Holidays, for me, are less about celebration than reflection. Oh, there will be a glass of wine or two before the day is out, but it’s not about that.
Today’s reflection, surrounds the founding, the ideas that guided the founding; the idea that individual liberty and unleashing human potential should be the guiding force behind government. That government is a necessary evil to be controlled, that governments must serve the governed and that the consent of the governed must be the keystone that supports the limitation of that government.
There must never be too much power in one place, never power beyond the ability of the governed to limit or reject it. These were radical ideas in their day; a grand experiment that would reject the premise that had governed our European ancestors and insure a nation of free men unfettered by the overreach of monarchs and governments. These ideas would provide the constant context allowing us to hold government accountable and insure the intended limitations.
These ideas formed the foundation of the greatest nation in history, the most powerful economy in history, the most benevolent nation in history. These ideas were intended to bind us, one to another, based on our shared belief that anything else would erode the very premise of what free men in control of and accountable for their fates could accomplish.
Fast forward. Your e-mails and phone calls are ‘collected’, we now learn that the U.S. Post Office is also in on the illegal surveillance of citizens. Lies laid bare to the public and yet government refuses to acknowledge the lies for what they are. The consent of the governed overwhelmed by an essentially unaccountable bureaucracy. A little girl attempting to save a small bird experiences the full weight of the Department of The Interior and threats of prosecution, small time magicians operate under the demand that they produce disaster emergency plans for the bunny they use in their act, each an effort to limit freedoms and cower the citizenry into a new reality where freedoms are not a function of birth and natural law but an entitlement, granted or removed by government.
This is what the founders attempted to insure would never happen. This is the fight that must be fought.
So let us glory in what we have accomplished, let us reflect on the force of individual freedoms; let us also be mindful that inattention, apathy and personal corruption by way of government intrusion, will limit future glories. The potential for future glories must be our legacy to our children. We must stop demanding more! We must demand less; less intrusion, less control, less of what stifles the inherent, yet currently dormant, greatness that we still have in us.
Happy 4th, enjoy the day, think to the future.