|The Presidents by Georgia artist Steve Penley|
America celebrated her 236th birthday today. The old girl is looking pretty haggard lately.
We’ve got cemeteries that consider placing the American flag on gravesites “excessive adornment” and unsightly. A city in Oregon canceled its longstanding fireworks display because the noise might disturb nearby seabirds. We even have an overrated, potty-mouthed comedian who took to his Twitter account to say, “Happy white peoples Independence Day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” He bashed the country that has afforded him success and millions in wealth. I could go on, but you can see where I was headed.
Across the breadth and depth of his great land, there were parades in red, white and blue. Old glory flapped proudly in the breeze.
The examples above show that this nation is diverging. Many Americans hold fast to the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while a growing number of our brethren plunge this country into disarray and despair. I wonder what the Founders would think if they could see us now.
In a supreme act of courage and defiance 236 years ago, our Founders knew that government must be limited to protecting the peace and preserving our liberties. They set up a system of checks and balances so that government operated through the consent of the governed—of the people, by the people, for the people—We The People.
Bill Frezza, writing at Forbes, laments the lost legacy of Independence Day:
Why do we still celebrate Independence Day? Is it a lingering habit, a mindless bit of nostalgia, a time to indulge in fireworks and barbecues, devoid of any deeper meaning? Can anyone honestly argue that our nation still honors the values, or practices the principles, for which our Founders fought?
Today, most Americans have been trained to be embarrassed by the “extremist” individualist ethos that made the protection of liberty the primary purpose of government. They have been taught to apologize for the shortcomings of the “rich white men” who led the revolution. A majority of Americans now subscribe to an expansive view of government as both great provider and beneficent leveler. Its primary purpose is to redress unequal or unhappy outcomes, regardless of their source, through wealth redistribution on a scale so vast that it mocks the concept “private property.”
As for the causes of revolution, we’ve lost sight of them, too. King George III was a champion of laissez-faire compared to the modern cradle-to-grave entitlement state. The swollen capital city named after the man who won our freedom now claims the prize for erecting “a Multitude of new offices” bent on sending out “Swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” If there is a field of endeavor that the federal government does not yet regulate, subsidize, or penalize, just wait. A new law is only a “crisis” away.
Freedom, liberty, justice and equality comprise the bedrock on which this nation was founded. We stray from it at our peril.