Today, as we go about our holiday business with family and friends, take a few minutes to think about what Independence Day really stands for.
Over 200 years ago, a diverse group of people representing what would later become several of our United States formally approved a Declaration of Independence against England.
They took this step knowing that it could not only represent personal hardship and possible personal financial ruin, but that it could cost them and their loved ones their very lives. They knew that Britain already considered their actions disloyal and seditious. They were already branded as rebels and traitors to the Crown.
They did it anyway.
Why did all this occur? Were the actions of the British Crown really that harsh? It’s not as if the British in the years leading up to this were (at first) hauling colonists out of their beds wholesale and carting them off to prison. Why did the colonists escalate the situation to the point where it was not a question of paying a few cents more in tax, but was a matter of their very lives on the line?
Because it was worth it. Because the signers and the people they represented were able to look into the future and see that the British Crown would not stop at a few cents tax. The Crown considered the colonies their property to be exploited to enrich the Crown, and they considered the colonists subjects who had the duty to do so without complaint. They OWNED the colonists and the colonies, in a direct or indirect way. We were subjects, not citizens.
Today we are faced with a crossroads ourselves. While we have been ‘asleep’, focused on living our everyday lives, there has been a slow and gradual loss of both accountability and representation in our government. Huge business interests that have no loyalty to any citizen or nation have unbelievable influence in decisions that affect us. They control trillions of dollars in wealth, invested worldwide, and if one country’s economy tanks or if it’s “human resources” (that’s you) become too expensive, it simply relocates somewhere else.
Our elected officials willingly or because they see no other course listen to well funded interest groups and focus on how to get re-elected. They are on a runaway train of continuous campaigning, requiring them to raise millions of dollars yearly and making them beholden to those with the money to get them re-elected.
And behind the scenes, a runaway financial system has been created that privatizes profits and passes the risks and the losses on to the taxpayers. Banks that we never see the inside of created artificial financial instruments based on mortgages that had no value above the paper they were written on. And a trillion dollars was created from nothing. As a result, millions of people lost their savings when their banks and funds invested in these fake bonds, but the system that created it plows forward to the next Ponzi scheme. And the resulting collapse cost millions of you or your friends, or your family members, their jobs and their security.
So we ask ourselves, what can we do?
We still have a Constitution. The Declaration of Independence still stands for something. IT IS POSSIBLE for us as citizens to stand up and make ourselves heard at the ballot box. But it requires sacrifice. It requires you to volunteer your time, to add your voice, and it requires your donations so we can be your standard-bearer.
Those who gave us this freedom were willing to risk their homes and their lives to create a nation based on Liberty and Equality. What will you do to protect it and ensure it is still there for your children and your grandchildren?
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Chairman, Reform Party National Committee