Back when I was somebody, I often had to host the 4th of July celebrations given by our embassies. On one occasion, it came to me to deliver a little 4th of July speech. In it I thanked England for being, well, England (yes, I used the term England, not the UK, or Great Britain or anything else). We only need look elsewhere to see what might have been our fate had the settlers been from a different place.
The American War for Independence was caused by and about many things. No doubt with the defeat of the French in the prior decade Americans saw increasingly little need for British troops and London's stewardship. People also often forget how old the colonies were at the time of the Declaration of Independence. Brits had been living in America for some two hundred years. There were multiple generations of American-born Brits who had never been to Britain and had only a hazy notion of the place. We all have heard the economic reasons for the clash, including taxes, of course. The war, however, was in many ways a continuation of the English Civil Wars and of the Glorious Revolution, in which we saw the English struggle between loyalty to the monarch and loyalty to the belief in parliament and individual rights. In the end, the American war was decided in favor of the latter but in a more draconian manner than had been done in England (execution of Charles I aside). Our British, primarily English (yes, Jefferson was a descendent of Welsh immigrants) founders did away with the monarchy altogether, and asserted, in the Bill of Rights, the primacy of the individual. We had a war between Englishmen and the Englishmen won.
Just as the War of Independence was not just or even mainly about economics, our election next November should not be either. Yes, the parlous state of the economy is important, but so is freedom. In my view, the individual freedom that was at the core of the War of Independence has never been more threatened than now. We have allowed and encouraged, perhaps with the best of intentions, monstrous growth in the size and power of government. We have ceded freedom and rights to legions of lawyers, unelected bureaucrats, prosecutors, cops, and the uneducated college-degree holders that everywhere tell us how to live, and make more and more things illegal.
This election must be about reversing that, striking down the hideous Obamacare but also tomes and tomes of laws and regulations that stifle creativity, freedom, and, as a consequence, drag our economy down. Let's have our own Glorious Revolution and decide it in favor of the individual.