Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 4, 1776 We Created A Republic---It Remains Up To Us To Protect It & To Keep It

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." Abe Lincoln

As I've written about on previous occasions, I was born under the boot of Soviet oppression. Several years earlier, my parents barely survived the Nazi occupation of Poland. There were members in my family who perished during that war. That legacy, as well as the experience, left me appreciating and admiring the wonder of the beautiful gifts bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers. 

In their wisdom, the Founding Fathers also knew they were creating documents not for their generation alone, but for all the future generations to come. In other words, they passed on to us perhaps the most important responsibility we have as Americans: to carry on the core principles and values embedded in The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and later in our Constitution.

It's undeniable that there have been times in our history when we've failed in our duty to uphold these principles and values. I contend we're currently living through such a period. While it certainly does not rank with the challenges faced by our Founders or the threats our nation felt during the Civil War and WWII, the significance of the pain, misery and the impending danger to our freedoms by an overreaching government are just as significant today as they were in those previous generations.

It's also undeniable that this current administration and the elite progressive political class (including much of the media) have managed to deeply divide our nation. Yet, I'm reminded again of what must have been going through the minds of millions of Americans during our own Civil War. The deep divisions during that period must have been devastating to the nation's psyche. But our nation was blessed with a great man as its leader, Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln told the American people, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing," they understood what he meant. Lincoln rightly recognized---as did our Founders before him---that our core values of freedom and liberty would overcome any challengers and obstacles thrown in the path of this great Republic. 

We must also never forget that these great documents were forged in battle while facing both internal and external threats. In addition to Britain, there were still American colonists who remained loyal to the British Empire and to the British monarchy. As today, we also have some Americans who submit their loyalty to a particular political ideology rather than to the nation. They don't believe---as intended by our Founders---in the separation of powers, shared powers by the three branches of government. 

So as we celebrate Independence Day, we should reaffirm the principles in our founding documents. But we should also take a moment to reflect on what Benjamin Franklin once said to a women on the last day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. She asked Franklin what type of government did the delegates create, Franklin replied: "A Republic, madam, if you can keep it."