The Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals necessary to America’s foundation and its separation from Great Britain, “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”
The money sentence in my opinion is the first one in the 2nd paragraph which states:
“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.”
The phrase self evident of course means obvious, not needing to be demonstrated or explained. In another words the Founders believed it so obvious that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that no demonstration or further explanation was necessary.
They then go on to lay out all the ways which justify a people overthrowing their government 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…”
During the Founders time and for much of America’s history, being skeptical of government power was the norm, as people understood the misery tyranny brings and how important individual liberty was to living a fulfilled and purposeful life.
It’s an understatement to say that today many people not only have no problem with a large, intrusive government, but have very little understanding of what individual liberty means and why it’s so important.
Two posts I read today can help with this. One was Citizen Tom’s, So It Is Independence Day, where he asks,
“Why do we need to celibrate such a day? Why do we need to celebrate the beginning of a long, bloody, and arduous war? Don’t we need to remind ourselves of the cost of freedom, of the price that those who went before us paid? Don’t we need to pull our heads out of our day-to-day lives and contemplate what we must do to remain free?
Great questions! Read Tom’s post for the answers.
Another great post comes from insanitybytes22, called Independence Day, where she’s discusses the important differences between independence and inter-dependence. Here’s a teaser:
“Where I live in the 9th circuit of hell, which often seems to be a bit like a playground for everyone’s utopian visions, there’s been a push the past few years to change Independence Day to Inter-dependence Day. It’s somewhat amusing, in an area full of rugged individualists, seeking never-ending counter-cultural I-dentities, independence has become a bad word that makes some people uncomfortable. It’s an odd juxtaposition, because the very same freedom and independence that grants people the liberty to pursue their individualism, is being shunned.”
Definitely give this one a full read too, excellent stuff.
For me personally I do think America’s foundational principles are under attack, but this is nothing new, as it’s been this way since the country’s birth. I think the number one threat we face today is from within. Too many people take for granted the freedoms they have and don’t understand at all the importance of individual liberty.
Aside from that, I wish you all a Happy Independence Day with family and friends! For better or worse, we live in an amazing country where the good outweighs the bad.
Stay sane, healthy and free!