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. -Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
There was once a group of men who saw on the horizon the potential for a new kind of government. One that was ruled by reason, not desire. These men chose to put their very lives and that of their families on the line for a slim chance that the world would one day know freedom. A society ruled by moral choices and compassion for any and all who were oppressed. It was understood that this change came with great responsibility, not only to those who were freed from tyranny, but also to the world that watched, admired and hoped. There were men in that very room, as they signed that declaration of their freedom, that had intentions to steer this new American venture back in the direction of tyrannical control that could in some way benefit them; to rise up on this new-found liberty and contain its growth to only the men of their choosing. Sadly, when taking a critical look at the current state of the US, it appears as if those men were successful in their efforts.
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Today the responsibility that came with such actions has been forgotten. What has grown in its place is an unjustified arrogance that is held from what we were, not who we have become. Over time our choices have become selfish, self-serving, and lacking compassion. The world looks on as we make choice after choice that is best for the few instead of the many. With every choice in that direction, more of the original American ideals are lost. The average American is so inundated with their day-to-day obligations, debt and predictive programming that the subtle shift away from the democracy that we never fully became, was missed, or simply ignored.
The sad reality is that the vast majority of Americans have either forgotten, or never fully understood what exactly it is that we celebrate every year with our wasteful purchasing, environment killing haughty firework displays and the ever-present, and almost forced, overzealous patriotism. So as we celebrate yet another year of American imperialistic war-mongering and forced insurrection under the guise of spreading democracy abroad, as well as increased unconstitutional surveillance, unrivaled police violence, and the continual loss of American’s “unalienable rights” domestically, it becomes increasingly difficult to sift through and find what’s left, if any, of our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Independence Day is a celebration of freedom from tyranny; freedom from taxation without representation; freedom to self-govern and choose the life which best suits the individual; in essence, the freedom of choice in all things. It is quite disconcerting to come to the realization that the very ideals of which we are meant to be memorializing with the incredibly propagandized capitalistic celebration (that has become an absolute necessity lest you appear unpatriotic in such trying times), have been usurped by the very entities attempting to divert your attention with distraction, such as this gaudy celebration of rights we no longer posses, or more specially, the 2016 election which has been clearly demonstrated to be a farce, being controlled in every regard.
This is not to suggest that Americans no longer have any rights, if this article’s existence is any indication. However, to suggest that simply because we have the ability to speak out, that all is well, is extremely obtuse; at this very moment, every American’s conversations are being recorded by google; our phone calls are being monitored by an amalgamation of intelligence agencies; our 2nd Amendment rights are being restricted; our 1st Amendment rights are completely controlled and manipulated; our 4th Amendment right is almost nonexistent; and most importantly, Americans are being unjustly taxed, without knowing what it is truly for, otherwise known as taxation without representation. Today the average American is being taxed an average of 31% of their income, and can be as high as 50%. The Founding Fathers revolted against the British government for many reasons, yet the straw that broke the camels back was taxation, and much less than Americans find themselves dealing with today, with just as little information.
It is important to remember that being able to stand in opposition of one’s government, personally as well as politically, is in fact the very foundation on which this country was built, although commonly called out today as un-American. In the current haze of the “Islamic threat” and the growing fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist,” the very democratic act of questioning the legitimacy of a war, or even asking for an explanation, is re-framed as lack of support for those fighting abroad. Questioning the extremely invasive and unconstitutional surveillance of Americans, not overseas, but in our very homes, is cast as support for terrorism, or lack of empathy for those affected by any one of the questionable attacks by which they justify such surveillance.
Those who chose to put their lives on the line for this country are heroes, regardless of the lies they have been told by those in power. One can easily have vast support for the men and women dying for unjust causes, while adamantly opposing the unjust causes in which they are there to carry out.
Every American has the right to be proud of who they are and where they came from. Not long ago, the United States was the model from which every other country took their cues. We knew we had become great. We had accomplished something that not only changed the world, but changed how people viewed the world. We acted like an honor bound athlete that had been there before, we didn’t pound our chest and say look at me we’re the best, we just knew it, and let our actions speak the loudest. This nation will find its way back to the moral high ground, but it will take those true Americans that have the courage to speak up. The first step to solving a problem, is admitting you have one. America is not the greatest county in the world anymore … but it can be.