independence: freedom from control or influence of another or others

Today is July 4, 2006.

It has been 230 years since the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence by America’s founders.

That’s why some of us – too few, really – call the holiday we commemorate today “Independence Day.” That is, indeed, the actual name of the holiday.

It’s not just the Fourth of July. It’s not just the day we shoot off Chinese-made fireworks. It’s not just the day we barbecue burgers. It’s not just the day we go to the beach. It’s Independence Day – so named because on or about this date in 1776, a group of courageous men risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for a dream of freedom and sweet autonomy from an imperial power.

By the way, it wasn’t just the birth date of American freedom. It was the birth date of freedom around the world. That’s why the French called George Washington not just the founding father of the American Revolution, but “the father of freedom.” He was truly the inspiration for freedom fighters everywhere.

We ought to mark this occasion with some real reflection – even some solemnity and sobriety.

Unfortunately, too few Americans today put much value in independence. Most no longer celebrate, cherish or appreciate independence. Independence is not considered an ideal.

It’s no accident. Our political and cultural elite don’t want to see a nation full of independent-minded, self-governing citizens who will hold their leaders accountable to their will and the laws of the land. They would prefer sheep.

That’s why you will hear so many of them preach about the value of living in an “interdependent” world. Have you heard that? ” Interdependence” – this is considered a good thing. Keep in mind every time you hear that word “interdependence” glorified and revered that interdependence is simply a synonym for “dependence.”

It has nothing to do with “independence” – that thing for which our founders risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

The sad truth is the American dream of independence has been betrayed. Americans are worse off today, in terms of individual freedom, than they were before the War of Independence. In fact, take a look at the dictionary definition of “colony” and see if it doesn’t apply to us today.

colony: 1) a group of people who settle in a distant land but remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land 2) a territory distant from the state having jurisdiction or control over it

Aren’t Americans, in a sense, all colonists of the great imperial throne in the District of Columbia? We all pay tribute to this faraway empire. We are, in reality, little more than serfs doing the bidding of those in the federal corridors of power in Washington. We’re taxed without real representation. We’re forced to support a growing standing army of federal police in our communities. And we face a growing threat of disarmament – one of the great fears of the colonists who touched off the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord.

What do you think?

Are we better off today that our forefathers were in 1776?

Are we living freer lives today than were the founders?

If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson could return today to see America – the tax rates, the overreaching central government, the subservience of states to Washington, the non-limitations on the federal government – would they consider us free? Would they consider us independent?

Is American sovereignty and independence still worth a fight?

What are you willing to risk? What are you willing to sacrifice today in the name of freedom and independence?

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