The Fourth of July, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve (just in case you forgot how we count years from a reference point of some increasingly less famous religious dude sometimes referred to as “Christ”). You do realize that is what the “Fourth of July” means, right? Most Americans seem interested because it is fashionable to do so, and not with true interest or conviction, especially when it comes to connecting the Founding Fathers’ ideals to modern day politics (if your argument is that it is a different nation now, then you are only paying attention to the “rule of the people clause” while abusing the liberty and freedom clauses). One does not need to be a political science expert, or straight “A” student in school to understand one’s roles and responsibilities as an American citizen. Hint: do not parrot back a few quasi-intelligent lines from a Facebook post or summarize one political satirist and call oneself a caring American. On a side note, I do encourage any one of my three readers to take the Hillsdale College Constitution 101 course. Trust me, it is so easy that even a Liberal can understand it. Maybe. Back on topic. My job here is just to be somewhat entertaining to both of my readers (yeah, I lost one already in case you have been keeping count from earlier in this post) and hope that I did my part to spread The Message. On America’s 236th birthday anniversary, it is important to not gloss over what this day really means. Too many of us publicly acknowledge that the Fourth of July is important, while privately only caring about the day because it gives us a day off from work, a reason to ingest metric tons of hotdogs, and a neat fireworks show. That is what I mean by “bien pensant”, a person who accepts an idea without giving it critical thought, because it is the right thing or fashionable ideology to publicly espouse and support. Without delving into the history of Independence Day (you can Google that yourself…wait…let me Google that for you), here is what Independence Day means, at least to this Aerospace Cubicle Engineer.
Freedom. Exemption from control by the controlling majority. Yes, the dual-edge sword of freedom. We are free to screw up America, or create laws to prevent ourselves from screwing up America even further. We have the freedom to exclude others from the same freedoms of the voting majority (that is what we call democracy, folks), while giving the minority the freedom to challenge the majority and fight for its own freedoms (that is what we call a republic, folks…pay attention, this will be on the test). On the first order, America is defined by its freedoms. On the second order– the first derivative of freedom, as I like to call it–America is defined by the struggle by the minority to recoup the freedoms taken from it by the majority. The third order, or second derivative, is commitment, understanding, and appreciation of said freedom. America is not just the land of the free, but also the land of free to **** up its own freedoms, forget the definition of freedom, or merely pretend to acknowledge freedom as it collectively engorges itself with fireworks, cursory flag waving, and overcooked hot dogs (get ’em before they become illegal, like the 32 oz soda in New York). On the other hand, maybe there is some hope that my one reader will heed this message and take it to heart. (Did you notice that you have the freedom to stop reading this mindless drivel? You are now the only reader of this blog entry. Congratulations.) I can only hope that America will regain its commitment to itself as a free nation, not for the sake of freedom, but for the sake of a new generation that has been long lambasted as the uncaring, lost generation of me, me, me. Freedom ends when it encroaches upon the freedom of others, unless the minority ceases to stop fighting for its own freedom.
Liberty. The rights and privileges granted to all mankind, without definition, restriction, or control by the government or the majority or perceived plurality. That philosophical little section of Declaration of Independence speaks not of the “freedoms” taken from America by the King (King George III, not Elvis Presley), but the inalienable rights of all mankind, whether granted by God, or not by God. The liberties that mankind has somehow, for the most part, agreed upon as being the rights of all humans and Liberals should never be allowed to be dictated to us, for they should be commonly held by all mankind (yes, I guess Liberals and Justin Bieber can be included…is that redundant?). Not all people can list the same liberties on a piece of paper (or on some notes app on the iPad…for those of you who shun paper, pencil, analog clocks, and old fashioned technology that will survive the Zombie Apocalypse), but we can pretty much agree that Americans knowingly or unknowingly agree that the liberties generally described in the Declaration of Independence and expressly spelled out in the Constitution are among America’s most cherished ones. Note that “democracy” is not listed anywhere in the philosophies of the Founding Fathers, for democracy in and of itself can be the plurality that dictates to the minority without protecting the rights of the minority. “Conceived in liberty, not democracy.” These liberties (Which ones? Let me Google that for you…) are envied by humans, Frenchmen and Justin Biebers around the world, and should not be forgotten on July the 5th when America goes back to work and brain-dumps all the important stuff about Independence Day–hot dogs, fireworks, and a day off from work. EDIT: note the tongue-in-cheek reference to France and Justin Bieber. Read the comments below for an entertaining look at man’s inability to understand poorly written sarcasm.
Independence. America was forged under a rebellion, just as a teenager’s freedom from the oppressive mom and dad (nowadays, prostitute mom and abusive stepfather) is forged as the teenager gets a job at McDonalds, experiments with drugs, and gets tattoos…but I digress… The original intent of America is for the people to define this nation, not the oppressive tyranny. America has the freedom to revolt and begin anew when the sanctity of independence is impugned–independence as a free nation, or independence of the free people. In recent times, we the people have allowed government to re-interpret these definitions for us by being very liberal with the interpretation of the Law of the Land. At what point do we cease to be independent, and become dependent wards of the government?
In summary… just kidding. I offer you, the sole reader of this blog, no summary. If this blog incites you to action, then I hope you research for yourself what it means to be an American, a lover of freedom, liberty, and American independence. I hope this is only the beginning of your quest to be a free thinker in society, a thinker whose thoughts cannot be summarized in one paragraph, one blog, or one Tweet of 140 characters or less.
Additional reading: [VIDEO]