Today is the celebration of the 236th birthday of the United States of America.
For many, it will be a day of hot dogs, ice cream, and fireworks displays.
For some, there will be no celebration. No sense of significance of what this day means or should mean.
Today is a day when, in the face of what then constituted one of the world’s super powers (Great Britain), a band of colonists decided that after decades of abusive taxation and little or no representation decided enough was enough.
We are going it alone. We’ve enjoyed the relationship, but it’s over.
The British had other ideas, of course, and sought to teach those wayward back woods colonists the meaning of respect.
It was war.
This wasn’t a decision lightly made. I wonder if, were it to have happened today, our citizens would have made the same choices. Freedom has never been free, but is can sure be cheap, at least to some.
The colonists in 1776 didn’t know what was before them. They only knew the onerous nature of taxation without representation was something they were done with.
Were mistakes made after Independence? Yes. There will always be mistakes. Humans make them.
But we need not be bound by our mistakes.
In some ways the next few years in the USA seem daunting. We have significant challenges ahead of us. A fairer tax system without the current patronage system we have in place is one example. Another is the burgeoning debt at every level, from personal, to student, to local government up to federal government.
We won’t wake up stupid one morning. We will have all the creativity and determination to remedy the problems we face. We need only to have the will to choose to do the right thing.
Happy 4th of July!