It is, of course, my favorite “holiday.” I do have one sinking feeling about commemorating the day, however. As much as we glorify the Revolutionary War, it was still a bloody and damaging war for both sides, the day would have been perfect had it led to a peaceful separation. OK, here are the two links:
(1) Here is Coyote reminding us that the D of I is a celebration of classical liberalism. It is truly astonishing to me how that idea is either forgotten or has been hijacked. He reminds us that the D of I was not about ensuring we all got the right to vote or have our voice heard, but rather:
The Rule of Law. For about 99% of human history, political power has been exercised at the unchecked capricious whim of a few individuals. The great innovation of western countries … (is that) all operate based on a set of laws known to all in advance and applying equally to all.
Sanctity and Protection of Individual Rights. Laws, though, can be changed. … These rights are typically outlined in the Constitution, but are not worth the paper they are written on unless a society has the desire and will, not to mention the political processes in place, to protect these rights and make the Constitution real.
Government is our servant. The central concept on which this country was founded is that an individual’s rights do not flow from government, but are inherent to all human beings. Government in this context only legitimately exists to the extent that it is our servant in the defense of our rights, rather than as the vessel from which these rights grudgingly flow.
(2) A cool note on Calvin Coolidge from Steven Haywood at Powerline:
Today my AEI pal Leon Kass, writing in the Wall Street Journal, gets at why liberals really hate Coolidge: he was the last serious and self-conscious anti-Progressive Republican president until Reagan came along
… (here are remarks from Coolidge to illustrate):
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.