by Haddon Libby
Independence Day: A Call to Action
Our founding father, John Adams, wanted the Fourth of July to be remembered as a “festival…commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God.” As he and our founding fathers saw it, the reason for the revolution from the British monarchy was for self government, basic human rights and the freedom to worship as one saw fit. The protection of these “inalienable rights” was a serious thing that should be defended from forces that did not like such independence.
Independence Day is a celebration of the ideal that America represents. America is the belief that you can do anything that you set your mind to. When we say that America is the greatest country in the world, what we are really saying is that we believe that anything is possible. For immigrants from many other countries, what was a hopeless dream in their country could become a reality here. America represents the hopes and dreams of all. We are the greatest nation because we behave as the greatest country.
Therein lies the modern day problem of America.
A corruption of America’s core values and ideals have occurred with many in Washington DC, Sacramento, business organizations as well as local entities. Whether it is drones flying over US cities, Facebook privacy settings, excessive government pay, crony capitalism or controls on how much sugared beverage you can drink, our individual freedoms are being usurped every day “for your benefit”. The universal goods done to protect us are reminiscent of the dystopian society of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged where the morality of rational self-interest superseded individual rights and free capitalism.
This is the greatest risk and threat to America. The Fourth of July celebration for many is an observation and a party when it should be a call to action and the preservation of rights, freedoms and ideals of all Americans.
The mindset of “I’ll get mine, you worry about yours” becomes more pervasive everyday and has to be stopped as this mindset allows for the corrosion of American ideals. Remember the phrase, “United we stand, Divided we fall”? America has never been more divided and the resulting mess in our job markets and government entities is reflective of this. To be united once again, we must regain a tolerance of the opinions of others whether you agree with them or not. We must again work in a united fashion toward ideals of common good while retaining our fiercely independent spirit.
The enemy to our independence is ignorance, complacency, revisionism and selfishness. Have you ever felt like Howard Beale did in the 1976 movie, Network, and said that you are “as mad as hell” and “not going to take it anymore”. If you have, know that you can change the culture in Washington DC, Sacramento and big corporations. All you have to do is get involved in issues of local importance. If everyone did that, things would change.
So you know, I practice what I preach. Go to www.indianwells2012.org or www.sharekitchen.org and you can see what I am doing to improve my city, the job environment in the Coachella Valley and fundraising for local schools.
You too can make a difference by getting involved and fighting against the erosion of American ideals. Do not look the other way on poor behavior. Do not succumb to the ‘what’s in it for me’ mindset. Get educated. Get involved. Stand and be heard. If we can change our little corner of America, it will spread. Make Independence Day your call to action in protecting all that we love about the greatest country on Earth.