Tomorrow is the 236th birthday of our great country. On 4 July 1776, our founding fathers put their signatures on a document declaring independence from an oppressive monarchy in England. Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence and changed the course of our history. Without these brave men being willing to put their comfortable lives in jeopardy to stand up against the rule of King George III, the United States would have never become the great country that it is. Once these men signed the document they became enemies of the king. Why would anyone take that kind of chance? After all, the British military was considered the strongest in the world. There is no way a ragtag army of volunteers should have been able to defeat them. Never underestimate the resolve of men fighting for what is right!
We are often told that the Boston Tea Party was the impetus that tipped the colonies to reach a breaking point. They would no longer allow the British monarchy to oppress them. They were willing to fight for their freedom, even against seemingly insurmountable odds. What prompted such a willingness to fight under these conditions? It was the Tea Act. Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a number of reasons, but the primary reason was that they believed it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. Their displeasure led to the colonists protesting by destroying three shiploads of taxed tea in December 1773.
The protest of the Tea Act caused such a stir among the colonists that they knew they needed to take a stand or forever be under the monarchy’s thumb. We have all read the following words from the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
These men may or may not have understood the significance of what they were doing. They signed and pledged their lives, their fortune and their honor. Five of these men were captured and tortured before they died. Twelve had their home ransacked and burned. Nine fought and died from wounds or hardships from the Revolutionary War. Their sacrifice led to us having a free and independent America. We didn’t just fight the British. We were part of the British empire which means we fought our own government. Too many in our country today take our liberties for granted. We owe a debt of gratitude to these patriots. After all, freedom isn’t free.
I wonder what these gentlemen would think if they saw what the United States has become. We have a national debt that has the potential to destroy our economy and it’s getting worse every day. We have an out of control federal government that increasingly intrudes into more and more facets of our personal lives. We have an oppressive tax system that punishes success and rewards mediocrity. We now have a Supreme Court that feels like their job is to do everything possible to uphold a law rather than rule strictly on its constitutionality. We have a president that will take the oath of office to ” execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” then use executive order to unilaterally decide to not enforce our laws. Our founding fathers would not recognize the country they risked everything for. I believe they would be very disappointed in what they see.
Our federal government is becoming more oppressive and power-hungry every day. Where will it end? Unless we do something, the United States that became the greatest nation in the history of the world will fade away into the history books. Maybe it’s time that “we the people” take back our country and our government. For the future of the United States, we must get back to a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” It’s been said, whether fact or legend, that John Hancock signed his name so large on the Declaration of Independence to make sure “fat old King George” could read it without his spectacles.
I think it’s time for us to all sign our name with extra-large letters and tell Washington that we’ve had enough. We don’t need politicians telling us what we can eat, meddling in our healthcare, dictating education requirements, etc. We seem to forget that there is a 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that simply states,
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Short and simple. You would think any idiot could understand it. Not so fast! Although this amendment clearly states that the federal government only has those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Somehow over the years, the power-hungry politicians in Washington have figured out how to usurp more and more of the powers reserved for the states. It has to stop. For the sake of the country, it had better stop soon. If not, we need to seriously consider declaring our independence from another more oppressive government!