Thursday, July 4, 2013
Happy 4th of July America
"It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonefires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to other from this Time forward forever more." - John Adams
John Adams wrote the above quote in a letter to his wife, Abigail, discussing the importance of the Declaration of Independence and his vision of commemoration. While the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on July 2, 1776, it took the Continental Congress two days to approve thus spawning July 4th as the birth of our nation. The United States of America will turn 237 years old today. Think about that for a second. 237 years old!
The United States is but an infant when compared to the other 195, or so, countries. Egypt, which has its own issues right now, tops the charts as the oldest country in the world. King Menes founded Egypt in 3150 BC. That is over 5000 years ago! Other old countries include - India (3000 BC), Ethiopia (2500 BC), China (2100 BC), Iran (625 BC), San Marino (301 AD), France (486 AD), Bulgaria (632 AD), Japan (660 AD) and Turkey (900 AD). I know what you are thinking...Where is San Marino? I too.
So I Binged it and went to the CIA website to learn more: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sm.html. It exist in Europe.
Despite our infancy, the United States has quickly become a Super Power. As with any nation, the United States is not without the sins of birth; yet it is among the freest nations in the world today. Our Founding Fathers, despite their faults, crafted a form of government to protect the liberties of its citizens by limiting the powers of government while ensuring the periodic change in leadership took place in a peaceful manner.
Over the past 237 years, the United States has endured growing pains. With many of America's early sins addressed - slavery,suffrage, religious intolerance - new sins have emerged as America transitions into adolescence. The adolescent America feels entitled, invincible and arrogant. To humble the adolescent America is not to destroy it or to pacify it; rather time is upon us to remind the adolescent America that with power comes responsibility and decorum. July 4th enables America to pause and take inventory of our responsibilities and decorum. Take time today to re-read the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Take your own inventory.
Earlier this week a poll mentioned the Supreme Court's approval rating hit an all-time low. Why I bring this up is it is important to the adolescent America taking an accurate count of inventory.
The Supreme Court's role, in our form of government, is to be a check on the actions of the Legislative and Executive Branch as it pertains to the Constitution. Unfortunately, over the past 50 or so years - perhaps longer - the Supreme Court has seen Chief Justices ego's and partisan politics override that duty of the office they hold. Justices of the Supreme Court ought check the ego and politics at the door prior to entry as they have an immeasurable responsibility to uphold the Constitution and nothing more.
Chief Justice John Roberts, only 57 years old, last year handed down an opinion that many observers view as a defining moment of the Supreme Court under his reign. The issue at hand was the Affordable Care Act; commonly known as ObamaCare. The 5-4 decision paved the way for the United States government to mandate that every American purchase a product or face a tax for not doing so. Chief Justice Roberts in his opinion acknowledge that Congress doesn't have the power to mandate such a purchase still ruled ObamaCare Constitution based on Congress power to tax. The stretch by Chief Justice Roberts to interpret the power to tax by Congress illustrates the arrogance of the adolescent America we endure today.
As we embark on celebrating our Great nation birthday with parade's, BBQ's, parties, and fireworks - take time to reflect on our infancy and inventory the adolescence. Engage each other in conversation to the importance of handing the next generation a nation whose adolescence is in better shape then when we inherited it. Let's encourage every American to break the chains of entitlement and demand more of our society by instilling in the adolescent America the concept to prospect each other not by the nation we came from, the person we share our life with, or the exterior of our frame; rather to employ, treat and engage each other based on the merit, the word, and the fact we are all Americans.