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Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 4, 2008

Jack Lynch

I learned to love American freedom and citizen input into government as a child in history lessons from musty texts that had been in the school system for many years, their stories simplified and gentrified in ways it would take me long years of experience and exposure to understand – but their basic truths held with me as a solemn pact between the founders and my life. I was a beneficiary of the many sacrifices of many citizens who overcame a litany of struggles: female suffrage, civil rights, immigrant assimilation, and even that public education I had received.

Later years, the picnics and fireworks and Beach Boys concerts on the national Mall in Washington were part of the experience of the Fourth of July celebrations – but I have come round once again in these recent times, to the truths of liberty, and the challenges to it.

As a dying Adams said that July 4th - Jefferson still lives! The hope and spirit of citizen self governance still lives, even eight score and sixteen years beyond his death near the fiftieth anniversary of American freedom. We must remember this – and hold fast to its promise – for today as never before - that citizen freedom of governance is threatened.

Our long national infatuation with conservative Republican values has begun to fade, for it has brought us grief, and fear, and a dimming of the American light of freedom in the world. Our current leadership has traded collective assent for temporary power and war, it has brought us to fear and repel difference and the immigrant, postured paranoia in watching and listening to us for any sign of dissension, it has traded our moral authority for continued carbon emissions, and human torture, and military tribunals of prisoners – it has yielded a bitter fruit that only a restoration of the grace of citizen governance can regain.

Our answer to these challenges lies in a return to liberal Democratic governance and values, in returning to the world stage with both olive branch and dove, with responding to distrust and hatred with relief of human misery and assisting in access to food and clean water, and in communication of our real values in native tongues. Improving lives is repaid in human freedom and American respect around the world. Standing for our traditional freedoms at home is our common birthright, and an expression of our respect for universal human dignity and freedom.

The ancient world's kingdoms all fell, one by one of their own self righteous weight and suppression of human freedom and self governance, and the hope of mankind lies in American freedom restored, and sacrificed for once again – we must remember this – and celebrate it tomorrow.

Between the hot dog eating contests, picnics, and fireworks, recall the foundations of liberty and our responsibility to maintain that freedom – and give thanks for them.

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