Saturday, July 04, 2009
July 4th Post
When the Founders of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they made all sorts of memorable quotes weighing the choice of freedom or death. Some debated the merits of hanging together or hanging alone. John Hancock figured that, if signing the Declaration was an invitation to the gallows, he might as well sign large. That way King George could read the hand writing without reading glasses.
The bravery involved in passing the Resolution of Independence on July 2nd, and the approving of the wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th was real. (The signing of the document in the National Archives was completed on August 2nd.)
According to the international law of the day, declaring independence from the king was an act of high treason punishable by death.
It is ironic that many people today seem to hold more faith with the nebulous, ever-changing International Law than they are with Constitutional Law. It is even stranger when people claiming to be Democrats prefer international law to Constitutional Law as International Law is really just an assembly of treatises created by non-elected officials, where as the Constitution sets the enactment of law to an elected legislative assembly.
When the founders passed the Declaration of Independence, they knew the law of the day would demand their execution. I don’t imagine that there was much whining about the unfairness of it all in Independence Hall. I suspect the founders were more prone to lament the failure of the English colonial system than to whine about the unfairness of it all.
For that matter, the classical liberals who founded this nation might find themselves fundamentally at odds with modern liberals who seem to hold that we must surrender freedom for security.
I am happy that the Fourth of July is a day full of celebrations, historic re-enactments and patriotic platitudes. Perhaps such efforts will remind people that the freedoms that we enjoy today are not inherent to the condition of man, but were the product of much work and sacrifice.
Anyway, I was planning on just doing the firework thing this evening. However, the Cap and Trade debate has me depressed; So, I decided to head out to one of these July 4th Tea Parties as it seems to be more in keeping with the real meaning of America.