While watching the customary fireworks this year, my mother-in-law said someone on the radio had asked why we all call it the Fourth of July instead of Independence Day. It occurred to me that the powers that be might prefer that nomenclature because it prevents We The People from pondering the true meaning of independence. And the fact that we no longer have any. So I am officially renaming this holiday for what it truly is. From now on I will celebrate Dependence Day.
I suspect our Founding Fathers viewed the fireworks on July 4, 1777 with great joy because they truly had something to celebrate. But now, over two hundred and thirty years hence, it is clear that the cause for celebration is gone. For all we’ve managed to do is trade one tyrannical and oppressive government for another. The fact that it is a government of our own design is of little consequence. Moreover, we, as a people, are far more dependent on this new government than we ever were on King George.
In our nation’s earliest history, a man was truly independent. If he wanted to work his land and sell his crops or livestock, he could do so without first seeking permission from the FDA, the EPA, or the Department of Agriculture. If he wanted to start his own business and become wealthy, he could do so without interference from the Department of Labor, or having his income confiscated by the IRS. If he fell on hard times he did not rely on government to support him, but rather on the generosity and charity of his neighbors who were not concerned with how they were going to pay their own taxes or other government-imposed fees.
This culture of dependence will not be easy to excise for it has been growing for many decades and is now well established. So well established, in fact, that most who read this will wonder what I am talking about. The notion of living free, without the government involved in every aspect of one’s life, is completely foreign to many. And frightening to many more. I’m sure there were those who were frightened as well by the talk of revolution by our Founding Fathers. But none of us today look back and fault them for their actions. To the contrary, we celebrate their courage and dedication to the principles of freedom. They were called to revolt by little more than a king who refused to redress their grievances and taxes that amounted to something less than three percent. This was enough to spark revolution.
Today we suffer under a tax burden above thirty percent (for most of us) and a government that has completely forgotten its First Amendment obligation to answer the petitions of its people. Is this not enough to spark yet another revolution? It certainly would be, if We The People were not so dependent on the government we created, that no longer has any moral right to exist.
So Happy Dependence Day! I would encourage you to spend this day thinking about all the ways that you and perhaps your friends and neighbors are dependent upon our government. And then, rather than celebrating that fact, start thinking of ways to change it.