Happy Independence Day

libertyflagby Brad Nelson   7/3/14
A very happy Independence Day to one and all. And I would catch hell from you-know-who (Pat) if I were to say “Happy 4th of July.” He got me out of the habit of saying those facile, generic words.

It’s difficult to love and revere something that is being so callously used, if not actively shat upon. If America was a woman, she could sue the Left and the Democrats for spousal abuse.

And I find it difficult within myself to feign a chirpy and cheery optimism. I understand what is transpiring and why, in large part thanks to Theodore Dalrymple, Mark Steyn, and others. We’re almost getting into the realm of a cheap sci-fi thriller wherein aliens have taken over the globe and there are but a few people — much like the Olympic torch — who are secretly keeping the flame of freedom alive, protecting its fragile warmth and light from the cold and abusive wind of the political Left (who are indeed alien to American culture and ideals).

I wish I could offer words of comforting optimism about our country’s future. But every time I step outside the door and see the slobocracy (if not the outright idiocracy) that we are descending to, it makes me realize that if there is a God, we’re in His hands — our own not being able to carry the weight of this present pressing disintegration.

But at the end of the day, we can’t hate. We must hope. We can’t get sidetracked into what isn’t but venerate what still is. Our Constitution continues to exist, at least the piece of paper it was written upon, if not our adherence to it. The Declaration of Independence — that truly sacred document of America and of mankind — can yet offer us light in a troubled and confused world:

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.

Those words still retain the power to stir my heart and my mind. The veil of stupefaction brought down by our culture, thick as it is, still lets through the light of transcendent and brilliant ideas. The words are there. The ideas are there. It is for us to make an effort to find them and understand them and, most of all, understand why we need them.

And, as leaders in this culture, we must do so if only to enable us to spread those ideas further, like the radiance of a rocket’s red glare in a charcoal black sky. The brilliance of the words and ideas are even more so upon the backdrop of their dark absence.

Have a happy Independence Day. And be sure to blow up some stuff and make some noise. Let the dastardly Left know that we still maintain zest for the fight. Our country, and the ideas she was founded upon, still ring loudly in our hearts.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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19 Responses to Happy Independence Day

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I have 2 or 3 copies of a tiny booklet from Cato that has the entire Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I plan to take a copy with me to InCon just in case it comes up.

    I read a little trick question once: Does Britain also have the 4th of July? And they do, of course. They don’t celebrate it as we do, but their calendar is the same as ours.

    As for my own comments on the day, I can’t do better than Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”. No need to repeat it here; anyone who wants to read it can look it up in the Poetry/Prose section.

  2. Libertymark says:

    Indeed, celebrate Independence Day! Fifty-six men pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor so we could, 238 years later, experience wealth and freedom unheard of in the long history of humanity.

    Call it Independence Day, get some historical perspective, read the Declaration in one sitting. Things taken for granted tend to slowly fade away.

    What is your favorite line from the Declaration? One of mine is “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.” Eat out their substance; what a perfect turn of phrase.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yeah, that’s a great line. I’d never really noticed it before.

      My favorite is this:

      We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.

      To put it in modern language, “We ain’t your bitches!” Well, maybe that’s too modern. But I like the understatement in that. We came to this country to get out from underneath the yoke of oppressive kings, classes, and customs. You can almost hear a Bugs Bunny like bravado in that. And if you step over that line, you’ll hear Bugs saying, “Of coyse yuze knows, dis means wahr.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think George W. Hansen (an ultraconservative Republican from Idaho who served some scattered terms in the House a few decades ago) used part of that as the title of a book on government abuses.

  3. Pst4usa says:

    Happy Independence Day one and all, thanks for using the correct term Brad. I have spent the last six years or so reading the Declaration aloud at the fireworks booths I have been working, also we give out a copy of the booklet containing both, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with each purchase,(over a certain amount), and make sure they understand just why they are celebrating this day.
    As far as favorites, that is a tough one, but one of them that seems relevant to today is this one shortly after the one Brad quotes;
    …accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
    Apparently what we are going through is not new at all. Are we afraid of change, are just plain lazy, or do we have no confidence in our own abilities to make decisions for ourselves? I guess I would say all of the above.
    If you are at a gathering please read at least the first 5 sentences and the last few aloud. It is hard to come up with more meaningful words, written by the hand of man.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I really like that one, Pat. It’s really a stroke of genius. Jefferson was saying to the world, “We’re not running off half-cocked in a fit of Libertarian absolutism. We are taking a measured and well-considered response. Never do we suppose that government will be perfect. And we are well aware of the hells that can be unleashed by ‘change for change’s sake.'”

      • Pst4usa says:

        What you wrote really applies in particular to the line just prior to that one Brad, but you are so right.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;

          Yes, those words preceding the ones you noted are indeed good. And it seems to me that Jefferson’s words that you highlighted have an additional central and important meaning. Those words again:

          …accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

          Let me translate that into modern language:

          Girly-men need not apply.

          In our culture that expects pleasures and self-fulfillment, 24/7, the idea of suffering while evils are sufferable – regardless as to whether we do so to not usher in some worse situation – is not thinkable (or, really, feelable). We have a “right” to an easy, safe, and secure light.

          Of course, Jefferson is talking about the sheep-like history of mankind which would indeed suffer, while evils are sufferable, rather than kick some ass. And bloodshed and revolution are very dangerous dogs to unleash. It is not for cowardice alone that men suffer while evils are sufferable. See: “The French Revolution” for a lesson in the prudence of suffering evils while evils are sufferable.

          But in order to spread the Declaration of Independence outside of traditional Americans, we need to append some kind of crib notes to them. Modern populations, buffered from hardships and with their “self-esteem” induced to heights like a gateway drug, might not know what the meaning of the word “suffering” is.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    We must never forget that the United States of America, is the greatest political experiment of all time, the hypotheses of which is “that the People will be able to rule themselves in a manner which will allow for personal liberty yet maintain safety and security for the individual and the country.” The founders were clear in their belief that only a moral and wise people could carry through this experiment successfully.

    It seems many Americans have forgotten that this experiment is an ongoing one. The hypotheses can still be shown to be false. It is up to all Americans to continue to prove it correct.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    A very happy Independence Day to one and all. And I would catch hell from you-know-who (Pat) if I were to say “Happy 4th of July.” He got me out of the habit of saying those facile, generic words.

    To me the 4th of July has no other meaning, but Independence Day. So I am not so concerned about this. Of course, I was born and raised in a time when American History was still taught in a positive way.

    I am encouraged that in Texas schools, at least the ones I know of, the Pledge of Allegiance to both the United States of America and Texas are said every day.

    • Rosalys says:

      I feel the same way, the 4th of July is Independence Day – but I would welcome an argument to change my mind. Perhaps this has already been discussed here in an archived piece? Link?

      Last year was the first year I had experienced an English 4th – that is an Independence Day with no meaning as I had truly believed it was pretty much over and it was just a matter of time for the final curtain to descend. Last night my husband and I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, America, Imagine the World Without Her, and I’m back to celebrating an American 4th. Film critics on the left are of course calling it partisan. (Yeah, as if the bilge they spew forth in a continuous, putrid stream is the height of balance and reason!) Even the critics on the right, who by and large like the film, feel a need to point out that, “it isn’t perfect.”

      Okay, my supposed allies of the right, can you get over the fact that we Classic Liberals aren’t perfect! Enough already! NOBODY is perfect! The only perfect Man who ever lived also happens to be God! (And yes Brad, He does exist! There is plenty of evidence!) But I digress; this is a GOOD movie! Is it partisan? Am I partisan? Are we partisan? (The adjective partisan defined as prejudiced in favor of a particular cause. That cause being Liberty in Law.) Damn right we are!

      We may be imperfect and partisan, but the far left Communist oligarchs, who seem to be in charge right now, are down right evil and their wimpy Republican enablers are stupid!

      America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
      Confirm thy soul in self-control,
      Thy liberty in law!

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        God mend thine every flaw,
        Confirm thy soul in self-control,
        Thy liberty in law!

        I’ll try a little self-control considering I’m still on a diet.

        And let me give you the Libertarian version of that stanza:

        Rand end thy every law
        Confirm thyself in pot and dope
        A nuke in every garage!

        • Rosalys says:

          I like the original much better! It’s my favorite line from this anthem.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            It’s a good line. And I don’t mean to just be obnoxious or snarky when I point out that this stanza defines the difference between libertarian and conservative.

            And between conservative and Leftist, for that matter. The conservative is more likely to say “Get ahold of yourself” if someone is whining about this or that. A Leftist more apt to automatically blame whitey, big business, capitalism, or whatever race, class, or sex he can pass the blame onto.

            It’s a great line. And you are on the cutting edge and show your astuteness by pointing that out, Rosalys.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              A totalitarian (such as a liberal) thinks the answer to every problem is the government, and the more the better. A libertarian thinks government is never the answer. Conservatives look at it case by case; those of us with a strong libertarian bent (such as me) agree most of the time that government isn’t the answer — but we don’t reflexively assume it.

  6. NC citizen says:

    As regards to the “redress” part of the Constitution, I have come to the conclusion that since all of this crap about “standing” as well as the process for redress. The free person that has a grievance against any department of the U.S.S.A (United Socialist States of America) will inevitably run into a wall of resistance. The only recourse is to wage war, which everyone understands. The problem then becomes, a lack of equipment and personnel to attack. Thus, to most of us redress is just a silly word written on an old piece of paper that has no meaning at all to an individual. My dad was an orphan at an early age, had only an education to sixth or seventh grade told me and I quote, ” Son, these people have us right where they want us.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This notion of standing is a convenient elitist trick. If you push through a referendum, you have no “standing” to see it defended in case political elites who oppose it collude with other opponents to junk it (as happened with Prop 8 in California). Similarly, Congress has no “standing” to force the Executive Branch to obey the law. How convenient — for lawless rulers.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    There are a couple of interesting books to mention here. One is The Great Idea by Henry Hazlitt (later reissued as Time Will Run Back), in which the heir to the rule of the Soviet-conquered Wonworld, trying to improves lives as communism claimed to seek to do, ends up bringing back democratic capitalism (for the entire world). Another, which I’m currently reading and will probably review here shortly, is A Few Good Men by Sarah A. Hoyt, in which the heir to one of the dictatorships that together make up the 25th Century Earth is exposed to just how horrible their 300-year-rule is — and most figure out exactly why this rule (which was justified on the grounds of providing stability after a time of devastating turmoil) is in fact evil (which leads him back to the natural rights still treasured by small groups such as the Sons of Liberty with their Usaian religion).

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