Sunday, July 3, 2011
We've all been celebrating July 4th for our entire lives. It means more to me now than it ever did when I was a kid. Sure, in the back of my mind I knew what we were celebrating but like so many others I gave more thoughts to the cookouts and fireworks than the true meaning of the holiday.
Now we find our country once again being burdened by an overbearing government more interested in acting like our parents than acting like our government. More and more of us are becoming dependent on government and in fact losing our independence because of it. Those who believe in a big government platform believe that government has to control more of our lives because people are incapable of knowing what's best for them and can't be trusted to govern themselves. In his inaugural address back in 1981 Ronald Reagan said it best:
"If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?" - Ronald Reagan
Interesting question indeed. The tea party movement that has grown over the last few years with obvious results in the 2010 election cycle was in large part it's own declaration of independence. Being a movement that supports a smaller, more efficient, less intrusive government no doubt fit labeling it a conservative movement. The thing is that the seeds of the tea party began in the Bush years. Conservatives were in a way declaring independence from progressive Republicans.
Democrats who supported the tea party movement were also sending a message that the Democratic party in Washington wasn't accurately reflecting all Democrats. It should be no surprise that a message of limited government and maximum freedom resonates. That was the message of the original Declaration of Independence.
From The Declaration of Independence
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it"
The health care plan of President Obama was clearly opposed by a majority of Americans. That doesn't mean there weren't plenty of supporters but far more opposed than supported it. It was a major factor in the landslide defeat of the Democrats in 2010. The above quote from the original Declaration of Independence state that the powers of government require the consent of the people and if the government ignores the will of the governed then the people have the right to alter government.
That's exactly what we did in 2010, the government wasn't listening to us so we altered who our representatives were. Liberals love to call us a Democracy, (we are in fact a constitutional republic), but in a Democracy with a definition of majority rules, health care still shouldn't have been passed as a majority of the people were in fact against it, even if a majority of Democrats in congress were in favor of it.
"He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."
This sounds like I could be talking about one of the many Czars that President Obama has appointed through executive order without the consent of Congress or we the people. Yet, this quote is actually another from the original Declaration of Independence referring to the king of England.
"He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."
The health care bill alone created many new offices and positions. Instead of swarms of officers this president is using swarms of new regulations to the same effect. This government is killing our oil production through regulations on gulf drilling resulting in higher energy prices. You don't need swarms of officers if you can just use swarms of new rules and regulations. These are some of the problems with the effects of big government and the founders experiences with living under the rule of the King of England are the very reason they intended for us to maintain a smaller government with less intrusive leaders.
Among the list of reasons in the declaration for wanting independence is the cutting off of trade:
"For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world: For imposing taxes on us without our consent: For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury"
President Obama is also stalling trade in the interests of protecting union workers from foreign competition.
So this year on Independence Day take a minute to reflect on what's really being celebrated. The Declaration of Independence isn't just some old document written for a bunch of disgruntled old men unhappy with their leadership. It's a blueprint, just as our Constitution is. They teach us all of the lessons we need about why a big overbearing government is a bad idea and will only lead to far more harm than good. Individual freedom will never be outdated.
The lessons of the past help us tackle the problems of the present but we must learn those lessons in order to understand those problems. This year as we celebrate July 4th let's make a new declaration. As we celebrate our independence and freedom, let's declare our independence from ignorance. This is our generations challenge to preserve that which has made the United States so great for so long.
Learn from the past, apply it in the present, and in doing so save the future. Only then can we guarantee that future generations will be able to enjoy the freedom and independence that we so often take for granted. Happy Independence Day, may we never lose our freedom because we became to lazy to defend it.