, including Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Dave Rubin, Lawrence Jones, Allie Stuckey, and Guy Benson. Even though they all spoke to a staunchly conservative audience, the speakers had a wide variety of opinions. Dave Rubin and Guy Benson are both gay, and yet disagree on political philosophies, with Rubin being a classical liberal and Benson a conservative. Lawrence B. Jones and Allie Stuckey both work for big conservative media sites, yet Jones is a staunch libertarian whereas Stuckey is much more conservative than libertarian. It shows a unique quality of the conservative movement versus that of the leftist-progressive movement: individualism and intellectual diversity.

In an age where differing opinions are looked down upon from all sides and where “group think” threatens free thought, it’s important for individualism to stand tall in the face of adversity. There are a number of people and groups who have banded together to go against the grain of society and fight back against collectivism to ensure that their thoughts are heard.

As Thomas Paine once wrote, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

We are a nation divided, but not broken. Much like the Continentals who stayed throughout that brutal winter at Valley Forge, America can only emerge from its troubles stronger than ever before.

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