self-determination, and the end of allegiance to an unaccountable government:
228 years ago this week a handful of radical American colonists set forth
their demands in the Declaration of Independence.
They sought independence not only from English rule, but also from the
feudal notion of obedience to King and Crown.
Their views were not shared even by a majority of their fellow colonists,
nor could they hope to match Englandís naval and military power- but their
courage was undeniable.
A bloody conflict ensued, and the new Americans emerged victorious. But still we celebrate the 4th of July as the birth of our nation, rather than the date the Constitution was ratified. We celebrate the day our forefathers boldly proclaimed to the world that liberty was their goal, that the pursuit of individual freedom was paramount.
who signed the Declaration of Independence envisioned a nation based on the rule
of law and the right of individuals to live their lives free from oppression. To
a degree perhaps unimaginable to that band of radical idealists, their vision
has come to pass over these two centuries.
That vision has been challenged throughout our history, however. The nineteenth century held slavery. The twentieth century saw the rise of socialism and its sister, fascism.
rather than focus on where we have failed, we should stay focused on the ideal
of freedom. The freedom we enjoy
today is the direct result of the commitment of men and women who refused to
compromise their ideals. Certainly they failed at times, but they understood
that the goal was liberty. Today
our government and society seem to have lost sight of this goal.
For more than six months of every year the average American toils not for his family, for his needs, or for his future. No, for the first six months of the year the average American works to pay the cost of federal, state, and local taxes and regulations. From New Yearís Day until about the 4th of July, you worked to pay for government. This is unconscionable.
Founding Fathers no doubt would be embarrassed at our squandering of their
vision. After all, they revolted at a comparable tax rate in the single digits
or less. And yet we willingly suffer an effective tax rate of 50%, and much more
in many cases. They tyranny of the
Crown has been replaced by the tyranny of the federal government in Washington.
are not slaves, but many feel they are indentured servants to government. And by
and large it has happened with our willing consent. We have knowingly
compromised our sacred liberty for temporary promises of security or false
it does not have to be so. We can reclaim our independence not with guns, but
with our voices. We can reject creeping statism and encourage the blessings of
liberty for our land. It will require work, and it will require commitment, and
it will require a willingness to stand firm for our beliefs.
But that is a small price to pay compared to the sacrifices made by those
who founded America.
freedom, and self-determination. Those goals are as worthy of our attention
today as they were 228 years ago in a hot convention hall in Philadelphia. Just
as devotion to those goals brought forth this great nation then, a renewed
adherence to liberty can save our nation today.
Founding Fathers felt freedom was worth their "lives, fortunes, and sacred
honor." Do we?