Today is officially America’s 236th birthday, and while I do not feel at all like celebrating in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning Obamacare and the Obama Administration’s attack on religion (contraception), I bid you “happy birthday.”
The Declaration of Independence – that august document we celebrate today – states, in part:
“…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
The grand experiment was the belief that men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.
Unfortunately in America today, 236 years later, only 17% of American voters surveyed believe government in America has the consent of the governed.
How did we get to this point? Where did it all begin and then fall so terribly apart?
The royal treasury in England was virtually empty in the 1760s and 1770s due to the 7 Years War, or as it was known in America, the French and Indian War, and King George III along with his parliament believed the American colonies should help pay the bill. But when the taxes were passed the colonists bucked.
It would take another tumultuous decade from passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 until the shot heard around the world in Lexington, and its repeal in 1766 before independence was declared in 1776. But declared it was and the rest is history.
There were many British loyalists in the colonies at the time of revolution who no doubt believed that Americans could, and should, just pony up and “pay their fair share.” After all, much of the costly French and Indian War was fought on American soil with British troops and resources defending the American colonies. Shouldn’t Americans, who had the highest standard of living in the world at the time, have just broken out their wallets and paid for the common good?
And what about that cutsie little catch phrase, no taxation without representation? Elected or not, the colonists were represented by the British Parliament and subjects of the crown. Weren’t they represented every bit as much as the average British citizen? Why all the fuss, death and destruction over taxes that could easily have been paid and a legitimate argument made that it should have been paid?
How much of a fuss was it? According to Shmoop.com:
Total American battle casualties in the Revolutionary War: 6,824 (estimates range between this figure and 4,435; some 90% of them came from the Continental Army)
Ratio of American deaths to the free white male population (aged sixteen to 45) who served in the war: 1 in 20 (this would be the equivalent of about 3 million people today)
Total Americans wounded in the Revolutionary War: 8,445
Total American deaths from disease in the Revolutionary War: 10,000 (approximation)
Total Americans who died in British prisons in the Revolutionary War: 8,500
Total Americans captured in the Revolutionary War: 18,152
As I’ve written before, I did not know for sure until fairly recently that I had five direct ancestor who were Continental Soldiers; George, Thomas, Benjamin, William and Hezekiah Bussey. In fact, I only learned this news when I was doing some genealogy research during the 2008 election cycle. But once I learned the news it comingled with my already strong sense of patriotism and really gave me a strong connection to my nation and her revolutionary past.
I had always know that my family’s military service to America went back several generations and I assumed it went even farther back than the relatives I could name, but didn’t know for sure. Once learning the men’s names and seeing their signatures on old records for pensions or giving testimony of others who had served, however, I felt a special responsibility to them and what they wrought at such a high price.
Now, in the year of Obama two-thousand and twelve, I lament the state of our individual liberty and our nation.
Nobody can convince me that in America today we have anything resembling that which our Founders birthed. I know that America and the world have changed but I insist they change in context. Instead of modern society devolving into less individual liberty and more government power it should evolve into additional freedom and less government power.
Our Founders, as is widely quoted these days, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for an ideal and trust me, they had considerable fortunes. With the highest living standard in the world at the time, they had much to risk versus seemingly little to gain. And even though they could have easily paid the Stamp Tax in the 1760s or the later tea tax they revolted nonetheless over the principle of the thing.
And while our Founders, the men who gave the world the freest, richest, strongest and most benevolent nation in history, risked their very lives in 1776 for a simple idea – freedom – most Americans today are afraid to risk being embarrassed at a cocktail party or even jailed for opposition to tyranny and oppression.
Contrary to the spirit of our Founders we now have American citizens who demand the bread of labor from another’s mouth – personal financial security provided by the king rather than individual responsibility and the freedom to pursue happiness.
In modern America we say “we need the omnipotent government to ensure fairness because that man has more than his fair share; that man has more than he needs,” instead of saying I’ll risk all that I have so that you may have a chance to succeed on your own.
In modern America we have transitioned from the individual unalienable rights bestowed upon us by our Creator to shared “rights” that cause others to work for our perception of happiness instead of our freedom. Name it anything you will but at the end of the day it is collectivism – the exact opposite of who and what we were intended.
Instead of a government that protects our Liberty we have a government that dictates what it believes is good for us and then uses the force of the government sword in order to demand compliance.
We have a government that has diluted our national sovereignty and individual liberty; refused its assent to our laws; bypassed our representatives; admonished and ignored our governors; surrendered our sovereignty and laws to international interests; confiscated our property based on lies and the misapplication of science and law; steals increasing amounts of our personal property for illegal redistribution and worse.
At the conclusion of the American Revolution and after the admitted failure of the Articles of Confederation, Benjamin Franklin reportedly walked out of the Constitutional Convention and was asked by a woman if we had a republic or a monarchy and Franklin reportedly answered, “A republic ma’am, if you can keep it.” Well, we haven’t kept it but instead have devolved into an oligarchy.
As a candidate President Barack Obama pledged the “fundamental transformation of America,” but the dirty little secret is that he is the endgame and not the beginning of the progressive revolution in America.
Just as the original American Revolution took decades from beginning to end, this current revolution began in the early 20th Century, exponentially accelerated in the 1930s under FDR and began the endgame in the 1960s.
Rather than musket and cannon, the weapons in this revolution are the schools through the teachers’ unions, the bastardization of science with issues such as climate change, hubris and greed in the form of illegal federal social welfare programs, artificial inflation through the Federal Reserve, a Marxist-based progressive tax system, propaganda in the news and entertainment media and more.
I celebrate the original American Revolution and our Founding Fathers but today I must also lament the sorry state of the America they birthed. We have squandered their hard work and insulted their names and memories.