|Old Glory - Tehachapi, California|
Happy Independence Day!
This is a special day where our forefathers decided that they were tired of living under the rule of a large tyrannical government. Instead, they had this wild idea that people could govern themselves much better than any king could. They declared that people on this land had a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
To sign the Declaration of Independence was to put one's life on the line. Everyone who inked their John Hancock on the document (including John himself) knew that they may not come out of this alive, and if they did they might have lost all of their wealth and possessions--after all, they were standing up to a powerful nation. But, if they were successful, the freedom gained would be well worth all of their sacrifices.
Sadly, over the centuries, our independence has slowly slipped away. We have allowed (what was supposed to be) a small central government to grow, gaining in size and power by taking it away from local governments. The Founding Fathers clearly laid out the scope of the centralized government, saying that everything not specified belonged to state and local governments, as well as the people. But what once belonged to "us" has been taken by "them" because the central government promised to do all of these things for us. We gave it away, trading freedom for security. Now we find ourselves once again under the rule of a large government, without the liberty that we could have had. We are at the mercy of powerful rulers. Our government is no longer "of the people, by the people, for the people" but is controlled by elitists who think that they know better than "the common folk."
We still have more freedom than most countries. We still have more opportunities than most countries. This is still a great nation, a wonderful place to live. That is what I'm celebrating today. But I'm also thinking about what we gave up, and I'm wondering what we are leaving to our children and what the end consequences will be.