How to Celebrate the Fourth of July




From Townhall Magazine July feature, "How to Celebrate the Fourth of July," by Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College:

Two hundred thirty-six years ago this Fourth of July, 57 men signed the document that created the American republic. They represented a people of about 3 million grouped in a series of 13 colonies along the eastern seaboard of the United States. They were all wanted men, sought by the commander of the British forces in North America for sedition and treason. He had behind him the resources of the greatest military power on earth. They had behind them the bare beginnings of a government, hardly anything of an army, but something mighty in the way of an idea.

This nation had therefore a desperate beginning. Who but the boldest could believe that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were laying the foundation of the greatest constitutional republic in history? Now that republic has spread across the continent, and its influence reaches around the world. Its population has increased a hundredfold. Its Constitution has provided government to a free people constantly growing in size and territory, each new state joining the union as an equal, its citizens never subjects, its people ever free. There is no story close to it in the history of man.

Statesmen and thinkers have attributed the strength and goodness of the nation to the principles in the Declaration. Many others have denied this. Statesmen and thinkers have proclaimed the Constitution a just and beautiful implementation of the principles of the Declaration. Many others have denied this. These denials are more common in times of crisis in our country. They are very common now.

It is a sign of our time that the sitting chief executive of our country eschews the permanent meaning of the Declaration and the idea of fixity in the Constitution. In the “Audacity of Hope,” Barack Obama writes: “Implicit in [the Constitution’s] structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or “ism,” any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course. …”

Obama has stuck to this theme during his presidency. This May at Barnard College, he proclaimed the great virtue of the Constitution to be its openness to change: “It allowed for protests, movements, and the assimilation of new ideas that would repeatedly, decade after decade, change the world—a constant forward movement that continues to this day.” There is neither form nor firmness. All is fluid, according to Obama, and this liberates us to do whatever we will.

America has gone very far down the trail that Obama is blazing. Right now, the expenditures of all government—state, local and federal—exceed 40 percent of the gross domestic product. If trends continue, the public sector will soon grow larger than the private sector, and then the government will have more resources than those it governs.
Read the rest at townhall.com
Posted on July 4, 2012 .