by David Wiggins
Usa R. Liberty (1776 – 2013)
Lady Liberty committed suicide. She will be remembered fondly by all those who knew her. Usa was 227.
Though she had been in a state of declining health for a number of years, those who knew her remember Miss Liberty as a bold and vivacious woman. Liberty’s close friend, Thomas Jefferson, had some foresight when, years ago, he wrote,
“Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Mr. Jefferson was alluding to the fact that Miss Liberty’s maiden name was Revolution. Like Lady Liberty, the Revolution family was vibrant and idealistic though sometimes misunderstood. Webster who knew them well, described them thusly: They are a family that lives to partake in any “activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation.”
History tells us that, in the late 18th century, the prominent Liberty family was prone to corruption. But on a balmy summer day in Boston in 1776, Mother Revolution met old man Liberty, and it was love at first sight. The resulting fireworks are legendary.
Before long, Mother Revolution had made an honest man out of Liberty, and together they seemed unstoppable. The couple was married by the honorable Justice Peace, who in reality had no formal title or training. This was appropriate because neither Lady Liberty nor Old Man Liberty believed that any person had exclusive moral rights. What was good or bad for one was the same for all. So Justice Peace, who was willing and could certainly get the job done, presided. The couples recited the traditional wedding vows, and added two more. “I promise to let you do whatever your heart desires till death do us part,” they said, “just so long as you do not interfere with my ability to do the same.” Next, they both promised to, “Do unto each other as they would have done to themselves.”
The Liberty’s seemed destined for great things. They had many friends, and those who knew them seemed to experience joy and prosperity that others lacked. The whole land around them flourished.
But Old Man Liberty had a weakness. He could not resist the taste of the liquor of the Powers Beverage Corporation. Intoxicated on Powers, he was someone else entirely. A small taste of Powers only made him want more.
At those times, those who knew him would say that Powers had corrupted Liberty. “Goodbye Mr. Liberty, hello Mr. Powers,” they would say. Under the influence, Mr. Powers became dictatorial and abusive. He remembered the part of his vows that said he could do whatever he desired, and he exercised that prerogative to its fullest, but he forgot about the part that said, “just so long as what you do does not interfere with other’s ability to do the same.”
Fortunately, Lady Liberty was there to maintain balance. Whenever the Old Man became too intoxicated on Powers, Usa reminded him that she started out as a Revolution and could return to her roots in an instant if he did not mend his ways. For a good many years, the balance was struck, and though there were disagreements, as all married couples have, things carried on well enough.
But with age, Usa got fat and lazy. Old Man Liberty had been an excellent provider and Usa got used to the good life. She no longer had the energy or the desire to resist every time Old Man got intoxicated on Powers. “I’m comfortable and have everything I need”, Usa would tell herself. “I’ll let it go this time. It’s not worth fighting over.”
So, over time, things got worse. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, Usa was forced to work harder and harder just to maintain her lifestyle. Old Man, still worried about the Revolutions, imposed more and more restrictions on Usa’s activities. But because Usa was working so hard to make ends meet, she rarely noticed the restrictions, and when she did, she had no energy to fight them.
Usa became despondent as Liberty turned more and more to Powers. Usa, herself, started referring to her old man as Powers. For his part, Old Man didn’t seem to mind that at all. He started to believe that he was morally superior to the others around him, and that whatever he did to others was good, even though it might be bad if others were to do the same thing to him. Still, he feared the Revolutions, and unbeknownst to Usa, Powers began to have Usa’s family members imprisoned or even killed. Still jealous and fearful, Powers began listening in on all of Usa’s phone calls and reading all her mail.
One day, a friend and confidant of Old Man and Lady Liberty, who had already moved as far away as he could get, told Usa what was happening. Old man Powers immediately tried to have the friend of the Liberty’s arrested.
Usa tried to call on the Revolution family but found it impossible. If they were not in jail or dead, they were unable to meet her. Every time she tried to organize a family get-together, Powers and his employees would intervene. The Revolution family, once vivacious and strong, had become diminished, divided, incapacitated, and rendered harmless. Alone, helpless, and with nowhere to turn, Usa Revolution lost her will to live. She saw no hope for Revolutions in the future. In the end, she simply starved herself to death.
With no more to fear from the Revolution family, it was not long before Old Man, who had already been addicted to Powers, turned to it absolutely. Without Revolution to keep him straight, he really never had a chance. Liberty was dead. Powers had taken over. Paranoia set in, and Old Man Powers began to listen to everyone’s phone calls, read all their mail, and watch all their activities.
If two people intended to discuss ways to diminish Power’s ability to do whatever he wanted, Powers knew about it, and prevented it from happening. If a single person was becoming a leader opposing Powers unlimited desires, Powers had that person droned, or perhaps die in a car accident, or “commit suicide,” or meet some other untimely fate.
Lady Liberty did leave a farewell message, and this is what she said:
“All things must come to an end, and so it is with me. I started out alone, a solo Revolution. I was one individual wanting to change the world. I believed that I could do just that, and never gave up. I hope my story can be an inspiration to the younger Revolutions I leave behind, and to those Revolutions not yet born. The day I discovered Liberty I knew it was the beginning of something special. Together, we changed the world. But in keeping with the natural course of events, we grew old, and worn down, and weak. Now, in this land, Usa Liberty is dead. I leave the torch to my heirs, to all the Revolutions worldwide. Speak the truth. Demolish Lies. Defend justice, and help others to be free. Find your own Liberty and bring it home. Rekindle the flame.”