A passionate speech by a retired Navy SEAL resonated with many and prompted some to ask him to run for office.
Retired SEAL Jocko Willink posted his presentation of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech on Instagram on Monday. It quickly went viral.
The video was also posted on Twitter, where he encouraged viewers to take to heart the “timeless message from the past: Encouragement and strength to those who stand and fight for the cause of freedom. A warning to the tyrants and their agents who seek to subjugate free people.”
The Western Journal reports that Willink’s presentation of the “iconic 1775 speech” is likely a “rebuke of…ongoing government overreach concerning coronavirus restrictions and mandates,” particularly Canada’s harsh treatment of Freedom Convoy participants.
Willink appeared to recite the speech from memory, dramatically speaking certain words and phrases to highlight how the words, written almost 250 years ago, are relevant today.
In what appeared to be a warning to government leaders not to push good people too far, Willink said:
“Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. We have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on.
“We have petitioned. We have remonstrated. We have supplicated. We have prostrated ourselves before the throne and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.
“But our petitions have been slighted. Our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult. Our supplications have been disregarded, and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
“In vain, after these things, may we indulge in fond hope of peace and reconciliation? There is no longer any room for hope.
“If we wish to be free, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
“They tell us that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?
“Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope until our enemies shall have us bound hand and foot?
“Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
“The millions of people — armed in the holy cause of liberty and in such a country as that which we possess — are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
“Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles with us.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. It is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery.
“Our chains are forged. The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come! It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, ‘Peace, peace’ — but there is no peace. The war has actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms.
“Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that we gentlemen wish? What would they have?
“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
“I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
In the speech, Willink implored people, particularly leaders, to learn from history or, as Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, they will “be doomed to repeat it.”
Response to the speech has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Western Journal recorded these comments:
“Just run for president already please,” one Instagram commenter exhorted.
“Sounds like Governor Jocko!” another wrote.
“Please, Please run for President. Your rallies would be awesome,” another fan commented.
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