It was an idea that was, well, revolutionary that a nation could be run, not by a king; not by feudal lords or military might but by the people themselves.
A people who would have certain unalienable rights; to pursue their dreams for their lives, their liberties and their ultimate happiness.
It would be a place where all men would be created equal. That was the dream.
It wasn’t easy but on this day 238 years ago a group of landowners, tired of paying taxes to a king an ocean away, risked being hung as traitors by declaring themselves an independent nation, a loose confederation of states that would stand united.
It would be a representative form of government. The people would elect leaders to represent them in the government’s business and answer to them if the will of the people wasn’t being carried out.
But it would require an informed public; people who knew the issues of the day and the leaders looking to represent them.
Just leaving the government’s business to the powerful wouldn’t be good enough anymore.
The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence contain some of the finest public prose ever written, forceful and direct yet still available for interpretation.
As such they are living documents defined and redefined by current beliefs.
Today that means making sure that “all men created equal” includes every race and creed and women too.
If a Right to Bear Arms is absolute in an age of muskets, should it change in a world of automatic weapons?
If Congress and the President are operating with about a 30 percent approval rating, do they really have the consent of the governed required?
Self-governance is hard work and we still fall well short in many areas of what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
But if you can get up in the morning with the hope that today might just be a little better then you pursue that dream and can thank those men who took the risk to make it happen.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend everyone.