So, tomorrow is July 4th. The anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.
Here’s the second paragraph:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “
If my research has taught me anything, it’s that in 1776, these truths were anything but self-evident. “All men are created equal,” governments “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”—in England at this time period that was radicalism. “Democracy” was a dirty word to many. And I’m really, really proud to be part of a country that started out from that point. (Well, started out from that point in theory, at least.)
And now for something a little sillier (but that totally makes me cry—I’m a sap, I admit it!): Captain Kirk reading the Preamble to the Constitution.