Today, we celebrate our 241st birthday as an exceptional nation. Most nations have histories that go back hundreds and even thousands of years; 241 years sounds like a long time – in the grand scheme of humanity’s over 40,000 years on earth, it really is not. Our choice to divorce ourselves from the English Crown is not what makes us exceptional. Countries and empires have come and gone throughout the millenia, including secessions and independence of former colonies.
We are exceptional, because we were founded upon an idea and a vision:
“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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
This concept – the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed – is fragile and has been under constant attack since those first shots rang out at Lexington and Concord. The British would return to try to retake their former colonies in 1812. The original White House was burnt to the ground. Then came the Civil War – where brother often fought against brother – with its turning point at Gettysburg where as many men died in three days as in the entire VietNam war. In the 20th Century, Fascism, Naziism, Socialism, Communism, and Jihadism were – and remain in some form – existential threats. The clichés “price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” and “freedom is never more than one generation from extinction” are 100% true.
For eight years, we had a President who sought to “fundamentally transform” America, and we damn near elected a narcissistic sociopath who would have continued his agenda. Though it’s easy for the conservatives among us to bask in our victory of the last election, the threats to our freedom are still very real, very disturbing, and coming at alarming speed. All over the South, authorities are erasing Confederate history, whether it be pulling the Confederate Flag or monuments to Confederate soldiers and leaders. Though I’m a “damned Yankee,” and my ancestors fought in the Union Army, the Confederate story is part of the American story. Keeping these monuments and flying the Stars and Bars is not an endorsement of slavery, which is also a part of our history. The Confederacy was a country with a president and a currency. By erasing Confederate history, we erase part of who we are, and deny future generations the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of that era. The Civil War as as much about tariffs and states rights as about slavery.
I find the rise of domestic terror groups such as ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy to be likewise disturbing and even more disturbing are the authorities’ apparent nonchalant stance toward them. Lest one think ANTIFA is strictly an anti-Trump group, they are in reality an anarchist group active here, in Canada and Europe. They have also embraced wholeheartedly the “erase history” mindset. Rioting, blocking roads, and attacking innocent people are not acceptable behaviors.
The move by all major social media companies to silence honest discussion about Jihadism is also disturbing. When an ostrich buries its head in the sand, it leaves it’s butt exposed for attack. The result of political correctness is always less freedom and more death.
We declared Independence 241 years ago from the British Crown. Now might be a good time to declare independence and divorce ourselves from political correctness.