You’re likely keenly aware of the fact that progressive liberals have little respect and place little value on the foundational pillars of our nation. The prevailing liberal view of the US Constitution indicates a complete disrespect for the founding documents and the principles enshrined in them, the processes for upholding them, and the fact that they are determined by law and reason to be immutable unless and until amended by the legislative process.

This disrespect was evidenced again last week by President Biden during a press event in New York City. You may have seen it. Instead of addressing soft-on-crime policies and dealing with the underlying issues of crime, he chose instead to rant about gun control. Never mind that some of the more high-profile violence in NYC of late did not involve firearms. During his rant, he went off script as he is prone to do and fussed that the 2nd Amendment was never intended to allow average citizens the right to bear arms and, in his words - here’s the kicker - ”There’s no amendment that’s absolute!”

Ah, there it is. The inside words became outside words. Your rights, your constitutional liberties are subject to change when needed to fit a narrative.

“We can change that if we need to! You silly unwashed masses!”

You see, in that one moment President Biden encapsulated the overall strategy that liberal progressives are using right now: they are going straight to the roots of our great nation. The attack is on the very roots of freedom.

The other day I was sitting on the deck on the back of our house. We live on a big slough off the river and I was looking across the water watching deer, river birds and fish jumping. It is one of my favorite places in the world. With all of the leaves off of the trees, my attention came to a huge Southern pine growing directly across from our house and I couldn’t help but notice that this 100-foot tall tree was covered two-thirds of the way up by vines that literally encompassed the entire trunk. As I looked, I could see other smaller trees that had already succumbed to the vines and were just nothing now but vine-covered tree ghosts. I realized that huge pine would choke out in a couple of years and eventually fall into the slough, so I called my friend on whose land the tree sits and told him I’d like to walk around and cut those vines. He said “have at it,” so I did.

The entire base of the tree was swathed in vines, some of which were an inch thick that were literally sucking the life away from the roots of the tree and burying its limbs on the way up. Those vines had to be cut before they not only blocked the sun from its limbs but also before they ravaged the roots and prevented water from getting to the tree. It would have been a slow death, and I’m glad I saw it when I did.

It reminded me of the infamous poisoning of the Toomer’s Oaks in Auburn. Those stately oak trees had stood at Toomer’s Corner and shaded the entrance to the Auburn University campus since my grandfather’s time there in the late 1930s. No one would have known that the roots of the grand oaks were dying if ol’ Harvey Updyke hadn’t called into the Paul Finebaum radio show in 2011 and gloated about it. Horticulturalists quickly determined that large amounts of poison had been scattered at the base of the trees and they were dying from within. They eventually had to be cut down despite a massive effort to save them. But by the time anyone realized it, there was no way to reverse the damage. The trees were already dead at the roots.

And then this morning, I was reading a devotion and the author of the devotion likened the degradations being foisted on our society to the killing of the roots of a great tree. Literally, the attempts to diminish the value of faith, family, tradition, the constitution, basic fundamental freedoms, all of that, were likened by the author to the killing of the roots of a great tree that has provided shade and comfort to its surrounding grounds for centuries.

And I thought, well, there’s some truth.

In my view, that’s where we are today. Liberal progressives want desperately to cut away at the very roots of who we are as a state and nation. Sometimes those attacks are overt. But often the attacks on our freedom roots are discreet, insidious, designed to be a slow death … chip away here … remove a basic freedom there … give up just a little bit more security … redefine right to be wrong, and wrong to be right.

But let me just say unequivocally that this nation did not become a City on a Hill because we were the best poll-takers of public opinion. We were not designed as a nation by the founders to examine the latest fad, the most recent whim, and bend our foundations to that new and different notion. Not at all.

For two and half centuries, the United States has been the tallest, stoutest, straightest tree in the landscape not because of a need to change daily to accommodate the follies of man, but because we embodied some absolutes, some unequivocal truths, and we were not afraid to stand on them for ourselves and for others.

The trunk of this nations’ tree, if you will, has not been prone to bending in the wind. The limbs have been broad in scope, so the attacks have pivoted not to the tree itself, but to the roots.

If liberals can undermine the things that have always made this great nation great then the tree will die a slow death and one day fall over under its own weight, no longer able to sustain life. My prayer is that we are more like the tree across from my house that just needed the life-sucking vines cut away, as opposed to the great Toomer’s Oaks that were nearly dead inside before anyone realized.

So let me just remind you again of that great quote from that epic philosopher Captain America, who once said:

“Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world:

"No, YOU move.”

Phil Williams is a former State Senator, retired Army Colonel and combat veteran, and a practicing Attorney. He has served with the leadership of the Alabama Policy Institute and currently hosts Rightside Radio M-F 2-5 pm on WVNN. His column appears every Monday in 1819 News. To contact Phil or request him for a speaking engagement go to www.rightsideradio.orgThe views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to