Do We Deserve to Celebrate Independence Day This Year

Do we deserve to celebrate Independence Day this year? Out of fear and under the argument that rights can be suspended for the collective good, we have allowed the government to steal our “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence further states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” With the COVID-19 crisis, the governors have taken it upon themselves to dictate our lives to us, and they are not securing our rights or acting by the consent of the governed. Have we regressed back to our pre-1776 colonial days?

How do some of the grievances listed in our Declaration compare with what is happening today? We the people have lost our representation in the state legislatures, which have decided to transfer their duties to monarchs and allow the paternal benevolence of authoritarianism to become the law of the land. Many “nonessential” judicial proceedings have been halted, which has paved the way for the executive branch to become the only active part of government. The governors have altered or created hundreds of laws on their own whim, and the acts of the executive branch legislating in our affairs amounts to nothing less than tyranny. The governors have destroyed countless lives through arbitrary enforcement of mandatory business closures and bans on gatherings and free association. Stay-at-home orders have amounted to nothing less than soft house arrest without trial by jury, and these measures have led directly to negative consequences, including drug overdoses, suicides, domestic and sexual abuse, and loss of jobs and increased poverty. At the same time as small businesses have been forced to close, many large corporations have been able to continue operating throughout the crisis, which has led to government-granted monopolies that have destroyed the livelihoods of small business owners. Our rights of free assembly, the practice of our religion in an unhindered manner, and the ability to not have our lives, businesses, churches, or property taken without due process have been violated.

In addition to our gross injuries caused by COVID-19 restrictions, our rights have been threatened through measures taken in our post-9-11 world. The federal government has maintained large standing armies throughout the world forming an empire that has been viewed as a threat by many countries, and as a result of forming new enemies, we are in danger of wars and perils that do not benefit us. We have been subject to unreasonable searches and seizures of our activities and records, and warrants without specific details have been issued through secret and unaccountable courts. The government’s spying on us in our homes or searching our online activities is comparable to the quartering of troops in our homes, as we are no longer safe in a place where we should have privacy from everyone outside of our household. We must be in fear of saying certain things online or in public because political incorrectness or ideas that may be construed as terrorist threats may ruin our lives or reputations or land us under investigation. The government has imposed excessive taxes on us without our consent by career politicians who have their own interests at heart and status quo arrangements that cannot be challenged. The government has brought federal issues to the local level and militarized the police, which has led to excessive force and deadly invasions of citizens’ homes.

These grievances are uncannily similar to what the American colonists were facing that led to a revolution. We as Americans like to take the American Revolution for granted, but in reality, the people advocating for restrictive measures under COVID-19 or 9-11 for the collective good would have been the loyalists to the British crown in 1776. The British government offered their American colonists the comforts of security, but it came with a cost: suspension of certain rights.

The Declaration states that when governments become tyrannical and have repeated abuses of power that restrict our rights, the people have the right to alter or abolish that government. Perhaps we should ponder on these things instead of celebrating the select freedoms that the government still allows us to retain.
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Published on July 04, 2020 07:58
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