Happy Independence Day!

U.S. FlagHappy Independence Day!

We’re taking the day off to hang out with family and friends, watch fireworks, and celebrate Independence Day (United States).

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MacDailyNews Note: Click for The Declaration of Independence.

62 Comments

    1. That only happens if the opponent wins the war and the opponents land was previously property of the ‘aggressor’.

      The US is only stopping crimes against humanity from continuing.

      Hardly colonialism.

    2. Why is America Exceptional?
      Published on October 1, 2010 by Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.

      In 1776, when America announced its independence as a nation, it was composed of thirteen colonies surrounded by hostile powers.

      Today, the United States is a country of fifty states covering a vast continent. Its military forces are the most powerful in the world. Its economy produces almost a quarter of the world’s wealth. The American people are among the most hard-working, church-going, affluent, and generous in the world.

      Is America exceptional?

      Every nation derives meaning and purpose from some unifying quality—an ethnic character, a common religion, a shared history. The United States is different. America was founded at a particular time, by a particular people, on the basis of particular principles about man, liberty, and constitutional government.

      The American Revolution drew on old ideas. The United States is the product of Western civilization, shaped by Judeo-Christian culture and the political liberties inherited from Great Britain.

      Yet the founding of the United States was also revolutionary. Not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another, or overthrowing the institutions of society, but in placing political authority in the hands of the people.

      As the English writer G. K. Chesterton famously observed, “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.” That creed is set forth most clearly in the Declaration of Independence, by which the American colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. The Declaration is a timeless statement of inherent rights, the proper purposes of government, and the limits on political authority.

      The American Founders appealed to self-evident truths, stemming from “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” to justify their liberty. This is a universal and permanent standard. These truths are not unique to America but apply to all men and women everywhere. They are as true today as they were in 1776.

      Working from the principle of equality, the American Founders asserted that men could govern themselves according to common beliefs and the rule of law. Throughout history, political power was—and still is—often held by the strongest. But if all are equal and have the same rights, then no one is fit by nature to rule or to be ruled.

      As Thomas Jefferson put it, “[T]he mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” The only source of the legitimate powers of government is the consent of the governed. This is the cornerstone principle of American government, society, and independence.

      America’s principles establish religious liberty as a fundamental right. It is in our nature to pursue our convictions of faith. Government must not establish an official religion, just as it must guarantee the free exercise of religion. Indeed, popular government requires a flourishing of religious faith. If a free people are to govern themselves politically, they must first govern themselves morally.

      Being an American is more than a matter of where you or your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal.
      – Harry S. Truman
      October 26, 1948

      These principles also mean that everyone has the right to the fruits of their own labor. This fundamental right to acquire, possess, and sell property is the backbone of opportunity and the most practical means to pursue human happiness. This right, along with the free enterprise system that stems from it, is the source of prosperity and the foundation of economic liberty.

      Because people have rights, government has only the powers that the sovereign people have delegated to it. These powers are specified by a fundamental law called a constitution. Under the rule of law, all are protected by generally agreed-upon laws that apply, equally, to everyone.

      The United States Constitution defines the institutions of American government: three distinct branches of government that make the law, enforce the law, and judge the law in particular cases. This framework gives the American government the powers it needs to secure our fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      The ultimate purpose of securing these rights and of limiting government is to protect human freedom. That freedom allows the institutions of civil society—family, school, church, and private associations—to thrive, forming the habits and virtues required for liberty.

      The same principles that define America also shape its understanding of the world. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that the thirteen colonies were a separate and sovereign nation, like any other nation. But America is not simply another nation.

      The United States is a nation founded on universal principles. It appeals to a higher standard that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. All nations are answerable to this principle, and it is this principle that makes the United States a truly legitimate nation.

      Liberty does not belong only to the United States. The Declaration of Independence holds that all men everywhere are endowed with a right to liberty. That liberty is a permanent aspect of human nature everywhere is central to understanding America’s first principles.

      Nevertheless, the primary responsibility of the United States is to defend the freedom and well-being of the American people. To do this, the United States must apply America’s universal principles to the challenges this nation faces in the world.

      Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few. It is the universal right of all God’s children.
      – Ronald Reagan
      July 15, 1991

      This is not easy. America has not always been successful. But because of the principles to which it is dedicated, the United States always strives to uphold its highest ideals. More than any other nation, it has a special responsibility to defend the cause of liberty at home and abroad.

      As George Washington put it in his First Inaugural Address: “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” America’s role in the world is to preserve and to spread, by example and by action, the “sacred fire of liberty.”

      America is an exceptional nation, but not becauseof what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truths that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights. These permanent truths are “applicable to all men and all times,” as Abraham Lincoln once said.

      America’s principles have created a prosperous and just nation unlike any other nation in history. They explain why Americans strongly defend their country, look fondly to their nation’s origins, vigilantly assert their political rights and civic responsibilities, and remain convinced of the special meaning of their country and its role of the world. It is because of its principles, not despite them, that America has achieved greatness.

      To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, these principles—proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the United States Constitution—still define America as a nation and a people. Which is why friends of freedom the world over look to the United States not only as an ally against tyrants and despots but also as a powerful beacon to all those who strive to be free.

      Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

        1. Well Christians in the Bible are referred to as “the children of God”. Examples being John 1:12 and John 11:52 among others. Hence why Christians refer to God as “Father”. Nothing “creepy” about it at all.

      1. Interesting feature. Those are wonderful ideals to look up to. But I have to wonder how women and slaves felt about these words at the time. Freedom and liberty for all. “All” meant: white male landowner.

      2. Thank you for the nice explanation of what America means. America is my adapted country (I was born in another country), but God I love this country and what it stands for. It is not perfect, but it is as good as it gets. I shall cherish and defend this country to my last breath. U.S.A. forever!!!!!!!

        1. I wonder if MDN feels the burn of hypocrisy on his cheeks as he deletes posts or if he’s so deluded it’s 100% justified in his mind. What unshakable faith one must possess to feel threatened by another’s opinion of their religion. Lulz.

        2. Americans have a very inflated opinion of themselves but the rest of the world have a much lower opinion. All you have to do is travel incognito (as a Canadian) and hear the whispers about American cultural imperialism, militarism and materialism. The holiest word in the American vocabulary is ‘Freedom’ but rarely is is coupled with the word ‘responsibility’.

          We who recognize that there is an ultimate ‘good’ in the world tend to call it God and there is only one ultimate goodness. The one saving grace of the American people is the standard set by the founding fathers of the work ethic and that value of keeping one’s promises. They are rapidly losing both.

            1. There is no god… But for those who believe… On whatever higher power is completely their right.

              If the traditional god (here in US) was all knowing the bible would never be out of date…. Even in my short life time the church has come out and said parts can be excluded due to current times…. Completely unbelievable. It should never ever have to change… If someone/thing was truly all knowing.

              100% disproven.

              But, again…. It’s no ones right to step on someone else’s belief, no matter how small minded someone is… That’s what makes this county great.

  1. Hippy Burp Day to youse all.

    You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.

    ~Erma Bombeck

    Party on!

  2. “The United States is a nation founded on universal principles. It appeals to a higher standard that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Tell that to the ‘would be’ dictator in OUR White House.

      1. Yup. Too late to dowse that bottle rocket. Now we can only watch as it careens wildly toward the neighbors house, hoping that it misses the open window.

    1. You should really do something about exposing your bigotry and tea-bag ideology. Your fellow GOOPers must wish you’d shut up and stop humiliating them, @ron-ignoramus. And I agree, why not go back to YOUR homeland, which no doubt has a REAL dictator because you are very likely stuck with our ersatz one until 2016.

      1. Calling our current President a dictator may be childish and ignorant, but it is not “bigoted”, nor does it reflect a “tea-bag” ideology (that was childish on your part. Most Americans who disagree with this President’s actions do so for reason of policy, not skin color. The Tea Party is not anti-Obama, per se. They are anti-what-his-policies-do. They are for a restricted government, as originally envisioned by the founders of this country. They are against all politicians that want to grow the size of government and it intrusion and control of the citizenry. “The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen” (Dennis Prager). I knew when I opened this thread it would be filled with a lot of idiotic invective. There are times that I hate being right.

        1. The Tea Party’s views are not realistic. Smaller government is fine, but I have yet to see a credible plan for achieving that objective. Without a plan, it is just a wish.

          Balance and moderation, those are worthy objectives, as is reasonable taxation combined with reasonable spending. We have been through all of this before – but the major players are using the same old rhetoric. Everyone will have to make some sacrifices to improve this country. Do not trust anyone who makes it sound like that improvement will come for free.

  3. Why did Iraq spend all that time writing a new Constitution? We should have just given them ours, hell, we’re not using it.

    Attn: haters of all kinds.
    Americans have sacrificed and given their lives to protect this Country and its Constitution and to protect your right to say stupid things.

  4. @ron-immigrant
    Oh, please, enough of your endless whining and self-delusioned paranoia. Go, go back to your true homeland and choke on Smiths Crisps.

  5. Er, sacrifice?

    With no disrespect to those Americans that did, haven’t you always been a little late to the party, like 1918 and 1942? The impression is that while individual US citizens have been able to tell the difference between good & evil, corporate America and the government have been
    somewhat slower in recognising same.

    For every Shorty Keogh and Red Tobin there’s always an IBM willing to deal with IG Farben despite hostilities.

    1. Late to the party? Nevermind the entire nation being a giant ammo-mill for the allies in WWII, and the American support in the Lend-Lease program. Or even the countless Americans that fought for the UK or France before US involvement?

      Complain that the US doesn’t get involved, complain when it does? Each of these wonderful wars the US gets stuck in (be it in Europe, Africa, Asia, or the Americas) can be traced back to some pompous European colonialism falling apart, leaving civil war and near-genocide in it’s wake….

    1. Hah! So true. Had the
      poster had the brain power to look it up, he would have found that “chillen” is a Southern/illiterate form of “children”, which just
      happens to be the word
      from the Ronnie Rayguns quote.

      1. Whoops, meant to post that by ron-immigrant’s first eructation.
        Ps — Pirate, don’t you mean taxation without representation? Big difference. Might want to check out the 16th Amendment to that thing they call the Constitution.

    2. Nope, Pirate – the US was not created as a rebellion against taxation. Among lots of other issues, the taxation thing was “without representation.” A large motivation for tax provisions in the Constitution was to pay off debts from the Revolution.

  6. 1- Shout out to any of our men & women serving away from home this day- in harm’s way or any of the other places our troops serve. You are looking out for us and are the defenders of the American nation. Thanks and come home safely. The Founders proclaimed our Independence, but the Army & Navy won it with the help of France @ Yorktown.
    2- Every American has a different view on what America is or should be, but we all love our country. We should all try to be mindful of that as the political season gets cranked up. The graves at Arlington and elsewhere are not marked Democrat, Republican or Independent. No party or political viewpoint has a monopoly on love of- or service to- our country.
    3- On the 4th of July numerous swearing in ceremonies happen where the newest citizens join the family- having left the nation of their heritage to join and contribute to ours. As a nation of immigrants or the descendants of immigrants- welcome.
    4- As a medical professional:
    Try to stay out of the ER today. Don’t drink and drive. But have a great time.

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