Monday, June 25, 2007

What Does July 4 Mean?

July 4th is just around the corner. I am curious, what does this day mean to people? If you turn on your television anytime during the end of June you would think that July 4th is a day to find great savings on everything from clothes to furniture, to automobiles. Independence Day Clearances and July 4 sales abound. I wonder what our founding fathers would have to say about this? Do Independence Day sales sound anything like what John Quincy Adams meant when he stated, "Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." I don’t think he had saving 25% on a new sofa, or no interest for six months on a new SUV was what he had in mind.

For those of us who understand the Constitution and follow the actions of our government, the 4th of July is a day of great sadness. We see how far our government has strayed from the intent of the founding fathers. We see how our government is no longer representative of the people. Independence Day needs to be a time in which people ponder the abuses of power by our government and speak out, as did Patrick Henry in his speech made famous by the phrase, ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.’

“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

In the name of our presidents war on terror we have had legislation passed and executive orders signed which infringe upon many of the freedoms guaranteed us in the Bill of Rights. James Madison warned of this danger over two hundred years ago,
“It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”

We are taxed far beyond what is necessary to run our government according to its constitutional mandate. Thomas Jefferson stated it simply, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

Government funded social service programs also go against the thinking of Jefferson, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Remember also, as Jefferson once said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

Our nation has been invaded by millions of illegal aliens from all across the globe. Yet our government refuses to hear the voice of the people, who say they want our current immigration laws enforced with no rewards of amnesty for those who violate these laws.

With all the abuses of power and burdens place upon the people of this country, I am reminded of the words of George Washington, “The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”

For the people of this country, Independence Day is just another holiday. A day for barbecues, trips to the lake, or a chance to find a great sale at some retail center. We have forgotten the great gift of freedom and liberty that our founding fathers bestowed upon us. We have forgotten that for us to hold on to those liberties we must remain vigilante and pay close attention to the actions of our government. James Madison once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

We have become ignorant, complacent and apathetic in regards to the affairs of our government. The future of our country demands that we shake off this lethargy and begin to remember the words of Patrick Henry, “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

Remember, that we are celebrating the birth of our nation which commenced with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Our government has forgotten that it is we the people who hold the power. They have forgotten that they are our ‘public servants’. They need to be reminded. So, this coming Independence Day, I ask that each of us search deep within ourselves and try to recapture the true meaning of the day. If we continue to remain ignorant, I can only offer you a warning by Thomas Jefferson, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

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