July 3, 2023

Independence Is the Quintessential American Virtue

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” 

US Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

It has been said that even before Thomas Jefferson penned these words in the summer of 1776, that the American War of Independence had already been won in the public consciousness. The actual “Revolution” had been underway for years in the form of an educational campaign reminding Americans of the virtue of their forebears and of the theological and legal basis for private property rights, self governance, self-reliance, and independence. In the decade before the Declaration, American patriot Samuel Adams wrote hundreds, if not thousands, of articles under dozens of pen names, meticulously instructing Americans from various personalities and points of view.

Over many years, Adams almost single-handedly lit the fuse of independence in New England. At the point that the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, Adams had steeled the resolve of an entire population to endure hardships beyond their imagination for the benefit of unborn generations. In 1815, Adams’ cousin John wrote that “the revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.”

But it is worth asking what “independence” meant to the founding generation. Initially, we might suggest that due to years of taxation without proper representation, that the colonists merely wanted America as a whole to be independent of Great Britain. But the writings of the founders make it clear that they were in fact asserting the independence of the thirteen colonies as free, independent, and sovereign states. Our founders sought local self government, not merely a new all-powerful central government. 

All liberty-loving Americans should embrace the practice of reading the Declaration of Independence aloud with their family at least once a year. To the modern reader, the grievances are certainly interesting to contemplate. Many seem familiar and will elicit a moment of regret. If you’re honest, you’ll realize that if you were writing the Declaration today, you would probably add some grievances against the current federal government that would terrify the founding generation, such as:

  • “He has, over many decades, intercepted all private communications and kept records of it to be used against us.”
  • “He has kept record of all financial transactions of every citizen, reserving the right to suspend our financial accounts without due process.”
  • “He confiscates a third or more of our incomes, weaponizing revenue collection against political enemies, redistributing our wealth and property.”
  • “He facilitates an invasion of our states by foreign countries, enabling and even funding wealthy cartels that are even now, operating the largest slave and drug trade in human history.”

All of these grievances are true of our current federal government, and are far beyond anything that we suffered at the hands of Great Britain prior to winning our independence. These grievances and many more represent an existential threat not only to the liberty of our children, but to our own freedom in coming years. Without a doubt, the federal government has locked arms with globalists to usher in a new era that will extinguish any semblance of local self government.

And yet, I believe there is a silver lining, that our experiences have invigorated a renewed interest in the importance of local self government. Whereas just a decade ago the focus of conservative activists was always to “fix Washington,” today we are seeing a re-emergence of local and state political focus. I believe that a new generation of patriots are rediscovering the original intent of our founders to establish thirteen (now fifty) relatively independent and sovereign states that are left more or less alone by a central government with few and enumerated powers. Indeed it was never the intent of our founders that our freedom and independence was to be dispensed or recovered by federal courts. The states themselves, via their state legislatures, created the federal government, and if we are to regain the liberty and independence that our founding generation fought to establish, it will be because our states regain their footing and remember their rightful place as the supreme arbiters of the Constitution.

However, the marxists and globalists (and those who knowingly or unknowingly do their bidding) hate this new spirit of American independence. They predictably seek the status quo with  endless foreign wars and trillion dollar defense budgets, digital currencies and opaque central banks, and woke mercantilist policies with an intent on destroying our domestic oil industry on the altar of a carbon-neutral economy controlled by the global elite. They will decry the inevitable movement toward greater state sovereignty as “extreme” and “dangerous” because they profit and even campaign on fixing enumerable social catastrophes that, year-by-year hasten the collapse of Western Civilization.

The virtues of liberty, local self government and self-reliance (independence), and private property ownership are quintessentially American virtues rooted in Scripture, and should at all times be the singular focus of all of the political energies of all  freedom-loving Americans. 

Perhaps George Washington said it best on August 27, 1776 while addressing the Continental Army prior to the battle of Long Island, “The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die.”

This American Independence Day, and every day from now until the happy future that we can read the Declaration with no guilt whatsoever, I encourage all of us to follow the wise counsel of Sam Adams in 1766 and let us do our part to “venerate and revere the memory” of the generations before us, who worked and even fought to “preserve and cherish the principles of liberty and virtue.” We MUST endeavor to transmit them to our own posterity.