Independence Day!

The ideal America, is a land of opportunity, where anyone can – and has, achieved the Dream, whether it to be a poet, entrepreneur, industrialist, or President of the United States. Freedom is a principle and an ideal that many people who have not experienced in the land of their fathers, have grasped eagerly. Freedom is also a principle that some people have embraced without either understanding or respecting in this nation of ours. A popular radio gimmick today is to randomly survey people on the streets of any given community to ask what would appear to be “obvious” questions about US current events, history or government. Few people seem to comprehend even the most basic questions. What is the Declaration of Independence? What three branches of government comprise the U.S. Government? Why did the Founders of the United States risk their lives to become independent of the British Empire? Freedom to practice one’s religion or to not hold to Divine authority is almost uniquely, an American invention. Freedom to speak openly for or against the government is another. (In almost every nation on earth there exists a freedom to express discontent with the United States government, but NOT with that host nation’s own rule.) Pundits today laud results of elections where 35 or even 40 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. In most nations, even if there are elections, the winners are chosen ahead of time, and either bribery or coercion – often violent – ensures the correct result. In some nations, people will risk death or imprisonment to vote their conscience. The largest American voter turnout in recent history lead to the election of the first African-American to the Presidency.
But in America, does it still hold that a citizen, a legal U.S. resident, decides the representative who sits in government? And if a citizen is indeed, the only person who casts a ballot in our representative government, does it mean that the electorate is actually informed and reasoned in their decision-making? We have a crisis in this country where we have no idea how many non-citizens really are holding jobs, educating their children, deciding electoral outcomes here. We have politicians, bureaucrats and judges who operate without regard to the Constitution, Judeo-Christian principles, sober judgment nor voter decisions and have openly adhered to extremist advocacy groups, extra-national opinion, or the most basic of all emotions, greed.
While corruption and disenfranchisement has existed in this country, and within any nation in the historical record, the accelerated decline in all things American, has been a direct result of our own cultural decline. Freedom is a set of beliefs that our nation has used as a beacon to inspire the world. But today, it is taken as a right, an inherent obligation to disrespect our culture, our history, our achievements, our military and founding principles – by promoting what ultimately has destroyed nations in the past.
Bureaucrats, advocacy groups and politicians decide who is a voter, which mandate to uphold or reject, who pays for services rendered to others, and abuse the national trust often either for personal gain or to satisfy some perceived need for constituents. That must be why we have groups who pressure constitutional changes when a sexual preference is rejected as by a plurality of citizens who adhere to a religious moral principle. Others are consumed by a fervent hatred of the Judeo-Christian traditions, but demand the government approve alternate religious views and policy. Still others blind to the roads, air conditioned homes, stock portfolios, Ipods, computers and cell phones they routinely use, demand all business cease as though the United States alone is ravaging the planet. Hey knuckleheads, why don’t you go to China to protest their lack of any environment al sentiment, or to Brazil’s Amazon rainforests being denuded? Because you know that these places would at best, imprison you in a swampy prison for life or murder you, that ‘s why.
The Fourth of July is generally practiced as a time to get together with family and friends to celebrate a day off from work. It is also celebrated by a number of people who take the oath of citizenship, having endure hardships to get here, studied and mastered a new language, found opportunity but not without difficulty. For citizen-soldiers , sailors and marines, today is often another day of patrolling the danger spots of the world, risking life and person to exemplify the American ideal that Freedom is a right of all peoples. Still others may have no real understanding, but pay lip-service to the national holiday. It may seem more familiar as a day that the world defeated an alien invader , per a popular film, or as a day to play on the beach, or to get some good buys – per the incessant chatter of car dealers and furniture salesmen in the media.
I am the son of immigrants, legal immigrants, second generation on my father’s side, and first generation on my mother’s. My paternal grandfather knew what it was to come to America for a better life – he had been conscripted in WWI to fight first for the Poles, who administered that part of Lithuania, and then for the Russians. When he came to this country in the 1920’s, he found work as a metalsmith, installing and repairing stoves for restaurants in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was this profession that he had intended his son, my father to follow. My father’s choice was to excel in his school work to earn a scholarship to the university, which he did in the late 1940s. He became an aerospace engineer. My mother came to the United States from Northern Ireland after the end of the Second World War, when the businesses that her family owned there had not survived the war years. A family tradition of hard work, born of adversity, a drive to excel, to pursue continual education, to seek opportunity to live the American Dream, has not been lost on me.
Adhering to a moral code I believe, and a Divine Authority, is not always easy nor popular, but it is my Freedom which is inspired by that first Independence day. Today, July Fourth, 2009, the 213th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was ushered in without the taking up arms against a government bent on keeping control , though the first independence movement was left no choice. I hope that a true American citizen, before our nation is hopelessly out of control, return to the spirit, if not the exact historical context, of the Declaration of Independence.

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