Having just finished Cline’s _Sparrowhawk Book IV: Empire_, I recommend it as instructive as to what happened when appeasement gives way to an assertive defense of rights.
For those that have not read it, this historical fiction examines the period in which the Stamp Act was enacted including the Virginia Burgesses’ responses before and after the Act passage.
In the debate between the conservative Burgesses who favored an inoffensive response to the Parliament and King, and the young Burgesses led by Patrick Henry favoring a clear response defending their rights against the unconstitutional law, Colonel Robert Munford identifies the danger the conservatives sought to appease and the common sense response:
“The firelock has been rammed with double steel ball, sir, the priming pan packed with the driest power, and the cock pulled back!” He turned to address the House. “Must we now wait for the muzzle to be pressed against our heads before we are absolutely certain that our elective brothers across the sea mean us harm? I know of no rule of civility that commands a man to behave like an addled half-wit in the fact of a menace!” He gestured to the Stamp Act on the Clerk’s table. “There is the weapon, sirs! It will be leveled at us on November first! Let us disarm it, or move ourselves beyond its range!” [p. 212]
Unfortunately, in the face of terrorism sponsored by Syria and Iran, too many of our leaders behave as addled half-wits in the face of a menace.
I look forward to seeing if the appeasing conservatives redeem their honor in the next installment of Sparrowhawk. I understand that _Sparrowhawk Book V: Revolution_ is scheduled for release on 12/7.