Today is the United States' 240th birthday, and as an interesting side note, it was 190 years ago today, July 4, 1826, that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passed away.
Although Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, it was actually several weeks until the colonies signed off on the document. And the Revolutionary War, already in progress, would take another 5 years to resolve.
The Declaration of Independence discusses God-given rights being denied by the British oppressors, and these rights were later enshrined in the U.S. Constitution (adopted in 1787) and Bill of Rights (1791). What millions of people throughout the world do not seem to understand or appreciate is that freedom is a scarce commodity in the context of world history.
The brilliance of the British Enlightenment thinkers (John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Francis Bacon, et al), along with the spirit of the Magna Carta, adopted in 1215, inspired the Founding Fathers.
Freedom, individual initiative, innovation, productivity and optimism have been hallmarks of the Great American Experiment, helping us to become the greatest nation in world history, with power, prosperity, wealth and a standard of living undoubtedly exceeding the Founders' wildest dreams.
But growth -- in corporations, institutions and especially government -- left unchecked, unmonitored and allowed to pursue its own ends, often has dire consequences. ("Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," as Lord Acton so eloquently put it.)
Today, our nation stands at a crucial crossroads. Those who favor a bigger, more influential federal government often do not appreciate individual liberty, and subscribe to the false promises of collectivism. Or even if they are aware of individual rights being trampled on, they could care less as long as they are among the power elite who make the rules and rake in the cash.
Our K-12 schools and universities have thoroughly indoctrinated millions of gullible people ranging in age from grade schoolers to middle-aged Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, even a conservative Supreme Court, something looking less likely by the day, cannot rein in an out-of-control administrative state that often takes on a life of its own as it drafts and promulgates untold regulations that typically exceed what legislators and justices ever had in mind. The EPA and IRS are prime examples.
And special interest groups looking for a piece of the pie (or a ride on the gravy train -- pick your metaphor!) often seem to care only about themselves. Trial lawyers, public employee unions, environmental extremists, abortion purveyors, you name it.
If the American public elects Hillary Clinton president, she will forever change the fabric of this nation by A) Opening up the floodgates to allow millions of non-assimilating immigrants in (the majority of whom will become Democrats; many of whom will have large families of future Democrats); B) appointing left-wing justices who will restrict free speech of conservatives and trample on the 2nd Amendment; C) ensuring that federal mandates subjugate religious rights, as with Obamacare and its abortion/contraceptive mandates for religious-based organizations; and D) lowering the bar big time on voting requirements. No photo IDs will be required anywhere, convicted felons and even immigrants who have not achieved citizenship will be allowed to vote.
We will never have another Republican president of Hillary is elected, mark my words. And it will be only a few short years until the Democrat vice grip takes over the House and Senate permanently. We will become like a giant California, with high taxes, illegals preying upon law abiding citizens, citizens finding it expensive and extremely difficult to obtain firearms to defend themselves, water shortages, an even higher poverty rate, housing costs spiraling out of control, restrictive nanny state regulations creeping into our daily lives, and unfunded pension liabilities for public employees threatening future budgets. And it goes without saying, we already face unfunded Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security liabilities north of $100 trillion.
I don't even want to speculate on how disastrous our foreign policy will become. But I fear we are a nation in permanent decline, and will continue down that path -- unless millions of people quickly yank themselves away from their smart phones, video games and pleasure seeking and resolve to take ownership of this incredible nation. Time is short, and the potential for the loss of a great civilization is both real and sobering.