“The Declaration of Independence [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.” –Thomas Jefferson
The principal author of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, understood that, though Liberty is “endowed by our Creator,” it is difficult to maintain among men. “The natural progress of things,” he wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
Indeed it is. We boldly threw off a monarchy in the American Revolution, but today countless bureaucrats under the command of a pack of hardcore Socialists have assumed the throne.
Jefferson also understood the consequences of Socialism: “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” But 234 years after the signing of our Declaration of Independence, Beltway politicos, most of the “Democrat” variety, insist that we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, according to their will – and would have us believe they know better than we. Indeed, they have so effectively institutionalized this deceit that their electoral lemmings fall in behind them in lock step.
That subservience is an affront to our hard-won heritage of Liberty, and an insult to those generations who have defended it.
On July 4th of 1776, our Founders, assembled as representatives to the Second Continental Congress, issued a declaration stating most notably: “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 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…”
In other words, the Founders rightly affirmed that because our rights are inherent by Natural Law as granted from our Creator, as such they can’t be arbitrarily alienated by those who believed that the rights of men are gifts of government.
Our Founders publicly declared their intentions to defend these rights by attaching their signatures to the Declaration between July 4th and August 2nd of 1776. They and their fellow Patriots pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor as they set about to defend the Natural Rights of man.
At the conclusion of the American War for Independence in 1783, our Founders determined that the new nation needed a more suitable alliance among the states than the Articles of Confederation. After much deliberation, they proposed a Constitution, which authorized a very limited central governing authority and reserved all other rights to the states or the people. Our Constitution was adopted in 1787, ratified in 1788, and implemented in 1789 as subordinate guidance to our Declaration of Independence.
Since that time, generations of American Patriots have laid down their lives “to support and defend” the Essential Liberty enshrined in our Constitution. I would note here that their sacred oath, the same one I have taken many times in the service of our country, is not in support and defense of a so-called “living Constitution,” an adulterated version of our authentic Constitution. It is under such perversion that Socialists in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches have advanced their statist political agenda.
Statism, or Progressivism as promoted by contemporary American Leftists, has as its objective the establishment of an omnipotent central government authorized to be the arbiter of all that is “good” for “the people.” Statism also confers upon the state ultimate control over the most significant social manifestation of individual rights, that of economic enterprise. Witness our current government’s efforts to assert ever-greater control over heretofore private enterprises such as the automotive, health care, financial and energy industries.
Socialists endeavor to undermine our nation’s founding principles in order to achieve their statist objectives, under which all associations among individuals ultimately augment the power and control of the state. The final expression and inevitable terminus of such power and control, if allowed to progress unabated, is tyranny.
The word “tyranny” is derived from the Latin “tyrannus,” which translates to “illegitimate ruler.”
Leftists in all levels of government, who, by definition, have deserted their oaths to support and defend our bona fide Constitution, are thus as illegitimate as the rules they implement.
Thank God there is a strong resurgence of demand for Essential Liberty and the Rule of Law across the Fruited Plain; a rebirth of the understanding that limited government is essential to Liberty; and a resounding call to take control of our national destiny and reset its course for the shores of freedom.
So how should we observe this 4th of July, the 234th celebration of our Declaration of Independence?
On July 3, 1776, Founding Patriot John Adams wrote to his beloved wife, Abigail, on this very topic:
Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among men. You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. … It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day’s Transaction.
Today, we face ominous threats to our American heritage of Liberty, unfortunately more so from enemies within than without, and I would offer that we should commemorate this Independence Day, first and foremost, with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and with a rededication to the principles of Essential Liberty and restoration of the Rule of Law.
On December 19th of 1776, with the American Revolution well under way, Thomas Paine wrote, “Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, we came forth to meet and to repulse it. … I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake.”
And so it must be, today.
Reflecting on the Declaration shortly before his death on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of our founding, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.”
It is entirely fitting that Jefferson’s fellow Patriot and longtime correspondent would also draw his last breath on that very day. But before he passed, John Adams offered these words of reflection: “[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
And Adams’s last public words serve as an inspiration to us all, a toast to Liberty: “Independence forever!”
Libertas! And let us all say, Amen.
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