Reflections on Independence Day

Last Friday was the Fourth of July. America is now 238 years old, and looks to be on shaky ground. Look at how intrusive out government has become.

 

  • NSA is probably reading this right now, likely tracks your cell phone movement and collects scads of metadata about all of us, whether we are Americans or foreigners, pose a threat to the US government or not.
  • The IRS has used its powers to harass and intimidate conservative groups who oppose the expansion of government. They depend on having a reputation of neutrality to get their job done, and are in serious danger of loosing that. And for those who say they also targeted liberal groups? That has been bunked.
  • Obama rules (not governs) by fiat and executive order. He flouts our laws. Just a partial list includes Fast and Furious, Benghazi, delays in Obamacare. The list goes on.

 

However, I believe that we are nowhere near the tension of the 1850s or the 1770s. In the 1850s, we already had Bleeding Kansas. Where is the state today that has an undeclared civil war going on? In 1773, we had the original Tea Party. There has been no Boston Massacre, no Raid on Harper’s Ferry, no widespread violent civil unrest, unless you count the Occupy Movement. For all the gridlock and inaction in Washington, DC, we still have a functioning society. It is breaking down, but is not broken yet. As a people, we are horribly divided, and cannot seem to talk to each other. We can still turn the tide.

 

And it starts with you and me. It starts with all of us. Become informed about the events around us. Do not depend on just CNN, or Fox. Look at the other site. For me, that means I check out Mother Jones, MSNBC, New York Times and so on. If you are a liberal, go check out Instapundit, Drudge, or Breitbart. Just knowing what the other side thinks is important goes a long way.

 

Second, don’t resort to name calling. If you disagree with someone, don’t shout ‘racist’ ‘Nazi’ or ‘Communist’ at them. Look at their arguments and argue with their points. Name calling is the last resort of people with out an argument. It is important to remember that for most of us, we are sincere in our beliefs. People can disagree without being disagreeable.

 

Third, become civically active. Don’t just sit and complain. Go and vote. Volunteer where you see a need. Make a habit of talking to your neighbors. Don’t be a hermit. There is a saying, familiarity breeds contempt. I do not find this to be true, in fact, the opposite is more true. Ignorance breeds contempt and fear. Fear leads to hate, and hate leads to the Dark Side.

 

The Founders were ordinary men who lived in extraordinary times, and accomplished extraordinary things because they stepped up to the challenge. We do not need to risk our ‘lives, fortunes, and our sacred honor’ to keep our country free. It is enough to be civil and active.

 

Happy birthday, America, and may God grant you many more.

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