In this late hour just before the 4th of July, I sit winding down from the hustle and bustle of the day. As I think about the approaching holiday, it hits me. Independence Day has lost a lot of its meaning over the years.
Don’t get me wrong, this holiday is very near and dear to my heart, it has not lost any of its meaning WITH ME.
When I say it has lost its meaning, I am talking about to the nation as a whole. There will be millions of people celebrating Independence Day while their daily lives are almost entirely DEPENDENT upon the largess of the government. There are people who will be celebrating Independence Day who believe that our forefathers who won our independence were nothing more than rich, white, racist, slave owners.
There will be a multitude of politicians giving patriotic speeches about American Independence, yet they will be diligently working the rest of the year to grow the welfare rolls, to pass legislation that gives them more control over We The People and bashing those of us who truly believe in the principles and values that America’s Independence was based upon.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” ~ Declaration of Independence
We declared our Independence from a ruler who dictated without our consent. Yet today we are literally drowning in rules and regulations and laws that are so numerous and so convoluted that the average citizen cannot know them all or even understand most of them. How can We The People consent to such governance that is so incomprehensible?
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” ~ James Madison
Alas, nothing will change and the “voluminous” and “incoherent” laws will continue to accumulate, until…
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”~ Declaration of Independence
Until the evils are no longer sufferable. I cannot remember a day in the last 30 years when I have not heard some complaint about this nation in one form or another. Even more so since the advent of social media. The government does too much, it doesn’t do enough, war, peace, taxes, politics, corruption and the list goes on and on.
The irony is that most of the issues that people complain about were never meant to be a part of the government’s power in the first place. The Federal government was given several “enumerated powers” that were its responsibility. Things like make war, sign treaties and deliver the mail basically. Anything outside of those enumerated powers fell upon the states to govern or were the responsibility of We The People to address individually or through self-regulating societal means.
Yet we have suffered the abuses that have come with the growth of government far beyond its intended role in our lives. As government has grown our independence has atrophied and dependence has flourished.
I consider myself a prudent man and I have no desire to cast off the yoke and form a new government, at least not yet. In their wisdom, our founders gave We The People the power and the tools to right the wrongs that have crept into our body politic.
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” ~ James Madison
Another irony, we live in the “Information Age” and the masses are more misinformed or ill-informed than ever in our history.
“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
The more we ask the government to do, the more it does. The more government does, the more we ask it to do. Men of ambition and power, draw more and more power for themselves in such a dynamic.
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” ~ Samuel Adams
People wail against corrupt politicians, yet turn a blind eye to the vain, self-centered and morally corrupt population around them who elect such politicians.
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
As has been said many times before, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What was once a “safety net’ has become a drag net of dependence, handed down from generation to generation in a growing welfare state. Dependence breeds dependence and suffocates the desire and ambition to be free.
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” ~ Patrick Henry
So, on this Independence Day let us ALL please reconnect with the American spirit that won us that Independence. Educate yourself on how this nation is SUPPOSED to work, educate others and then take a good hard look at what we have become. Let us work towards the goal of 365 Independence Days a year.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” ~ Declaration of Independence