Go Independence Day!
But what does it mean?
We are independent from British rule since 1776.
That made us a free nation.
We are free to be...but be what?
1) Safe and Secure - Have a strong military, intelligence, and homeland security to keep the peace or compromise on national security and make bad deals for political expediency and face the consequences by a host of crazed terrorist threats, a nuclear Iran, a belligerent North Korea, a bellicose Russia, or a rising confrontational China.
2) Prosperous And Self-Sufficient - Strengthen education, encourage innovation, invest in research and development and advanced manufacturing, cultivate a motivated and capable workforce, and manage a fiscally responsible economy or spend recklessly and indiscriminately driven by pork-barrel politics and special interests and eventually bankrupt our richly-endowed nation.
3) Equal And With Fundamental Human Rights - Ensure equality and opportunity for everyone under the law, where everyone has respect and dignity and the protection of basic human rights or discriminate in large and small ways perpetuating the have and have nots in every fiber of our society, where the rich get sickeningly richer and for everyone else you're sh*t out of luck.
4) Socially Just - Provide for a just and fair society ensuring that people are duly protected and crime does not pay or irresponsibly live in managed chaos and let violent criminals back out on the streets in a revolving door of recidivism rather than rehabilitation.
5) Environmentally Responsible - Safeguard our environment and natural resources, invest in renewable energy resources and sustainability, reduce, reuse, and recycle, and give a hoot and don't pollute or just pig out now and leave an inhospitable gutted world for later.
6) Democratically Governed - Rule with righteousness and integrity, give back to the people, be open and honest, listen to all sides and ensure a balanced fair approach or perpetuate lies, deceit, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, waste, and abuse.
Not everyone in the world is so lucky to be free.
Maybe this Independence Day, we think not just about the new Terminator movie, shopping at the mall, and feasting at the BBQ, but also what we want this treasured freedom to mean, what our "leaders" are leading us to, and are we getting the freedom we all, as human beings under G-d, innately deserve.
We can definitely raise the bar and we should. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)