Americans take the day the Second Continental Congress approved the Committee of Five’s suitably revised “Declaration of Independence” as the marker for the national day of celebration, “Independence Day.”
A lot has happened in the more than two centuries since the secession of the 13 colonies from their overseas overlords. Much good, but far too much evil. And even the complexion at the inception was less admirable than we usually admit.
A friend of mine on Facebook jested, saying
Today is the day we celebrate a bunch of radical libertarians who decided to build their own damn roads.
I responded: “I wish that were true.”
But the The Matter of America is a sadder, less wholesome tale. The men dubbed the “Founding Fathers” by Warren Gamaliel Harding were ambitious men forever sidelined by the British Empire. They sought room for advancement. They sought power, in government. That surely was their shared reason for the great secession that they called a “revolution.” But they had excuses, too: freedom. Like many people on the outs, they demanded freedom. But, like many people who demand freedom, when they got “in” they practiced the accumulation of power.
This trend, which I noticed in my elders of the Baby Boom generation — hippy types demanding freedom, man, but when in office were most concerned about the size and composition of your shop signage, and billboards, and “other eyesores” — is almost universal. It’s why the dirigiste “progressives” have become just another interest group for gentrification, as can be seen in Blue State low/no-growth rates.
The crimes of the United States Government are manifold. Celebrating “Independence Day” is best observed by eating a hotdog garnished with wood chips: we should feel a need to gag, spit, cough up the whole menu.
I have long treated Independence Day as a personal day, where I remind myself of my ideological independence from the mass of Americans, who still (with some winces and coughing) can talk with pious reverence about “the land of the free.”
We are only partially free. We are everywhere enchained. The government we are stuck with is careening to the edge of insolvency, threatening to take the whole world order down with it. The welfare state is a joke, and the military overreach destabilizes not merely the world but also Americans’ own security. And the police, allegedly the most useful segment of government, seem bent on adopting police-state prerogatives — with too many “police professionals” routinely ignoring, flouting, every element of the Bill of Rights.