This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2006 issue of Impact.

The future of freedom has never been certain. It never will be. Even when freedom was riding high after the American Revolution, Ben Franklin told Americans that the proposed Constitution would give us “a Republic, if you can keep it.”

Yet freedom is our destiny.

More than 225 years ago, the patriots of the Revolutionary War — rarely certain that the war would end in liberty — rejected a powerful king, his taxes and his regulations. Later, these leaders preserved freedom by constitutionally limiting the federal government and allowing free people and communities to address the nation’s problems. As a result, the United States became an economic powerhouse.

But success brought new fears and temptations, and our freedoms have been threatened in Michigan and the nation by heavy taxes, endless regulations and an erosion of the limits that the Founders placed on government. That slow weakening of the country’s greatest strengths will be reversed only by a long-term revitalization.

The need for a determined campaign is precisely what makes the Morey Foundation’s recent $1 million contribution so pivotal. Lon Morey’s generosity to the Center has provided Michael D. LaFaive, our fiscal policy director, with a lasting resource for multiplying Center research and impact in the fields of tax reduction, spending restraint and privatization.

But even with a large contribution of this kind, most of the Mackinac Center’s funding comes from the smaller donations of hundreds of other supporters. We rely on every contribution we receive to pursue a destiny of freedom.

The Founders thought this destiny was worth fighting for, despite an uncertain future. So do you, given your generous support of the Center. We hope you’ll continue to contribute to the pursuit of that destiny, so that we can keep our freedoms — and expand them.

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Justin W. Marshall is Director of Advancement for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited.