“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” said Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President. As usual, he was right.
Present-day Americans take for granted the story of the American Revolution, but few consider what a fearful undertaking that was when the Declaration was published on July 4, 1776.
Thirteen colonies of the greatest power on Earth at that time, Great Britain, determined to establish a free and independent nation.
With some notable exceptions, we are mostly ignorant of the signers of that document and I would be willing to guess that few Americans realize how long the war for our independence lasted.
It began with a local militia engagement with the British in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1775. It would end eight years later in 1783 at Yorktown, Virginia. Estimates are that 25,000 Americans gave their lives over the course of the war; some 8,000 in battle and the rest by disease or as prisoners of war.
Eight years is a long time and it is generally conceded that the tenaciousness and will of one man led to victory. His name was George Washington.
“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty,” said Louis D. Brandeis, a Supreme Court Justice.
What followed the Revolution were the Articles of Confederation that proved a dismal failure. On May 25, 1787, in great secrecy, a group of delegates from seven States, gathered to revise them. Eventually, 12 of the 13 States were represented.
The Constitution they devised was intended to ensure the process of passing legislation was a slow, laborious one, and that the federal government would have only a few, clearly enumerated powers, with all others reserved to the States and the People.
The men who wrote the Constitution feared both the mob and the concentration of too much power in the federal government. The States were and are independent, sovereign republics.
The U.S. Constitution officially became the law of the land when New Hampshire ratified it on June 21, 1788, being the ninth State to do so. The vote was 57 Yeas, 47 Nays.
The poet, Archibald MacLeish, said it best. “There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream.”
The American dream is now the dream of billions around the world. It inspires hope everywhere. It draws to our shores those who want to live and thrive in freedom.
We are a nation in grave danger of being deprived of everything so many Americans worked, fought, and sometimes died to maintain.
We are being betrayed by a political and economic socialist theory that is the antithesis of the American system of governance. It killed millions in the last century.
We are being governed by fear as one “crisis” or another is announced and we are being governed by too many men and women in Congress who have heedlessly plunged the nation into unimaginable debt and propose to burden present and future generations with destructive taxation.
The limits on energy in the name of a non-existent global warming that the Congress is enacting are limits on America’s ability to compete in a world where other nations are using energy, not banning it.
America in 2009 must be reclaimed in the name of all those who came before us and in the name of generations to come. So long as we have the right to make our voices heard, we must demand an end to the plundering of the public treasury, an end to public ownership of private enterprises, and an end to the effort to control our lives through the takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.
July 4th is a good day to demand that President Barack Hussein Obama – if he really was born in Mombassa, Kenya, then raised in Indonesia, and leaving no discernible paper trail in America – resign before he does further harm to all Americans, to the American dream, and to the hope of freedom in the hearts of men and women everywhere in the world.