Happy Independence Day!

July 4th, 2010

Here’s a nice reflective piece by Peggy Noonan on the writing and editing of the Declaration of Independence.

Watched some episodes of the HBO miniseries “John Adams” last night.

Love watching those larger than life characters of George Washington,  Alexander Hamilton,  Adams, Jefferson, Ben Franklin, (not to mention Abagail Adams) portrayed so well.

The story of the Adams/Jefferson relationship is one of the greatest subplots of the Revolutionary War. The men were polar opposites in political views, geopolitical orientations and personal styles, but managed to keep a running correspondence into the twilight of their lives. They died on the same day, July 4, 1826, exactly 50 days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Their debates still echo down through the decades and centuries, as we debate the true meaning of freedom, liberty and natural rights (which came up (but then were quickly extinguished) in Elena Kagan’s snoozer of a confirmation process this week).

Is it a larger abrogation of your freedom for the federal government to take a large percentage of your income and make you buy health insurance? Or is it more significant for them to want to regulate what a pregnant woman can do with her body, whether the state can decide who you marry and whether the police can stop you in the street and demand to see your identification because they suspect that you might be an illegal immigrant?

The framers couldn’t have imagined the country that we live in today, but the debates about how to define the natural rights that were the template for both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights echo through the centuries in our debates today.

Happy Birthday America.

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One Response to “Happy Independence Day!”

  1. shona Says:

    Happy Independence day! Well said PM!