I sit here and wonder what our founders would have thought of all the troubles we face today. I think that they would be shocked by our society in general, but understand that the things we argue about now are often things that they argued about. Sometimes they use harsher rhetoric and move violent methods than we see today.
We use the 4th of July as the Celebration of the Declaration of Independence. We announced that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was rights of all. We declared that all men are created equal. We formed a government that lasted for about 11 years. Our replacement government had slavery written into its fabric and it would be another four score and seven years before this was overturned with blood.
Our conflict reaches back even further with direct causes in the English Civil War. Parliament inserted its rights, especially over taxation. British Colonies (including the US) were under the direct control of the King. The pushback on taxes was about being taxed at all, but also over the right to vote on those taxes like English citizens in the United Kingdom could. Having Parliamentary representatives would not work due to distance. You could not expect to get a fair read from voters that were months away on news. The King did not want an American Parliament to be formed (like the Continental Congress).
Before we sorted out these major early issues, we had fought four major wars. We had duels over policies. There were fist fights in Congress. There were many horrible acts of violence in places like Kansas.
But here is the thing. In the end, we have always come back together. My neighbors are not my enemy. We might disagree. But my fellow Americans are not my enemy. Demoguegory and Mob mentality is the enemy. So, be civil and work together to govern. In a Republic (and the US is NOT a Democracy), compromise makes governance possible. Calling the other guy stupid or evil does not help.
So, please have a safe, fun and Happy 4th of July.
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