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Happy July 4th

By Stan Welch
This week we celebrate the Fourth of July  the day we as a nation declared our independence from King George and British tyranny. Independence Day, when we voted to free ourselves from British rule and forge our own destiny, pursue our own fate.
Independence  a state of standing alone, of choosing to make one’s own way, clear one’s own path. The colonists, not yet even Americans, told the greatest monarch, and the most powerful military on earth, “No thanks, we’ll go it on our own”.
“We’ll develop our own trading relationships across the world, find and develop our own markets for our goods. We can and will produce almost everything we need, and much of what the world wants that it cannot produce or get elsewhere. We will establish and expand and defend our own boundaries, with our own soldiers and citizens. We will write and enforce and live by our own laws, written by those who understand and appreciate our way of life.”
This was the boast of an infant nation, a people too young to consider failure or to concede its self-determination. Today, some 236 years later, we are still a nation so young that the rest of the world is astounded by what we have achieved; not just at home but in every part of the planet.
Nations and cultures and societies ten times older look to us and marvel, use us as a model. The simple fact is that there has never been another nation, another people, another force like America.
We have expanded our influence, established our identity and status as a nation; we have defeated tyranny again and again; and survived a civil war that would have, and has, torn other nations forever apart. We have created the world’s most terrible and potent weapons, then restrained ourselves from using them for conquest.  After decades of space travel, only Americans have walked on the moon. We have defeated polio and typhoid, and fed the world’s hungry.
But these things have not come without a price; and that price has too often been exactly the independence from which we sprang, as a nation and as a world power.
Today we are dependent on others for our sources of energy. We depend on allies for military assistance. As individuals, tens of millions of us depend on the government for food, money, medical care, and so many other things. We depend on other nations for our goods, where once we produced them for ourselves; and we depend upon them to buy the few things we do make.
We have surrendered our strength for largesse; and in the process proved ourselves unworthy of it. We love to claim our independence; but we no longer assert it, letting a disconnected and disingenuous government forge policies on our behalf that seem to benefit everyone but us.
As the Fourth of July comes and goes this year, I have to wonder what my fellow countrymen are thinking, both about that historic date and about the future of our nation. Or is the term and concept of “fellow countrymen” lost also? Do we think of our fellow countrymen anymore as we ponder the issues that affect our lives? Or do we worry only about those in the same special interest group  or racial group  or religious group – as we are?
This November, we Americans  myself and my fellow countrymen  have an opportunity to once again reclaim our nation and begin to reestablish our independence. We can and must elect leaders who will make us energy independent and therefore secure.
We must demand that those same leaders restore the economic and political environment that made this the greatest nation of innovators and entrepreneurs the earth has ever seen. We must demand that those innovators and entrepreneurs be allowed  nay, encouraged  to create jobs. And we must demand that those who can work must work  towards their own personal independence.
We must do these things for a few basic reasons. First and foremost, independence is the best way to live  the freest and proudest state that men and women can enjoy. It is good for the heart and good for the soul. And it is good for the world.
Regardless of what Islamic clerics and socialist educators and foreign leaders and television pundits claim, the whole world prospers when America is at its strongest; because when all is said and done, we are destined to be depended upon, and not dependent.
Happy Fourth of July and Happy Sixth of November.