Happy 236th America. Let us raise our glasses in birthday toast to the nation’s past and future.
Here is to remembering that the United States of America is the longest-tenured federal republic in the world, with the longest-standing Constitution still in use. Here is to acknowledging just how unique the American independence movement was and remains, as can be easily observed through even a cursory glance at history covering the past two and a half centuries. Owing to the ambitious nature of human beings and the fact that might and right are not often embodied in the same individuals/ideas, in nearly every instance popular revolutions and civil wars have ultimately ushered in regimes far more oppressive and despotic than those that precipitated the movements in the first place. We are very blessed indeed that our Founders did not fall into this category, despite the innumerable temptations that threatened this standing.
Here is to understanding exactly why America exists, and, as a society, to honoring those lofty ideals that this nation’s establishment charged to its posterity. Here is to a nation full of unhyphenated Americans that collectively embrace the notion of individual liberty, an ideal that can only thrive when we truly accept that individual liberty for one requires the same for all. Here is to recognizing that this nation simply cannot prosper as promised if we continue to allow special interests to infest our processes, institutions, and policies, seek to gain at others’ expense, and rationalize meddling with others when their choices and actions do not infringe upon our own rights.
Here is to working toward a state of enlightenment and principle that will allow us to cease sowing the seeds of faction before the inevitable harvest of self-destruction is ready to be reaped. Freedom is not free nor is anyone entitled to it. For liberty to exist, it requires constant vigilance, principle, and sacrifice in various forms for it to take hold and diffuse. As Americans, we are quite fortunate to have inherited a solid foundation of freedom but complacency is its bane. Here is to rising to the challenge to do what is ethically just rather than solely what is convenient or expedient, and in the process proving that we are truly worthy of this gift of freedom and have legitimately earned it.