Independence Day, the 4th of July, falls on Sunday this year. The following day is the official holiday for that reason. Most Americans will do their best to celebrate the holiday, with perhaps more verve than last year, because the COVID pandemic is at last subsiding.

That’s as it should be. While the bold Declaration would not be brought to fruition on the battlefields of the Revolution for another five years, and not recognized by Treaty for another two years after that, the Declaration was one of history’s turning points, and set the infant nation on a course of republican representative government, in which the sovereign would be elected and there would be no hereditary aristocracy.

There had been other republics before. Ancient Rome, for example, and Venice of the Middle Ages. But Rome had its patricians; and Venice, its nobiles. America would have none of that. What our nation’s founders did was something that had not been tried before. The shots they fired were truly “heard ‘round the world.”

The founders were imperfect. They did not always act in a manner consistent with the ideals of the Declaration they signed. The Constitution they crafted eleven years after the signing of the Declaration, while brilliant, was the product of political compromises. In one of these, it accommodated slavery. It would take another 80 years and a Civil War to get that accommodation amended out of the compact.

All the same, both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were inspired documents, the former holding out our highest aspirations and the latter containing a blue print for limited government and individual freedom. We owe much to the men who created them, flawed human beings though they were. We owe much to those who later sacrificed to preserve and defend them. Americans are still on a journey to “secure the blessings of liberty” for all citizens. The system the founders created enables us to travel that road in peace and civility, if we will.

Unfortunately, some do not want peace and civility, but violent anarchy instead. These miscreants are being allowed to run amok in many places. I have thought for some time that the statues of Confederate generals ought to be moved from public squares to battlefields, museums, or war cemeteries. I understand that they are offensive to African Americans, who view them as symbols of slavery. But there should be an orderly process for relocation. Mob violence and desecration is not the way to go about it.

The anarchists, however, do not stop with Confederate memorials. They have moved on to Washington, Jefferson, and even Lincoln and Grant. They have pulled down memorials to poets and missionaries. They have targeted statues of abolitionists; monuments celebrating the end of slavery, and memorials to American soldiers from all conflicts, including Union troops and even African American soldiers. This vandalism isn’t about righting wrongs of any kind. It reflects a desire to tear down the United States and reject its institutions.

And it doesn’t come from nothing. There is a concerted effort to re-write our history and denigrate our great documents. The 1619 Project championed by The New York Times puts forth the dubious proposition that our country was built, not on the principles of the Declaration, but as a mechanism of promoting slavery. I think this is demonstrably false. Abraham Lincoln certainly did not believe it. Rather, he thought that America had fallen short of its own ideals, and needed a “re-birth of freedom.” He was joined in that sentiment by the great 19th Century African American Frederick Douglass, who wanted, not to do away with the Constitution, but to secure its benefits for his own people.

Lincoln and Douglass are not good enough for the mob and those who encourage them. Their images must be tarnished and their writings redacted. Here we see the goal of the Far Left radicals who have become so prominent. By tearing down the Founders, removing the images of Washington and Jefferson, and now even Grant and Theodore Roosevelt, they seek to make Americans feel these great men are unworthy, that their handiwork is unworthy, that our founding documents are unworthy and should be torn up and replaced.

Replaced by what? Certainly not with anything that would contain a recognizable First or Second Amendment. Already there is an effort to silence all speech except approved speech. And as for the right to bear arms, we can see who will be armed in the new order. It won’t be the average citizen, but the Antifa mob.

I believe most Americans do not want all of that. And I encourage all of us to celebrate our nation’s birthday and utter a prayer of gratitude to those who mid-wifed its birth.


Photo by bayasaa