Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Are we spirited or spiritless this 4th of July?

Thomas Sowell's July 4th column includes this assessment of Chief Justice John Roberts and his Supreme Court opinion issued last week:
"What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States."
For some, Roberts and his opinion have cast a cloud over this July 4th Independence Day holiday. For others, it's just a reminder the Founding Fathers warned we must all remain vigilant and be willing to act if we are to remain free.

Do we still have what it takes to remain a free and liberty-loving people? While specific issues and the severity of the challenges have varied over the years, members of each generation of Americans have asked and must answer the question.

I found an old cartoon while browsing on-line at the Library of Congress.
Our forefathers fought for a principle - there is no fight in us

The cartoon is from 1907 and carries this summary:  

At top left is "The Spirit of '76" showing a family about to sit down to tea, as boxes of tea are visible, through a window in the back of the room, floating in Boston Harbor. The father, who has just entered, states: "Away with that tea or you're no daughter of mine! Not a drop in this house until the hateful tax is taken off!"

At bottom right is "The Spiritless 1907" showing a family sitting at the dinner table where the grandfather is about to carve the beef, he states: "Ain't it a shame the prices they charge for beef. But we've got to have it, Trust or no Trust." At the bottom left, disgruntled patrons exit a "Market", counting their change.

It may be hard to see when you're watching today's events unfold, but the root questions and challenges we face may not be as unique to our times as you might think.

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