Monday, July 4, 2011

"We hold these truths to be self-evident" -- Various ruminations upon Independence Day.



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, — 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.


Toby Harndon, writing in the London Telegraph, rightly reports that "the mood is dark" in America this Independence Day, calling us "the United States of gloom."

The last comparable Fourth of July was probably in 1980, when there was a recession, skyrocketing petrol prices and an Iranian hostage crisis, with 53 Americans being held in Tehran.

Frank Luntz, perhaps America’s pre-eminent pollster, argues that his countrymen are much more downbeat now than in 1980. “The assumption with the Carter years was that it was a failure of the elites, not the system. We thought the people in charge screwed up. We didn’t blame ourselves.” Remarkably, many Americans think things will only get worse and the good times will never return.


Peter Mallory is "Reflecting on the strength or lack thereof of the Constitution on the 4th of July."

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, it gives us time to pause and consider the watering down of what is probably the finest political document of its kind ever written by man: the U.S. Constitution.

The people who wrote it are probably the smartest and most well informed group ever assembled for the purpose of forming a government.

Unfortunately, many Americans do not grasp the concepts that are embodied in the Constitution and have therefore little or no understanding of what is in the Constitution or why it was written the way it was.


Daniel Greenfield asks "What do we celebrate when we celebrate the Fourth of July?"

Is it the independence from being ruled by an out of touch government thousands of miles away, taxed at their pleasure, and told to be grateful for it?

Is it home rule under our own elected officials who can’t be trumped by the decision of some political appointees whom we never voted for?

A victory won by militias that don’t exist anymore, on behalf of freedoms that are constantly under assault from the nation’s own capital?


Michael Goodman is equally pessimistic, saying that we are "Forgetting Founders' tough love."

Yet all around us, traditional values of independence and hard work, based on modest expectations and personal humility, are being eroded. In the "culture of me," everybody is a star.

Should you dare protest, you are attacked as greedy. Insist that failure must have its consequences, and you are scolded for lacking compassion.

Never mind that you lived with the old values, that you sacrificed and worked and saved for what you have. Now you must pay and pay again for those who didn't. Oh, and shut up about it, too.

That is the fault line of America's culture war in 2011. Pray that the spirit and wisdom of the founders prevails. Otherwise, our nation won't.


I wish I could write something uplifting this Independence Day.

I cannot.

I wish I could say that all the pessimism reflected above is unwarranted.

It is not.

Abraham Lincoln, who was so very wrong about the Constitution and many other things was right about this: no nation can long exist half slave and half free. It must eventually become one or the other. It is more than a little ironic that Lincoln cynically used slavery to attack the Founders' conception of liberty and to vastly expand the power and reach of the Federal government, yet in the largest sense Lincoln was correct. A country is either dedicated to liberty or collectivism.

As it happens, today we are in fact two countries existing withing the same border. One people views the government as the source of everything good. The other views it, as the Founders did, as a bulwark of ordered liberty and opportunity -- BUT NOTHING MORE. We agree with Washington that government is a dangerous servant but an even more fearful master. The question is, will the federal government serve the people's interests or the people serve the government's interests?

We are, as people, far more philosophically divided now than ever before in our history. As a diligent student of history, I can tell you that societies so divided never have reconciled such deep divides without violence.

And, like 1860, we are just one dead Supreme Court justice, one stolen election, one Reichstag fire or even one failed Gunwalker Scandal investigation away from the irresistible slide to civil war.

The only thing I can do myself is to continue to strive to maintain what liberty is left -- and to regain lost liberties -- by peaceful means while preparing myself and others for doing so by other means.

And that's the only Independence Day declaration I have for you today.

18 comments:

eddymatthews said...

Well said Mike.

Anonymous said...

"How did the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a country that less than three years ago elected a young, untested black man as president on a platform of hope and change, get into this funk?"

The answer is in the question. ;^)

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have celebrated my freedom with a few small fireworks, but they are illegal here. That's ok though because I can enjoy a day of fishing instead. Oh, wait a minute, state government shut down so I can't get a fishing license right now. Well, that's ok too because I can fly my flag while having a cookout at home. Uh oh, the police and fire department are here. Apparently the fire department says my bonfire is too large and I need to extinguish it. Meanwhile, the police want me to take down the flag because it sparked racial tensions among my neighbors which flared up into a fist fight. Great, just great. Well, I can still enjoy a beer with a fine cigar while sitting on my own porch, just as soon as I find my state-issued ID.

Ah, isn't it great to be living as a free American!!

MechaMiles said...

It is indeed a somber day. As we reflect, let us remember Yeshua our Strength will guide us.

WarriorClass
III

Anonymous said...

"How did the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a country that less than three years ago elected a young, untested black man as president on a platform of hope and change, get into this funk?"

-----------

Elected with the votes, yes -- but Zero can never be president. John McCain can never be president. Roger Calero can never be president. All born on foreign soil, all on previous 2008 ballot. The elites in either party don't care.

Natural Born citizenship requires birth of a President on U.S. sovereign soil as the founders intended, jus solis. It's about allegiances. The issue of 2 American parents required at the time of the future candidate's birth, jus sanguinis, is also a valid argument that was washed away by the 14th amendment, and should also be considered by SCOTUS.

Regardless, we have a foreign born and current undocumented illegal alien squatting in the White Hut.

The corrupt lamestream hack propaganda media, cowardly corrupt politicians silent on the issue or calling basic common sense questions "crazy conspiracy", hence non-argument by ridicule, have only proved their foolishness and endangered the republic further.

Many citizens reasonably assume proper procedure and law is followed to the highest office. But reasonable assumptions here fall flat to the cold hard facts.

Mark Matis said...

If even HALF of those passing themselves off as "Law Enforcement" in this country actually bothered to honor their oath of office, JUST HOW MUCH of this damnation do you think we would have?

Sean said...

I celebrate the positive things I know, not the bad. There are good people, good work, good minds. I know things are screwed up, but even when I was in VN, I showered, got my haircut, ate a good meal, read a book, enjoyed the quiet, read a letter from home, had some ice cream. Some of you guys and girls had better learn how to look for the good, even when the storm clouds are gathering. Life goes on, and you will find yourself all alone at the end of it, if all you can see is ruin. Up the Rebels, Down the British!

Snaggle-Tooth Jones said...

Abraham Lincoln, who was so very wrong about the Constitution and many other things was right about this: no nation can long exist half slave and half free. It must eventually become one or the other. It is more than a little ironic that Lincoln cynically used slavery to attack the Founders' conception of liberty and to vastly expand the power and reach of the Federal government, yet in the largest sense Lincoln was correct. A country is either dedicated to liberty or collectivism.

Amen.

And Deo Vindice

Dakota said...

Independence Day ... I find that I have really very little to celebrate or feel good about. I see nothing on the horizon that gives me hope for anything other than conflict and sorrow for the future on all fronts. You are right Mike. a nation with divides that go this deep can not be settled without violence. We have been played masterfully by both wings of the same bird of prey ... to divide and conquer.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mike ,two countries indeed; The true Constitutional one being weakened by a parasitic other!

Anonymous said...

My Friends -

We are indeed in very serious times.
But, here is a promise we should take to heart and act on:

[2 Chron 7:14] If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. [NKJV]

There are a number of warriors in the Bible. King David and Gideon come to mind immediately. The Lord will bless those who fight for HIS causes. Again, things are indeed grim. I suggest we get on our knees and pray the Lord that we be on HIS side. Then continue to prepare for whatever may come knowing that those who trust in HIM will be rewarded.

Our Founding Fathers were a God fearing band of freedom fighters who believed that Divine Providence guided them to victory. Let us do the same.

My prayer: Lord grant me the wisdom to know your will and the strength and courage to do it. In Jesus Name - Amen

We need a "Healed Land" Let us pray to be part of the solution.

Take heart. God Bless you all...
An Old Soldier III

PS - And if you have been taught that Jesus was a pacifist, read Luke 22: 36-38. [It reads in part] Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one....."

Dennis308 said...

Well said Sean,

I am still Free and still Breathing. Today I celebrate what my Forefathers Built For Me. My Rights/Liberties/Freedom,can not be taken from me until I surrender them. The Snake on my Gadsen Flag Still has Fangs And I do not surrender.

Dennis
III
Texas

Anonymous said...

I hope you are wrong, but I fear you are right.

I just finished reading "One Second After" by William Forstchen. Terrifying read.

Happy Independence Day, folks. Enjoy your homes, families, blessings and what little liberty remains to us.

azcIII

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Mike

Anonymous said...

Happy thoughts to all, and let's all make the most of our prior planning and of our preps during the last twenty years or so.

Again, happy thoughts to all on our Nation's holiday. Only fools live digesting the current unhappy times. Grounded people live better lives, and post better thoughts.

Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me) said...

Independence Day has become a day of remembrance and regret for what we have lost to our own government, which has become hundreds of times worse than King George and his redcoats.

fgd-anchorage said...

Well, Mike, I had a really good post, but the system could not complete my request. Here is the short version:

1. Corrie ten-Boom had faith - Christian.

2. See http://myutmost.org/ for July 4.

3. Seeds of Civil War in the first sentence of the Declaration.

4. The blog is mightier than government and main stream media. Your words of encouragement:

"he only thing I can do myself is to continue to strive to maintain what liberty is left -- and to regain lost liberties -- by peaceful means while preparing myself and others for doing so by other means."

Col Bat Guano said...

Great post. I was watching the first episode of "The Civil War" a few months ago and was troubled by the parallels in 1860's American discourse and today's. Quite sobering.

Our Federal Government today is a huge bloated tick being protected from those few benefiting from its largesse. The thing about ticks is the bastards don't have the decency to remove themselves after stealing our blood like mosquitos do. Ticks have to be physically pulled and popped like the parasites they are.