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I hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day this past Tuesday. For Americans, July 4 is such a wonderful day to celebrate! It is the anniversary of the day the Second Continental Congress signed our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.
I’m not going to go into much detail about our founding fathers or the circumstances of that period because my fellow columnist, Rodger Williamson, has been doing an excellent job in his last two columns plus the one coming in this edition.
I will say that period in our history was the first major division between the people who came to America to escape religious tyranny. It was followed less than 100 years later by another period that brought division to what had become the United States of America. Both times a war was fought between families, friends and neighbors, but, also both times, the result was additional freedoms for our people.
Unfortunately, I am seeing what could possibly be another division that has been growing in our country. Like any family, we have our disagreements and arguments, but when any member of the family is attacked from the outside, WE STAND TOGETHER. Right now, we are becoming more and more divided between political and social issues that are eating at the very foundation of our country (our American family).
Are we all so hard-headed that we will sit back and not even attempt to find common ground on major issues? All of us – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Black, white, other, men, and women – believe in many of the very same things. But we are allowing the issues that are being pushed on us by politicians and the media to tear us apart.
I wish we could all sit down at a round table and talk about the things we agree on – both good and bad. Do most of us want to live in safety and security? Do most of us really want to defund the police? Do most of us want to be able to trust our government and media to tell us the “truth”? Do most of us want to practice our personal religion without interference? Do most of us just want to be treated with respect? Do most of us just want the basic freedoms we were guaranteed in our Constitution? Do most of us agree that “We hold these truths to be SELF-EVIDENT, that all men are created EQUAL, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain UNALIENABLE rights, that among those are LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?”
I can talk to almost anyone and find something we can agree on. That’s a starting place. The more we talk we can find more and more things in common – our hopes and dreams, movies, books, hobbies, and children or parents. It is sometimes difficult to relate to someone from an entirely different background, but we all have something in common if we just look for it and are willing to try. One of my granddaughters can’t understand why I talk to complete strangers. I’m sorry, but that is the way I was raised is what I tell her.
The destruction of the family unit – mother, father, children, parents – is what I blame the most for where we are as a people right now. This is one of biggest issues in what has come from changes to our Constitution or just plain ignoring our Constitution. That document gave us a wonderful road map to form a “more perfect union.”
Notice – it didn’t say a “perfect union” because there is no such thing. But if you really read that document, you will find that it covered the basics for us to work from. Amendments were made in time to improve on certain issues, and most of those changes were good. But there certainly were some that had unintended consequences that opened areas of disagreement or misunderstandings.
One of the biggest things about our Constitution is what is provided in our Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments). And the most important of those in my opinion is number 10. It states that all powers that were not SPECIFICALLY specified in the Constitution are under the power of the individual states OR the people. Our federal government has totally overstepped its boundaries in many areas – and those are the areas from which much of the division comes.
The federal government has given itself power over issues and laws that it has no business or permission to be involved with. The federal government was meant to be small and only involved with things that were of joint concern of the individual states.
That would eliminate a huge amount of the overly inflated federal government we have now. Congress has allowed the responsibilities and powers that were to be left to the individual states to now be regulated at the federal level and instigated a federal income tax to pay for it.
I’m going to stop here for this week and leave you hanging. I’ve realized that – as usual – I’m beginning to wander, and this is where I want to get more specific. I may just have to call July “Independence and Constitution” Month. Or maybe just “AMERICAN PRIDE MONTH”! What do you think?