It’s the end of another Independence Day weekend. Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” is still playing in my head, and I am indeed proud to be an American. This 4th, I did what’s possibly the ultimate way to celebrate the day, I went to Philadelphia, the nation’s birthplace. There is nothing like roaming the streets of Old City Philadelphia to reinforce one’s patriotism. It was a common site to see folks dressed in Revolutionary War era regalia. A crowed of us revelers listened to an actor dressed as Thomas Jefferson read the Declaration of Independence, not far from the place where the real Thomas Jefferson read our nation’s birth certificate. Everywhere were reminders of our struggles to become free. Everywhere people sought to learn about our nation’s founding. In other parts of the country, people celebrated with cookouts, parades, and of course fireworks.
As a self identified hybrid conservative/libertarian and a veteran, it was easy to feel a certain measure of pride and patriotism on our country’s birthday, which leads me to my question: What do (if anything) the Secular/Progressives celebrate on July 4th? Our Founding Fathers risked their lives and their fortunes in the cause of liberty. They sought to break from what they saw as a tyrannical government. They wanted to have more control over their lives than a king three thousand miles away. Do Progressives value liberty the way our founders did? Is government control over our lives to be shunned or sought? Have they expanded or contracted the freedoms that the Revolution was fought for?
At the other end of Independence Mall from me was held a gay-pride rally. They were celebrating a newfound freedom to marry. Whether you agree with that cause or not, or their methods in achieving that goal, you have to at least have some respect for any group of Americans who successfully increased their own personal liberty. When was the last time the Government offered any American greater freedom, rather than take it away? Unfortunately, their victory was the exception and not the rule. On the balance, the government overwhelmingly tends to limit the liberties of its citizens. It does it in the name of “fairness” (read income redistribution) or “the greater good”. It has limited our freedom to buy health insurance or not, it dictates what kind of light bulbs we can use. It seeks to control how farmers manage their lands by regulating rainwater. They control what our kids eat in school and what they learn. They seek to control how much sugar you put into your body, and smoking? Forget it.
Today’s federal government is in many ways, much more powerful, much more controlling of the everyday lives of its citizens than the one the American Patriots fought to free themselves from. Our President through executive orders and regulations enjoys at least as much control over our lives as did King George III have over his subjects. The statist, progressive element in this country as exemplified by President Obama, Secretary Clinton and their followers share very little philosophical ground with our Founders who subscribed to the Enlightenment philosophy of Natural Rights and their supremacy over those bestowed by any government. The Constitution which enshrined those rights on paper has lost almost all meaning to the Statist Left. They cite it when it suits them and ignore it when it doesn’t. In many cases, what would seem to be the plain meaning and intent of the Constitution has been warped beyond all recognition in cases where Progressives see it as a hindrance to their cause.
The Secular/Progressives even seek to rewrite or obliterate American History when it does not fit into their narrative. Our Founding Fathers in their retelling, were not great, enlightened men seeking freedom, they are now greedy racists, who sought only profit. They forget, and wish the rest of us to forget, that it was their Democratic Party that gave us Jackson and his Indian Removal Act that blazed the Trail of Tears. They forget, conveniently that all of the leadership of the Confederacy including its President, Jefferson Davis were all Democrats. Democrats lead the segregation that lasted up until the 1960’s. In short, all of the sins they seek to attribute to the Founding Fathers were committed to a much greater degree by Democrats later in our county’s history. Perhaps the true motivation behind their newfound fervor to remove the Confederate flag from all public places is merely a desire to sweep away the last remaining reminders of a failed, Democrat lead separatist movement.
The values of the Secular/Progressive/Statists are not those espoused by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and the rest of the Founders. Those men all believed in the Constitution and the Rule of Law. To the Progressive, those things are just quaint anachronisms of a bygone era, to be followed if at all, only when it suits their purposes. Even the Enlightenment and Revolutionary era that followed it has been subject to their attempts to rewrite history and nullify their influence on American culture today. They seek also to erase the historical evidence of their own racism, and that of their chosen Party while attempting to project it on those the great men who gave us the freedom and liberty we celebrate every year on July 4th. If they celebrate that day in 1776 at all, it must be from a position of denial and refusal to acknowledge how different their cause is than that of those who founded this great nation.