Friday, July 2, 2010

The Last, Best Hope

Most Americans don’t realize how slim our chances were for independence.

We were up against the most powerful nation on earth, had little or no organized military, a large part of the population (educated and wealthy especially) was sympathetic to the British, our colonies were spread out all along the Eastern Seaboard. As someone once said about D Day, “It was a closely run thing.”

Then small groups started talking about the belief that men (OK, it was a patriarchal society, so lighten up on the grammar) should have the right to seek their own lives and not have a monarchy or dictator calling the tune.

Many of our citizens, especially Thomas Jefferson, had been influenced by the writings coming out of the French Enlightenment; writings about personal freedom.

On July 4th lots of us will exercise our personal freedom to cook out, go swimming, probably drink a little too much, get sunburned, and see some fireworks…well, that’s what I have planned and I hope you get to do some of that.

However, too few of us think about how rare our freedom really is throughout the history of mankind.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we are, as Abraham Lincoln once called us, “The last, best hope on earth.”

Have a great 4th.

PS: If you see someone wearing ANYTHING that denotes military service, shake their hand and say, “Thank You.”

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