This column by ACRU Chairman and CEO and CCPP founder and President Susan A. Carleson was published July 4, 2012 on Townhall.com.
Many Americans refer to July 4th as the Fourth of July, but earlier in our history, it was widely known as Independence Day.
As we celebrate the 236th anniversary of the day that the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence, we might consider going back to the original term. In 1776, Americans were bucking the authority of a faraway tyrannical power — King George III of England — who treated the colonists like second-class subjects.
Today, powerful elites in Washington, D.C. are bent on recasting America in a way that would make July 4th more accurately called Dependence Day. Many Americans are being tempted by the siren song of reliance upon government — but thankfully, we are seeing many more bent on resisting this dangerous idea and reversing it.
The shocking decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 to uphold the patently unconstitutional ObamaCare is re-lighting the torch of liberty against unjust taxation and dangerous concentrations of power.
Americans understand that we cannot depend on courts to secure our freedoms. We have to do it ourselves and to elect public officials who respect the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is among those leading the way. When the politicized U.S. Justice Department under Eric H. Holder Jr. tried to stop Florida from removing illegal aliens, dead people and others ineligible to vote from its registration rolls, Gov. Scott ordered the process to continue. Since then, he has announced that Florida will not levy the ObamaCare tax and will work to repeal this unjust law. Like the nation’s founders, who refused to yield to what they rightly regarded as an illegitimate overreach of power, Gov. Scott and millions of American citizens are girding for a fight.
America is an exceptional country because it was founded by men who had profound spiritual insights about man’s nature and sought ways to limit the power of governments created by men. As illuminated through the lens of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution protects life, property and the rule of law.
Written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration has inspired freedom movements all over the world. As we commemorate Independence Day, we must recommit ourselves to our own free republic, recalling Mr. Jefferson’s words:
“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.”
A just government neither violates the conscience of its citizens nor fosters dependency.
As Ronald Reagan explained in his farewell address to the nation,
“Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: ‘We the People.’ ‘We the People’ tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. ‘We the People’ are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ‘We the People’ tell the government what it is allowed to do. ‘We the People’ are free.”
Happy Independence Day!