Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Independence Day 2007

231 years ago a great experiment began as one group of men sought to separate themselves from another group of men. Women and minorities weren't invited, yet, but something big was starting.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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 these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

231 years later the nation founded with such high ideals is still trying to reach to them. Today we are a nation at war on continents far from home. We Americans are accused by some in the world of oppressing others and celebrated by others in the world as liberators. Today we are a people divided in politics, religion, culture, age, ethnicity, and even language; but we are a people united by the reach for the highest ideals.
As a father of preschool girls I celebrate Independence Day. I tell them about the over throw of a bad king. I tell them that this nation needs no king or queen, no princes or princesses. They looked shocked. They can't imagine anything greater than being a princess; thank goodness that 231 years ago a group of men decided that citizen was the very best title in the world.

So today I declare my independence from princess culture. Today I turn my back on Disney and Mattel and all the multi-national conglomerates who want girls to love princesses but who have forgotten that their customers are future citizens not just consumers spending their parent's money. Today we remember that being a citizen is the highest rank in the land. Down with kings and queens and princes and princesses. Down with the image of aristocracy. Let us celebrate today, and every independence day, that all are created equal, that none has special place above that just by birth.

1 comment:

Diane said...

hurrah for you!