Some truths are self-evident. Among these are that all Men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights such as "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Straight from the Declaration of Independence adopted 236 years ago today and still a remarkable and timely statement.
The Founders believed in self-government and in limited government as well. They well understood that the more freedom we have, the less government we'll have.
If we're free to choose our children's schools and our own medical care, for examples, that's freedom. On the other hand, if government restricts our choices in these and other areas, that means fewer personal liberties.
And for government to be able to restrict our choices, we first must cede to government the power to do so. Thus, We the People are always in charge. That's what the Founding Fathers said so eloquently 236 years ago today.
The role of the government was stated clearly therein in reference to securing those God given individual rights of 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 ---"
That, my fellow Americans, is the foundation of our unique brand of American Exceptionalism.
We the People have the power, not the government, and we are free to pursue our just dreams and individual goals, whatever they may be. The proper role of our government is to secure our rights and not to restrict them. Only we can do that.
Or as Benjamin Franklin later replied when asked at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 whether the kind of government adopted was a republic or a monarchy, "a Republic, if you can keep it."
Let's "keep it" for at least another 236 years. OK?
So have a "Happiness" filled 4th, one and all.
Maybe today is a good time to take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence and reflect on what a lucky people we are to have been given so much.