Happy 4th of July to everyone!
People often point to the indiscretions of the United States as examples of America’s malevolence. What they fail to realize, is that in a world where tyranny was the norm, and people all over the world were subjected to the oppressive whims of monarchs; the founders introduced a new system of governance to the world. It was based on the principle that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. The idea was that the rights we enjoy as human beings are not due to the benevolence of any government or ruler, but we are endowed by our creator with these inalienable rights, as a result; these rights cannot be arbitrarily revoked without any kind of due process, and only under mitigating circumstances. This idea was a revolutionary concept, and the constitution that was based on it placed many limitations on government. It stressed what the government is not allowed to do to its citizens. Freedom of the individual and the pursuit of happiness was a fundamental belief that guided this new system. Though imperfect, this new form of government allowed the country to confront and rectify many of the difficult problems that it faced. It allowed people to openly oppose injustice, resist oppression and defy attempts to subjugate them. It is because of this unprecedented idea of government by the people and for the people that caused the country to agonize over issues like slavery (how many countries have fought a civil war over slavery?), women’s suffrage and other ignoble policies that were inconsistent with founding values. The country has fought many battles and has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to become the greatest force for good in the world that has ever been known. By no means is this a perfect country, but perfection is an impossible standard. This country however constantly works on making itself better. Some have taken to highlighting the imperfections of America to ironically call for more government control and involvement in the lives of citizens. They forget the history of tyranny by governments until this great experiment in governance by the United States. Today, many people are now willing to cede control of certain areas of their lives to the government for so called security. They forget that the beneficiary is always at the mercy of the benefactor, as a direct result; freedom is always under threat (observe current attacks on the first amendment), and even more vigilance is needed in order to ensure that we maintain it for posterity. If we ever lose our freedoms it will not happen overnight, but through a slow creep that then overtakes us before anyone can react. it was James Madison who said “since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation”. Remember also this quote by Ronald Reagan “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” We must never forget the sacrifices of those who fought the intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, and physical battles in the name of freedom and most importantly; the values they lived that helped to shape and produce what has been, and continues to be the greatest force for good in the world: the United States of America.
Enjoy independence day and always remember what it took to achieve it.