-by Kurt Dugger-
“If voting changed anything they wouldn’t let us do it”-Mark Twain
On this upcoming day of Independence, let’s take a moment to reflect back on what it meant to the newly minted Americans way back in 1770-something.
Let’s start with something simple—our marriage. Prior to the mid 1800s, you didn’t need permission from your government to declare your devotion to someone you cared about. It was between you, your spouse, and God. Now we beg bureaucrats to determine who gets this “privilege” and the legal and financial benefits it entails.
What about education? At one time, we believed parents had absolute control of and responsibility for the education of their children. If a group wanted to build a school and hire educators, they figured out how to pay for it and made it happen. If the teachers didn’t measure up, they were excused and replaced. Excellent teachers were highly sought after and paid accordingly. Now you are required to pay for a bare minimum government education whether your children are receiving it or not. If you try to give your kids something better, you will still pay for government school in addition to any other program you adopt.
In the Late 1700s, a young teenager was expected to be able to take care of his or her family’s home, unsupervised, for several days. Now we panic if we see a 16-year-old “child” with a tool such as a pocket knife. Yet we can’t grasp why they are so irresponsible as they get older.
In those days, you would have been looked upon as reckless at best if you didn’t have a means to protect your family at all times. Being armed, even with just a hefty walking stick, was expected, because as free people, you owned your own life and were responsible for its safekeeping.
As a responsible adult you were required to work or create to earn a living. No one else was forced to support you.
We quickly built a reputation as a home for the “tired and poor, yearning to be free,” a safe haven from tyrants. America offered the opportunity to thrive, not a handout or guarantee of a “living wage.” As a result, we attracted strong minds and people with a relentless work ethic from all over the world. Those immigrants pushed this nation higher and faster than any tyrannical monarchy ever dreamed. Now you are trained to mistrust anyone who is different. We have been divided, so we have fallen.
Men fought a war to stop the British practice of “impressment,” forcing someone into the British military against his will. Since then we have given politicians the power to take our children at the age of eighteen and use them as they see fit. What does it say about someone who supports the draft but claims to mistrust those in government who enforce it on their sons and daughters (coming soon)?
“Eminent Domain” was called by its proper name, theft. Patients chose their own doctors. Farmers could grow what they wanted how they wanted without the fear of losing taxpayer-funded subsidies and taxpayer-funded crop insurance. Pastors spoke their hearts and minds without fear of losing tax-free status.
To be in debt was looked down upon. Now our system of currency is based on it. If we don’t go deeper into debt the whole thing will collapse. It is designed to function that way. That’s why inflation is built in and both major political parties increase spending every year without exception. The only change is what they spend it on.
A three percent tax in the 1700s caused enough uproar that men were willing to die to end it. Now your government takes more than they are entitled to by law straight from your paycheck before you even touch it. They make you feel better by giving you a “refund,” if you’re lucky. Their way of saying “thank you” for the interest-free loan you gave them all year. But, any mathematical errors you make in calculating this amount will result in fines for you, not them.
By all means, buy your fireworks and flags made by slave labor in a communist country. Have a parade, and attend grand speeches about the price of freedom. Then wake up on July 5, clean up the burnt bottle rockets, and go back to keeping up with the Kardashians.
Or use this July Fourth to understand something about your heritage. Take a few minutes to read over the Declaration of Independence in full. Consider the implications of those few pages. It wasn’t a country declaring that it wanted to be free to govern its own people. It was individuals declaring that rights do not come from any government—that those rights exist because you exist. The job of government is only to ensure you have the opportunity to exercise those rights.
What about you? Will you create your own freedom and improve yourself and your surroundings? Or will you argue with friends about which politician you want to control the reins of your harness for the next four years? If you still doubt the eloquent Mark Twain, quoted above, consider this. Congress has an approval rating in the single digits, over 90% of them will likely be reelected. Don’t let that dissuade you from putting your good name and vote behind anyone you’re proud to support. Just keep in mind that if you pin your hopes to a politician instead of your own hands, you’re likely to be disappointed.
Instead of your voice only being heard every two or four years, use every day to show your “leaders” you don’t need to be led. Be responsible. Make a budget and stick to it. Grow your own food if you can. When you shop, buy smart. Pick up an extra can here and there. Before long you’ll have a healthy supply of food you enjoy. Refuse to live paycheck to paycheck. Make time for your family, not watching other people live fake lives on TV every night. Do this and it won’t take long to make those “leaders” as irrelevant as they were meant to be.
Follow the link below to read the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html