Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
From a few years ago, me mugging with the bronze buffalo sculpture at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness



Although I try to keep my politics out of this blog, there are times my frustration just gets the better of me.

I considered simply letting the 4th of July slip by without taking note of it here; however, for someone who believes July 4, 1776 signaled the beginning of the greatest experiment in liberty this planet has ever known, I couldn't let it pass.

With the opening words of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, our founders forever changed the world. Those words:

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 are among these 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.

Fewer than 60 words summed up the spirit of liberty and freedom that put us on a path to become the most exceptional nation in history. Yes, I do believe the United States is exceptional.

As a nation, we are far more free and more prosperous than any other. It isn't by accident. We were blessed with a government framework that recognized our individual liberties, secured our individual property rights and supported our free will.

Left to his own devices, a free man will out think, out innovate and out produce one who suffers from a government's burden of tyranny -- whether that tyranny springs from good intentions or bad.

Tyranny is tyranny.

I don't think there has been a time, other than the years surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence and those surrounding the Civil War, that this country has been so divided.

On one hand are those of us who believe that government is best that governs least; on the other hand are those who believe government should be the answer to each and every issue and ill.

It's less government intrusion versus more regulations, laws and bureaucrats.

It's entrepreneurship versus redistribution of wealth.

It's opportunities versus handouts.

It's exceptionalism born from individual liberty versus mediocrity caused by central planning's one-size-fits-all approach to making a better world.

Tomorrow as we are eating hotdogs, swilling beer and watching fireworks, let's put a little thought into just what made the United States the best country in the world, and what we need to do to make it that way for the generations that follow us.

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