Originally published July 4, 2003
Unfortunately, July 4th has become a day of deceit.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared its independence from Great Britain. Thirteen years later, after a difficult war to secure that independence, the new country was open for business.
It was truly unique — the first nation in all of history in which the individual was considered more important than the government, and the government was tied down by a written Constitution.
It was the one nation where you could live your life secure in the knowledge that no one would ask for your papers, where you weren't identified by a number, and where the government wouldn't extort a percentage of your income as the price of holding a job.
And so each year July 4th has been a commemoration of the freest country in history.
But the America that's celebrated no longer exists.
The holiday oratory deceitfully describes America as though it were the unique land of liberty that once was. Politicians thank the Almighty for conferring the blessings of liberty on a country that no longer enjoys those blessings. The original freedom and security have disappeared — even though the oratory lingers on.
What made America unique is now gone, and we are much the same as Germany, France, England, or Spain, with:
a Constitution and Bill of Rights that are symbolic only — merely documents used to justify governmental actions that are in fact prohibited by those documents,
business regulated by the state in the most minute detail,
no limits on what Congress or the President might decide to do.
Yes, there are some freedoms left, but nothing like the America that was — and nothing that you can't find in a few dozen other countries.
Gone, too, is the sense of peace and security that once reigned throughout the land. America — bound by two huge oceans and two friendly neighbors — was subject to none of the never-ending wars and destruction that plagued Europe and Asia.
Now, however, everyone's business is America's business. Our Presidents consider themselves the rulers of the world — deciding who may govern any country on earth and sending Americans to die enforcing those decisions.