I took great pleasure this morning in attempting to explain to my five year old, what the fourth of July is all about and why we celebrate it. While my son was somewhat confused and amused by the idea of calling a signature a "John Hancock", I am quite confident that he went to church this morning with a better understanding of our nation's birth than many adults.
Sending a reporter out to ask people on the street what the fourth of July is all about, would be a frightening endeavor. I almost hope that nobody ever does it. I imagine though that if it were done, we would hear all kinds of answers, anywhere from "the day we won our independence", to something to do with our constitution. But we all know that July fourth was not the day that independence was won, but merely declared.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were not loyal believers in the power of government and how it could be used to help people. Quite the contrary, these men were anti-government, anti-taxes, and most importantly anti-dependence. In a radio interview, the modern day leader of a different philosophy discussed the Constitution by lamenting the fact that it was a charter of what he called "negative liberties". In other words, it stated what government could not do to you, but it didn't state what it could do for you. The framers of that document, obviously, had a different view than that individual in the interview. Realizing that the same men responsible for the Constitution took part in the declaration, and knowing that the declaration provided the framework for the Constitution, it would not be too far of a reach to assume that the same individual, the leader of modern liberalism, also laments the fact that the declaration was one of independence, and not dependence.
That word independence is important. It has to do with individualism, liberty, and the right of mankind to pursue happiness. Independence is what America is all about. Individual independence is exactly why America has prospered. There is no such thing as American nationalism. The word nationalism comes from nation, and in this case, the word nation does not mean country but nationality. America is a melting pot, a nation of immigrants/ foreigners. The is no American race, so you can't attribute the success of this country to any kind of racial superiority. No this nation prospered and became the most powerful on earth, simply because of it's freedom. If modern regulation were in effect in the nineteenth century, there would never have been a railroad. Carnegie would have never found a cheaper way to make steel. Rockefeller would have never been able to sell oil so cheaply. These men became rich and made countless other Americans rich, simply because they were free.
A true American doesn't want help from government. Liberty loving Americans know that any help from Washington is not really help at all, but a means of control. Americans, the ones who share the same spirit of those who signed the declaration, don't like to be controlled. They will take liberty over security any day. Those are the kind of people that signed the declaration, and they are the same kind of people that came to this country from every part of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa.
The other day, a Supreme Court nominee, dismissed the declaration as unimportant. This same future Supreme Court Justice most likely shares the same philosophy as the gentleman in the aforementioned radio interview. How far has our nation regressed when a nominee for the highest court in the land dismisses the Declaration of Independence? People, the declaration is everything. Lincoln used the declaration as the template for the Gettysburg address. The declaration, and the ideals in it, were the reason this country got rid of that wretched system known as slavery, less than a century after it's birth. The declaration affirms our natural rights, rights not granted to us by any government, but by our Creator.
When this country and it's people forget about the declaration and forget about what it truly means, we are in trouble. Now is the time to remind and re-learn the founding of this country, why it happened, and what they were fighting for. I fear that we have already forgotten these things. I fear that some immigrate to this country, not because of it's freedoms, but because of it's gifts. They seek dependence and not independence.
Some however, still know why this country is great, and they are fighting to keep it great. Some people still come here because of our liberal freedoms, not our handouts. They love this country and dream of a life in the only place on earth where even the poor are not hungry.
When you celebrate today, think about the courage it took for those men to sign that declaration, a treasonous document. Remember the brashness of John Hancock, who wrote his name bigger than anybody else. That's what America is all about folks. God bless it.