This has really been bugging me and I figured I could share this to help us all gain a little clarity on a few things. On Independence Day, July 4, 2019 – the 45th President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, gave a speech to the American people on the mall in Washington D.C. Shortly after, both conservative and liberal media began their debates and then provided their two cents regarding the content and cost of the event. It wasn’t long before social media was buzzing with hatred and dark things to say.
As you can imagine, the conservatives loved the message, the flyovers, and the history lessons. And as you can imagine, the liberals found every way they could to criticize the president. And as you can imagine… and in my humble opinion… I find that BOTH sides have gotten it wrong – once again. Of course, it’s been a couple of weeks and the entire nation has completely forgotten about it. Well, I haven’t.
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. And yes, there is a lot to consider. Did Trump provide a great speech? Yes. Were the flyovers and displays of military might impressive? Yes. Were the history lessons needed? Yes. Was I impressed that a president finally called our nation a Republic, instead of a democracy? Absolutely! But was the speech really appropriate? No. Should the military have been such a focus? No. Were the history lessons the right ones to give? Not really.
Let me clarify something. It was a great speech. I was quite impressed actually. And that speech would have been perfect for Veteran’s Day. In fact, just about everything about it would have been spot on for a day the focuses on our military. From the flyovers, the speech, the lessons of our battles and military struggles and so on. I also believe that the cost of the event would have been well worth it. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better event to pay homage to our soldiers because they do deserve that recognition (my reasons being different than most). But here’s the problem… it’s just not appropriate for Independence Day.
Independence Day is NOT about our government, our military, trips to the moon, trips to Mars, battles on foreign soils, or anything like that. And it’s most definitely NOT about showing off what unconstitutional acts of revenue generation can produce. We get it; the U.S. government is mighty. April 15th is all the evidence we need of that. Which is ironic when you think about it. Even the proposition of a small excise tax on alcohol was once enough to prompt an entire rebellion. Not today though. Today, we kneel and reluctantly say thanks while those who swore an oath stand idly by.
Friends, let me say that Independence Day is supposed to be a celebration of YOU. What other day do we get to celebrate the rebellious nature of the Founders and pretend as though we still hold that spirit? What other day do we embrace our desire to do the right thing and pretend that we too would declare that we will no longer be slaves to an expanding machine? What other day do we celebrate the desire to be free, to declare that our future is our own and to pretend as though we really mean it when we say it? And since none of us are actually brave enough or principled enough to fight for what our Founders created, what other days can we celebrate what those brave rebels actually did?
I know… rebellion is frowned upon these days; unless you’re rebelling against actual freedom. Does anyone else see the problem here? I digress. Yes, history is important. But the history of Independence Day didn’t start AFTER the war… it started before. Where were the stories about Thomas Paine? Where were the quotes from Sam Adams? Where was the history of Ethan Allen? I didn’t hear the story of The Shot Heard Around the World. If you want to talk about Independence Day, we need the history of what inspired it. I want to hear about the anger of the people. I want to hear about the dangers of a standing army. I want to hear about the excessive limitation and laws placed on the people. I want to hear about the burdens of taxation. I want to hear about a tyrants attempts to take away the right of self-protection. If you’re going to give an Independence Day history speech, these are the things that should be talked about because the inspiration for Independence Day was from a tired, frustrated and fed-up PEOPLE; not a mighty government.
Sure, a new government was created but the people were the driving force. Independence Day is about the spirit of 1776. This is significant when you consider that Washington didn’t even become President until 89. We all know that the war changed the world but what people need to hear is what led to that change in the first place. If you want to talk about what happened since the war, then lets at least go ahead and put THAT into an Independence Day context. In fact… allow me…
At one point, our government was comprised of representatives that were pulled from the citizenry and took turns trying to provide great outcomes for the people. The idea of a broke government and rich people was prized by most. This is because shortly before the war, the people of this great nation got fed up with rich, thieving tyrants and decided to create that new government. So what happened?
Well, it’s been a long time since that was the case. Today we have a bunch of people that live in Washington that make more laws than anyone can count and they make decisions for you without actually considering you, your family, your future or your struggles. All because that same entity decided that secrecy, the omission of information, excessive taxation, redistribution practices, and control is a better policy. Awesome. Happy Independence Day.
And now the one day that we could celebrate the spirit of rebellion, is being co-oped with a government that looks strikingly similar to the opposing forces that we have all but forgotten our Founders once defeated? Just remember that at one point, Independence Day was about YOU and ME. Not the government, not the military, not the wars and not about how mighty our government can become when it continues to erode our personal wealth. Our government today is every bit the opposite of what our Founders wanted. Our “mighty” Bill of Rights is a punch-line to most who swore to defend it. But most of us simply don’t understand that because we didn’t learn that in our government-run school. Like James Madison 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.” It’s a sad state of affairs, James.
To be honest, I don’t know what we are celebrating anymore. Don’t get me wrong; I love my home and what it’s SUPPOSED to be, but just look at how far we have strayed. Today we have standing armies among us. We have tax overload. Our currency is no longer “money”. We have so many laws that even the Library of Congress can’t count them. We have perpetual debt brought on by conquest that nobody asked for. We have a lack of representation. We incarcerate more people than tyrannical nations. Our money is redistributed on terms WELL OUTSIDE of anything resembling equality. We have people swearing oaths with zero intention of actually defending the Constitution – because they never took the time to actually read it in the first place. Our property is rented – not owned. We ask permission to exercise our supposed unalienable Rights and we pay for that opportunity. Our government profits from your labor and education several times over while at the same time, trying desperately to get you angry at your neighbor. Friends… we are not even the free-est nation on the planet… by a long shot.
Yet with all of this, we have the audacity to call ourselves the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”? Forget throwing off the tyrants. In many cities, you can’t even speak your mind in public without buying a permit. And let me just clarify that a license or permit is defined as “special permission for something that would otherwise be illegal“. Read the Constitution! Marbury v Madison anyone?
I believe our Founders would be more than angry with us all. They would be disappointed and confused. The truth is that we’ve lost our way and we should be disappointed with ourselves. And as any student of history can tell you, when a nation loses its way, hard times are sure to come.
What does Independence Day even mean anymore? People don’t remember and their ignorance is now a punchline on late-night television. Too many people just wrap themselves in the flag while they buy their permits and post memes about how great we are. Well, I’m confused.
By the way, Independence Day was supposed to be about more than just getting away from the crown. It was supposed to be about standing up to tyranny – no matter where we were in the world or who the tyrant was. It’s kind of funny; most of us can’t even do that in our own neighborhoods. What gives us the right to pretend that we are so great? We have forgotten not only what made this nation so strong, but also who was supposed to have that strength.
But now that I’ve given this a little more thought, perhaps the term “Independence Day” is still appropriate after all. Maybe I’m wrong. I mean, it’s the one day that so few have given any real thought about lately. Which would also mean that these people are essentially, Independent of any real thought on the topic. It’s not something to be proud of but hey… at least it’s still about the people.