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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Remember the importance of Independence Day

Posted Monday, July 2, 2012, at 3:53 PM

On July 4, 1776 our Founding Fathers did a very courageous thing.

They stood up against King George -- the King of England -- and proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence their freedom from the tyranny and religious persecution that was being perpetrated upon them.

Much like our forefathers, we need people of courage today to stand up to a government which wants to take away our liberty and our God-given rights that have been granted to us in both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Just like our Founding Fathers rose up and took a stance against what was forced upon them by King George, as citizens we must take a stand against this out of control government, which has expanded its power and control over the American people especially over the past few years.

Those are not so radical words, but call for common sense action.

We take control peacefully at the ballot box by knowing what the candidates stand for at the local, state and national levels before we show up on election day. We know the issues and the positions of those seeking office and make wise choices.

We must not let those who control our government transform our Republic into some type of European socialist United States.

Let us not forget the wise words of former President Calvin Coolidge who said, "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter.

If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.

If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people."

Our country has made great progress toward fulfilling the promise of the Founding Fathers ---- equality for all. No longer are white men of property the only Americans to enjoy the freedoms of our democracy. Women, as of 1920 when women's suffrage prevailed, and minorities, since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, enjoy the power and privilege of being an American.

Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence ---- the words that have changed human history and the reason we jubilantly celebrate the Fourth of July:

"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."

This country still offers opportunities not available in many other places around the globe.

True, things are not perfect.

We all know someone out of a job. We have our homeless. A dollar bill simply does not buy as much as it used too.

But I am grateful for being born and raised in this great country of ours.

If you don't think this is a great country coveted by others, then why have we had people for many decades leaving their homelands and families, risking their lives and coming to America? Those immigrants were many of our own forefathers.

As we celebrate on Independence Day, let us give thanks that we do live in the United States of America.

Even though we have strayed from many of the ideas and ideals that our Founding Fathers avowed in both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, we still are a free nation and as citizens of the greatest country on earth we have much to be thankful for.

God Bless America.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I'm not sure what religious persecution you're referring to in 1776. That's not in the Declaration--this is why some colonists came to found colonies originally, not why they rebelled later.

I'm also not sure what "tyranny" you're referring to. If you're like those who claim the new health care law is tyranny, then you're mistaken. A law passed by both Houses of Congress (elected by us), signed by the President (elected by us), and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court (nominated and confirmed by people elected by us) is not tyranny. That's the government deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed through the mechanisms set forth in our Constitution. Ask people who lived through Mao's China, Saddam's Iraq, Hitler's Germany, or who are now in Asad's Syria what tyranny is if you're not sure.

Further, you don't see people from places with universal health care (Israel, Germany, the UK, France, Canada, Japan, etc., in other words, the free world) flocking here anymore.

On the other hand, I have to agree with one of your last thoughts. I'm also glad to have been born in this great country, and I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to serve in its armed forces. There are still plenty of places in which you couldn't print your opinion and I wouldn't be able to safely state mine.

-- Posted by Jarhead98 on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 9:23 PM

"Powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the States by the Constitution are reserved to the States or the people."

Doesn't matter. Forcing people to purchase a particular product and fining them if they choose not to is unconstitutional.

-- Posted by zenthias on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 6:35 AM

You're entitled to your opinion, but the Supreme Court says that it is, and as a point of law that's all that matters.

-- Posted by Jarhead98 on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 10:14 AM

Actually the only thing that the Supreme Court ruled on was whether or not it was constitutional for Congress to impose a tax on those who do not purchase insurance. As Chief Justice John Roberts said, the Court's purpose does not include verifying the validity or soundness of legislation or elements within them, but rather to ensure that said questioned elements are within the Government's delegated (constitutional) powers. The ruling doesn't have any bearing on the soundness of the legislation as a whole, but only that one element. In fact, you wording "Forcing people to purchase a particular product and fining them..." is unconstitutional. That is why Congress must impose a tax rather than a fine, because a fine is unconstitutional based on the Commerce Clause in the Constitution.

The tyranny he refers to is the harsh treatment of the Colonies by the crown with regard to commerce and rights. The Crown, in an attempt to protect the Empire's precious metal supply, passed laws requiring that gold and silver not be allowed to exit the UK isles proper. This made trade in the colonies difficult due to lack of materials for minting, and Spanish currency was often used because of availability. Later, as dissent spread and the Crown became concerned by revolutionary musings, taxes were levied, goods were withheld, properties were seized, and in some cases, people were detained without charge and trail, despite those rights being outlined in the Magna Carta and later documents. Disillusioned by this unfair treatment, the Founders sought to create a government free of "the heavy hand of tyranny". Tyranny was in fact a word used frequently both in personal writings and in official documents. The statement that colonists rebelled earlier and came to the new world is incorrect. The New World projects and settlements were funded by the Crown. They left England due to pressure from the Church of England, and didn't wish to rebel. They took the commissioned trip under the hope that the rules of the Anglo Church wouldn't be rigorously enforced.

I agree that this is a great nation. Very few have the opportunity to live in a country we enjoy, and we should all cherish, uphold, and defend it if necessary. I do believe, however, that laws such as the healthcare law would have the Framers livid. They believed in small government, not a government that legislates our every day life. It can be referenced in their memoirs and personal letters.

-- Posted by Tyler VanDeventer on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 8:18 PM


I think we're in some agreement. The question is whether or not the government can compel a person to either buy insurance or pay the government some money. Call it a fine, penalty, tax, whatever. The effect is still the same--you pay some money. The answer is yes, that is constitutional (for the reasons you outlined-the govt. has the power to tax). It may or may not be bad policy, but it is not an unconstitutional thing to do.

I think you're misunderstanding part of the points I was trying to make. Mr. Schneider refers to both tyranny and religious persecution as reasons for the War of Independence. I don't disagree with the tyranny portion of that statement, just the religious persecution part. I know quite well that they used tyranny to describe the British government of the time. I didn't say the colonists rebelled earlier over religious liberty. I said that some came to found colonies earlier for that reason.

What I really object to in the editorial is the use of the word tyranny to describe our current government. Throwing around words like this (as well as treason, murder, rape, war, etc.) cheapens them in my view. It's just as lazy as when folks did it with President Bush. Let's save tyranny for the actual article--denying citizens a trial by jury, preventing free and fair elections, ignoring habeus corpus, etc.

I've also found that the Founders' words are a lot like Scripture: each side of an issue can produce quotes to buttress their respective arguments.

-- Posted by Jarhead98 on Fri, Jul 6, 2012, at 8:44 AM

I'd vote for you Tyler VanDeventer to replace Roberts on the high court, if such activity is somehow allowed. That's the best summary I ever read, and understood. Great country; too many screwy rules. Basic crimes should stay on books; everything else needs to be rewritten. Different times, different people and definitely different ideas. But I digress.

-- Posted by Paul on Sun, Jul 8, 2012, at 10:31 AM

tyr·an·ny noun, plural tyr·an·nies.

1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.

I say the use of the word tyranny to describe our governement is perfectly acceptable.

-- Posted by zenthias on Mon, Jul 9, 2012, at 6:50 AM

My apologies for tardiness. If you stick by the history in your last comment, then we agree on that much. However, I will digress to more important points.

I agree that tyranny is a word we should reserve for only the worst of governmental transgressions. As you said, one only has to look to Al-Assad, Hussein, and even Hitler to genuinely see what tyranny is capable of. However, I will readily affirm that our Goverment has transitioned from the child of the Framers' minds to the very thing they feared. I don't believe that there is confusion or misconception; they were in fact very clear about how they felt. I could post numerous quotes, but it is more convincing for the interested party to research them on their own. Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Franklin, and many others would suffice. They believed in small government that was state centered and that left the true power to the people and protected them from powerful central government.

It is interesting to note that the Framers never put anything in the Consititution about healthcare, even though healthcare (albeit in a primitive form) existed at the time. There were doctors, and said doctors charged for services. They did not think the (small) government they planned should interfere with something personal like healthcare or education. These were all products of later generations of politicians.

To reiterate, if you look at both offical statements and those within personal memoirs, they did not intend for government to have the hold it does.

-- Posted by Tyler VanDeventer on Mon, Jul 9, 2012, at 8:58 PM

Paul-Thank you very much.

-- Posted by Tyler VanDeventer on Mon, Jul 9, 2012, at 9:01 PM

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