“[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is in the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE, PEACE. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.” John Adams
Independent (n) meaning; not subject to the authority of another, not dependent on or part of a larger group. Not influenced by others. Acting as to manage one’s own affairs, self-reliant.
Independence (n) meaning; the quality of being independent.
There are independent people, and independent thinkers. Societies are not necessarily independent, but they can be made up of independent people. Nations are independent if they are not part of a colony under another nation’s rule. America won her independence through a series of events, from openly declaring their Independence from Britain, to fighting for it during the Revolutionary War.
One of my favorite parts of history are the events surrounding the War of 1812. What began as a war between the French and British, soon spilled over, spread across the Atlantic and touched North America. It stretched from Canada who was still under British rule to the burning of Washington’s Capital, a short but intense battle at a fort in Baltimore and even down to New Orleans.
Growing up in Canada, instead of learning about places such as Fort McHenry and people like Francis Scott Key, I learned about the Battle of York and Laura Secord. I grew up singing Oh Canada every morning in school, and reciting God Save the Queen. While I am proud of my heritage, as there is as much of a frontier determination in the Canadians of the past as there are found in the history of America’s people, something about America always drew a desire in me to know more. I always loved the American Anthem, and everything American, although I was too young to understand why.
The more I learn about the Founding of this nation I now call home, I understand a little more now that it has always been about the people. Those early Americans who desired freedom from the control of the British Crown, burned with an independent spirit; not just individually, but as a society.
Not all shared the desire, but for those who did, they gave so much to obtain it and even more to keep it. It was the same spirit and determination approximately four decades later when the people with thoughts of the Revolution still fresh, feared their freedoms were in peril once again by the same Empire they had won them from. The Founders had given their wisdom to the new Nation’s Independent spirit in their laws, enshrined in the Constitution. Their prayers, debates, and their personal thoughts showed that they had hopes, yet also a fear of a time when the people of America would lose everything they had given so much for, that all they had wrought would be stripped away if the people ever grew dependent on the government.
A woman once asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Benjamin Franklin has been attributed as replying, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Today, our nation is in a more precarious place than ever before. When people, our educators, and so many of our elected officials included believe that America is a democracy, I have to repeat somewhat Franklin’s words- America is a Constitutional Republic, can we keep it?
Our founders saw the tyranny that a majority could inflict on a minority. James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10 that the Constitution was partly a solution to the fear of a majority ruling. The founders set up a constitutional republic with checks and balances in the three branches of the federal government, and a system where power is split between the federal and state governments, which protected, even a small minority. Thomas Jefferson said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Our founders had wisdom to know the differences between a democracy and a Constitutional Republic.
It seems as though America has come to a point where we see an ever-growing government dictating to the people, instead of doing the will of the people.
We have a government in which the current administration and many of the elite politicians have gone over, around, under and through the Constitution to pass laws which are clearly unconstitutional and the checks and balances are in danger of being demolished for good.
We have a government which has been aiding and abetting sworn enemies during a time of war, when our soldiers are in harm’s way, they have been willing to give up on the Nation’s sovereignty, attempting to reward people who have broken the Nation’s laws, who attempted to take away the people’s Second Amendment rights, who are severely restricting the people’s rights under the First Amendment with freedoms of speech and religion and even of the press. They have also been using bully tactics to go after those whom exercise their rights to peacefully assemble and redress their government, and ignoring the people’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
We have under the current administration a government forcing the majority into a government run healthcare system, which will be implemented by non-elected bureaucrats. Our government has welcomed questionable individuals who have ties with terrorist organizations, which when a few elected officials had the courage to question the reasoning of placing these people in highly sensitive government positions, were vilified by members of both parties.
Our nation is in peril from within and without. Our Founders foresaw this as a possibility when James Madison said, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” And this also from Madison, “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
On this Independence Day, it is my hope that people will think and understand what true Independence means. Over 200 years ago, our founders fought, and fought again for Independence from a tyrannical government who refused to represent the people. Brave men and women have been fighting to keep us free from tyranny ever since. We must not allow our own government to oppress our Independence. We must continue to speak out, to use whatever powers and rights we have to remind those in our government that they are to do the will of the people, that they work for us, we do not work for them. We must behave as employers, giving them notice to adhere to the oaths they swore, to uphold the Constitution, for if they refuse, they will be fired. Our Independence depends on it. Our men and women in uniform and all of those who have served in the past to keep our freedoms, we must keep for them. They deserve nothing less. God Bless our Troops and Veterans this Independence Day and every day. Help us preserve what they have given to us.
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” Samuel Adams