Independence Day is a celebration of the creation of a country that was unique in the world; one in which liberty was the foundational principle of governance. The founders of the United States of America established a nation that sought to severely limit the power of government, and this was a radical idea. No other people on the planet had attempted to establish a government that, as a constitutional principle, was essentially forbidden to rule, except in very limited, specified areas.
The people who wrote this constitution were directed by the principles in the Declaration of Independence, which states that the only legitimate function of government is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that when governments become destructive of those ends they are illegitimate. Every now and then a modern-day American rediscovers this concept and urges us to return to the founding principles of liberty, and the response often is “love it or leave it.”
This is darkly ironic. The founders had the same choice; they could have just loved things the way things were under the King of England, or else left. Instead, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. That would be us. If the founders had been “love it or leave it” kind of people, this country wouldn’t exist.
So what shall we do when government steps out of its constitutional bounds? Leave? Or stay and defend America against corrupt, overbearing rulers and other domestic enemies of liberty?
As for me and my household, we shall stay and defend the nation we love.