THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY, LIVE IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
by Ed Tubbs
American Reporter Correspondent
PALMETTO, Fla. -- How can one improve on Thomas Jefferson? It is Independence Day, the one day on our national calendar to refresh our parched palates with words from the father of that independence - not only from Britain, but from those among us who would seek to bind our freedoms to their beliefs.
At the time of Jefferson's presidency, the United States was young, inexperienced, frail, and militarily weak and confronted with threats from East to West and within - threats every bit as real as those we confront today. At that time, none dared be so incautious as to wager hard-earned money on our survival. Good odds weren't not in abundance.
Beyond these basic truths, neither he nor any of the Founding Fathers thought we would lose our rights and liberties to a foreign government as much as they feared we would surrender them to our own government. Today, we see undeniable evidence of an Administration intruding into our most private affairs, diminishing basic rights bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers, and intimidating American citizens and our press into submission.
This was a peril the founding fathers, especially Mr. Jefferson, fully expected would arise. Indeed, he counted on it (see the first three offerings).
And that raises a poignant and pregnant question: If he were to return for a brief visit today, what do you think he would say to us about the manner in which we have handled stewardship of those precious rights and liberties?
Below are 16 brief passages from Jefferson's writings that I hope will inspire all of us at long last to rush to our windows and angrily declare our ire over the obscene hoof-prints that have recently soiled the Constitution our forefathers lovingly and optimistically entrusted to our care. I hope it will help light the rebellious urge in all of us to once again raise high the torch of freedom that Jefferson and his fellow Americans first set ablaze, and to courageously refuse to let that precious flame any more flicker. The sixteenth quotation reflects what I believe is his greatest accomplishment as President, one that ought to be the standard by which we judge all subsequent officeholders.
And now, Mr. Jefferson:
Remember: It's not just the 4th of July, it's Independence Day. Live it like you could lose it.
Correspondent Ed Tubbs is a free-lance writer, journalist and political activist in Florida.