What Does (American) Independence Look Like Today?

There is no single panacea to restoring our foundational principles, but the solution begins with the freedom movement first recognizing the gravity of the problem.  Recognizing that we must pursue multiple avenues – whether it means using constitutional avenues to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches, exploring a new party that would invariably replace the failed Republican Party, begin working on Article V conventions, and changing the speed and intensity of our tactics in engaging the culture, politics, and corporate world the same way the Left does, albeit in a lawful manner.  It’s time to start winning again and the only way to win is to go on offense. 

4th of July

There is no single panacea to restoring our foundational principles, but the solution begins with the freedom movement first recognizing the gravity of the problem.  Recognizing that we must pursue multiple avenues – whether it means using constitutional avenues to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches, exploring a new party that would invariably replace the failed Republican Party, begin working on Article V conventions, and changing the speed and intensity of our tactics in engaging the culture, politics, and corporate world the same way the Left does, albeit in a lawful manner.  It’s time to start winning again and the only way to win is to go on offense.  - See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/Commentary/2015/07/What-Does-Independence-Look-Like-Today#sthash.ozcM28oi.dpuf

There’s no way to sugarcoat this.  This Independence Day is marred by a thick darkness that cannot be illuminated by the endless fireworks over the weekend. 

This week we celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation on earth, marking the 239th year since the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776.  What we are truly celebrating is not the mere creation of a new nation and the document of secession from England, but the founding of a country on the self-evident, God-given rights and ideals expressed in the Declaration.  It is those ideals that gave birth to what would become the greatest nation in the world and would distinguish the American Revolution from the many other rebellions that led to the formation of new countries throughout history.

The Importance of the Declaration – even more than the Constitution

These revolutionary ideals we celebrate are self-evident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That in order to protect these rights people are entitled to popular sovereignty – to form a government that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.”  The Declaration concluded “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” for success in establishing this new nation constructed upon the foundation of God-given rights.

The subsequent crafting of the Constitution was built upon all the principles of the Declaration and any ambiguity in the law must not countermand any of the self-evident truths expressed on Independence Day.      

President Calvin Coolidge noted in his July 4, 1926 speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration that although the Founders knew that the times and technology would change and progress, the ideals expressed in this document were to be interminable.  In his own words:

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.

In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.

While Coolidge was clearly taking a veiled shot at the progressives of his time who were beginning to alter the framework of our Founding, he was still able to confidently assert in 1926 that “America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago.”

How far have we strayed from those self-evident truths?

Standing here today 89 years after Coolidge’s seminal speech, what can we say about the state of the principles declared 239 years ago?  In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.  Not only has our system of government been hijacked by those who stray from these principles, the ruling elite have bastardized these very principles to justify their new order – an evolving philosophy that is antithetical to the self-evident truths of nature and nature’s God.   

Equal Rights and Pursuit of Happiness 

Equal rights?  That ideal has been replaced by the pagan Gods of political correctness, established and guided by a tiny ruling elite, which has granted special rights to selected protected groups at the expense of the individual.  In one fell swoop, the Supreme Court has enshrined “disparate impact” into our Constitution, mandating subjectively equal outcomes for their favored groups in all areas of private life and punishing what the Thought Police perceive as “unconscious prejudices”  – an anathema to the true ideal of equality expressed in the Declaration.  The most irrational repudiation of natural law has allowed this growing trend of super-rights – invented rights granted by government instead of God – to infringe upon the pursuit of happiness and private enterprise of those who reserve just the inherent rights granted by God.  

This fringe ruling class has concocted special rights for transgenderism, homosexual marriage, and other specious ideas that run counter to the laws of nature – “rights” our Founders could have never fathomed.  These special rights are creating a brush fire of tyranny that is threatening to violate all forms of religious liberty with the vitiation of private property rights and the imposition of involuntary servitude.

And this assault on religious liberty to benefit a fringe libertine minority, which is unprecedented since our nation’s founding, is in itself rooted in the erosion of the ideals of civil liberty and property rights (pursuit of happiness).  With the ability to tax and regulate almost every act – and in the case of Obamacare, even inaction – government, not God, has become the benefactor of those rights.  It was only a matter of time before this 100-year march towards government control of private property and commerce (pursuit of happiness) would inevitably lead to the curtailment of religious liberty. 

As John Witherspoon presciently warned, “there is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.”

Life 

Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility.

And what about life?  Once again, the culture of extirpating God from the consciousness of this nation has led to the loss of life for nearly 60 million babies since 1973.  For all the talk about how they feel “progressive” values can supplant inherent rights and create new rights not expressed in the Declaration or Constitution, the Left regressively ignores modern technology that shows babies fully formed in the womb as a human life, certainly after 20 weeks.

Popular Sovereignty

What does a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed look like?  We now have a Congress that is impossible to replace through the electoral process, irrespective of their mandate from the people.  Because Congress has abused its enumerated powers from its original scope as laid out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, the cycle of money and politics allows the congressional leaders of both parties to use the boot of government to entrench their own political interests. 

What’s worse, Congress has outsourced most of its legislative mandate to an unelected executive bureaucracy.  They won’t even wield the power of the purse to reign in an imperial president from fundamentally transforming America through immigration, something that even King George lacked the power to implement without the English Parliament during the times of the revolution.  Indeed, James Madison referred to the power of the purse “as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”  Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility. 

Furthermore, we now have a Supreme Court that has given full license to the Executive Branch to legislate as they see fit, and in the event that they need help, the Chief Justice is more than eager to legislate himself.  They have become de facto legislators, except that they have lifetime appointments with no practical way of being held accountable.  Hence, a government that does not derive its powers from the consent of the governed.

The Brush Fire Against the Foundation of the Declaration of Independence  

Nowhere is this rapid abandonment of the principles asserted in the Declaration more evident than with the growing brushfire in this country against religious liberty.  

How ironic that the ideals expressed in the Declaration, which were rooted in the inviolable truth of natural law and nature’s God, would be countermanded 230 years later by a relentless war on God and natural law.  How tragic that religious liberty – the very impetus for the creation of America – is now under assault by a powerful decadent elite who seek to eradicate religion, not just from the public square, but from private institutions and businesses – and in short order – even from one’s home. 

Liberty-loving Americans have watched the slow erosion of their God-given rights and Founding principles for close to a century turn into a brushfire over the past few years, threatening to destroy every principle, tradition, and civil societal institution we hold dear.  With religious liberty in the crosshairs of the fringe elite, for how much longer will the patriots continue playing checkers while their opponents play chess?

When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

During our Founding, Sam Adams warned the public that “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”  Now, with an entire movement dedicated towards eradicating marriage, religion, and even gender from our society, and a court system and body politic that has asserted the very foundational rights of the Declaration to bless this destruction, we are at the precipice of losing all religious liberty.  And the forces of tyranny have just gotten started. 

Calvin Coolidge concluded his epic July 4 message with a warning against those who would turn their backs on the spiritual and religious foundation of the Declaration for “pagan materialism.”  He beseeched the American people to “cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy” and to follow “the spiritual and moral leadership” of our Founders.  When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

Where are the Patriots of our Time?

For the past 100 years, and over the past generation in particular, every facet of our civil society and system of governance has been stripped bare and turned on its head.  Religious liberty is the last remaining frontier of America as it was founded.  This issue is like none other, and an all-out assault against religion warrants a response like none other.  As founder Benjamin Rush observed, “the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

The preamble of the Declaration concedes that revolutions are wholly undesirable except in the most extenuating circumstances.  But if we reach a point when Americans can no longer practice their religion unencumbered by the most extreme sexual-identity fascism, the justification behind the preamble of the Declaration and the American Revolution itself would pale in comparison to what is confronting us in our generation.  Moreover, as previously noted, at least King George was not bound by a constitution of a Republic; our current political cartel has violated every tenet of the constitutional rule of law built upon the self-evident truths of that great document.  

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.

The “long train of abuses and usurpations” our Founders were referencing seem puerile compared to the existential abuses and usurpations we face nowadays from the very government that was founded on this great document.  Whereas the colonists were confronted with taxation without representation; we languish from, as Justice Scalia noted, “social transformation without representation.”  Whereas the colonists were confronted by a king who never recognized unalienable rights under natural law and nature’s God, we suffer from a government that corrupts the very essence of our founding documents to infringe upon those unalienable rights and create new rights for special classes – asserted rights that are an imprecation to nature’s God.

Yet, even those professional politicos who claim to share the Founder’s vision for our country are never willing to do what it takes to restore our republic.  They bring feathers to a machine gun fight; girl scouts to an ISIS fight.  Even following the bloodless revolution that took place last week with three court decisions that will forever remake our country (not to mention a number of odious legislative and executive actions), the reaction from so-called constitutionalists has been the old banal and underwhelming path to failure. 

They refer to lawless actions contrary to the consent of the governed as “the law of the land.” 

They continue to focus exclusively on the failed electoral process, learning nothing from the profound dichotomy between last November’s elections and the tragic outcome. 

Meanwhile, the forces of tyranny are able to change our entire system of governance and remake the building blocks of our civilization in a single day, as it remains to be seen whether or not the supporters of liberty can even conjure up a 100-year-plan to preserve the remaining morsels of constitutional freedoms.

Party Like it’s 1776

This July 4th must be different for those who ascribe more meaning to the day than fireworks and barbeques.  The events of the past few years culminating with last week’s political and judicial massacre must galvanize the conservative movement to think past the current system of failure.  How much longer can we continue to constrain ourselves to traditional failed methods of fighting against those who have illegally supplanted our Constitution long ago?  How can we fight back against this usurpation given the constitutional constraints we feel obliged to follow - constraints that were designed to prevent this worse-case-scenario but failed miserably in doing so?

There is no single panacea to restoring our foundational principles, but the solution begins with the freedom movement first recognizing the gravity of the problem.  Recognizing that we must pursue multiple avenues – whether it means using constitutional avenues to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches, exploring a new party that would invariably replace the failed Republican Party, begin working on Article V conventions, and changing the speed and intensity of our tactics in engaging the culture, politics, and corporate world the same way the Left does, albeit in a lawful manner.  It’s time to start winning again and the only way to win is to go on offense. 

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.  The same systemic flaws will continue to fester, irrespective of which face of the same beast sits in the Oval Office. When assessing the failure of our movement to stop the inexorable destruction of our founding principles, we must be reminded of the admonition Haggai: 

“You have sown much and you bring in little. You eat without being satiated. You drink without getting your fill. You dress, and it has no warmth. And he who profits, profits into a bundle with holes.” [Haggai 1:6]

There are too many leaders of the freedom movement who have profited off of simply observing and opining about the list of grievances, yet are bought into their line of work to the extent that they refuse to join any meaningful effort to redress those grievances. 

It’s time for everyone who longs for the restoration of our Republic to harness the inspiration from this Independence Day and unite behind a common cause – with a full commitment to an all-of-the-above approach to fighting the silent coup against our founding with equal and opposing force – and then some.  Inaction is not an answer; to remain silent or continue with the failed status quo is to be complicit in the dismantling of our 239 year old foundation. 

We must take this time to pray and look to God for guidance and wisdom to properly confront this crisis.  But if we are to assert a  firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence the way our Founders did, it is incumbent upon us to unite behind a comprehensive plan –and mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor in pursuit of that plan – in order to merit that divine providence. 

Let’s reembrace and restore our Declaration of Independence, lest the growing deceleration of independence turn into full-blown tyranny in our lifetime.    

Daniel Horowitz is the Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.          

READ CONSERVATIVE REVIEW     

dThere’s no way to sugarcoat this.  This Independence Day is marred by a thick darkness that cannot be illuminated by the endless fireworks over the weekend. 

This week we celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation on earth, marking the 239th year since the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776.  What we are truly celebrating is not the mere creation of a new nation and the document of secession from England, but the founding of a country on the self-evident, God-given rights and ideals expressed in the Declaration.  It is those ideals that gave birth to what would become the greatest nation in the world and would distinguish the American Revolution from the many other rebellions that led to the formation of new countries throughout history.

The Importance of the Declaration – even more than the Constitution

These revolutionary ideals we celebrate are self-evident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That in order to protect these rights people are entitled to popular sovereignty – to form a government that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.”  The Declaration concluded “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” for success in establishing this new nation constructed upon the foundation of God-given rights.

The subsequent crafting of the Constitution was built upon all the principles of the Declaration and any ambiguity in the law must not countermand any of the self-evident truths expressed on Independence Day.      

President Calvin Coolidge noted in his July 4, 1926 speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration that although the Founders knew that the times and technology would change and progress, the ideals expressed in this document were to be interminable.  In his own words:

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.

In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.

While Coolidge was clearly taking a veiled shot at the progressives of his time who were beginning to alter the framework of our Founding, he was still able to confidently assert in 1926 that “America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago.”

How far have we strayed from those self-evident truths?

Standing here today 89 years after Coolidge’s seminal speech, what can we say about the state of the principles declared 239 years ago?  In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.  Not only has our system of government been hijacked by those who stray from these principles, the ruling elite have bastardized these very principles to justify their new order – an evolving philosophy that is antithetical to the self-evident truths of nature and nature’s God.   

Equal Rights and Pursuit of Happiness 

Equal rights?  That ideal has been replaced by the pagan Gods of political correctness, established and guided by a tiny ruling elite, which has granted special rights to selected protected groups at the expense of the individual.  In one fell swoop, the Supreme Court has enshrined “disparate impact” into our Constitution, mandating subjectively equal outcomes for their favored groups in all areas of private life and punishing what the Thought Police perceive as “unconscious prejudices”  – an anathema to the true ideal of equality expressed in the Declaration.  The most irrational repudiation of natural law has allowed this growing trend of super-rights – invented rights granted by government instead of God – to infringe upon the pursuit of happiness and private enterprise of those who reserve just the inherent rights granted by God.  

This fringe ruling class has concocted special rights for transgenderism, homosexual marriage, and other specious ideas that run counter to the laws of nature – “rights” our Founders could have never fathomed.  These special rights are creating a brush fire of tyranny that is threatening to violate all forms of religious liberty with the vitiation of private property rights and the imposition of involuntary servitude.

And this assault on religious liberty to benefit a fringe libertine minority, which is unprecedented since our nation’s founding, is in itself rooted in the erosion of the ideals of civil liberty and property rights (pursuit of happiness).  With the ability to tax and regulate almost every act – and in the case of Obamacare, even inaction – government, not God, has become the benefactor of those rights.  It was only a matter of time before this 100-year march towards government control of private property and commerce (pursuit of happiness) would inevitably lead to the curtailment of religious liberty. 

As John Witherspoon presciently warned, “there is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.”

Life 

Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility.

And what about life?  Once again, the culture of extirpating God from the consciousness of this nation has led to the loss of life for nearly 60 million babies since 1973.  For all the talk about how they feel “progressive” values can supplant inherent rights and create new rights not expressed in the Declaration or Constitution, the Left regressively ignores modern technology that shows babies fully formed in the womb as a human life, certainly after 20 weeks.

Popular Sovereignty

What does a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed look like?  We now have a Congress that is impossible to replace through the electoral process, irrespective of their mandate from the people.  Because Congress has abused its enumerated powers from its original scope as laid out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, the cycle of money and politics allows the congressional leaders of both parties to use the boot of government to entrench their own political interests. 

What’s worse, Congress has outsourced most of its legislative mandate to an unelected executive bureaucracy.  They won’t even wield the power of the purse to reign in an imperial president from fundamentally transforming America through immigration, something that even King George lacked the power to implement without the English Parliament during the times of the revolution.  Indeed, James Madison referred to the power of the purse “as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”  Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility. 

Furthermore, we now have a Supreme Court that has given full license to the Executive Branch to legislate as they see fit, and in the event that they need help, the Chief Justice is more than eager to legislate himself.  They have become de facto legislators, except that they have lifetime appointments with no practical way of being held accountable.  Hence, a government that does not derive its powers from the consent of the governed.

The Brush Fire Against the Foundation of the Declaration of Independence  

Nowhere is this rapid abandonment of the principles asserted in the Declaration more evident than with the growing brushfire in this country against religious liberty.  

How ironic that the ideals expressed in the Declaration, which were rooted in the inviolable truth of natural law and nature’s God, would be countermanded 230 years later by a relentless war on God and natural law.  How tragic that religious liberty – the very impetus for the creation of America – is now under assault by a powerful decadent elite who seek to eradicate religion, not just from the public square, but from private institutions and businesses – and in short order – even from one’s home. 

Liberty-loving Americans have watched the slow erosion of their God-given rights and Founding principles for close to a century turn into a brushfire over the past few years, threatening to destroy every principle, tradition, and civil societal institution we hold dear.  With religious liberty in the crosshairs of the fringe elite, for how much longer will the patriots continue playing checkers while their opponents play chess?

When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

During our Founding, Sam Adams warned the public that “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”  Now, with an entire movement dedicated towards eradicating marriage, religion, and even gender from our society, and a court system and body politic that has asserted the very foundational rights of the Declaration to bless this destruction, we are at the precipice of losing all religious liberty.  And the forces of tyranny have just gotten started. 

Calvin Coolidge concluded his epic July 4 message with a warning against those who would turn their backs on the spiritual and religious foundation of the Declaration for “pagan materialism.”  He beseeched the American people to “cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy” and to follow “the spiritual and moral leadership” of our Founders.  When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

Where are the Patriots of our Time?

For the past 100 years, and over the past generation in particular, every facet of our civil society and system of governance has been stripped bare and turned on its head.  Religious liberty is the last remaining frontier of America as it was founded.  This issue is like none other, and an all-out assault against religion warrants a response like none other.  As founder Benjamin Rush observed, “the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

The preamble of the Declaration concedes that revolutions are wholly undesirable except in the most extenuating circumstances.  But if we reach a point when Americans can no longer practice their religion unencumbered by the most extreme sexual-identity fascism, the justification behind the preamble of the Declaration and the American Revolution itself would pale in comparison to what is confronting us in our generation.  Moreover, as previously noted, at least King George was not bound by a constitution of a Republic; our current political cartel has violated every tenet of the constitutional rule of law built upon the self-evident truths of that great document.  

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.

The “long train of abuses and usurpations” our Founders were referencing seem puerile compared to the existential abuses and usurpations we face nowadays from the very government that was founded on this great document.  Whereas the colonists were confronted with taxation without representation; we languish from, as Justice Scalia noted, “social transformation without representation.”  Whereas the colonists were confronted by a king who never recognized unalienable rights under natural law and nature’s God, we suffer from a government that corrupts the very essence of our founding documents to infringe upon those unalienable rights and create new rights for special classes – asserted rights that are an imprecation to nature’s God.

Yet, even those professional politicos who claim to share the Founder’s vision for our country are never willing to do what it takes to restore our republic.  They bring feathers to a machine gun fight; girl scouts to an ISIS fight.  Even following the bloodless revolution that took place last week with three court decisions that will forever remake our country (not to mention a number of odious legislative and executive actions), the reaction from so-called constitutionalists has been the old banal and underwhelming path to failure. 

They refer to lawless actions contrary to the consent of the governed as “the law of the land.” 

They continue to focus exclusively on the failed electoral process, learning nothing from the profound dichotomy between last November’s elections and the tragic outcome. 

Meanwhile, the forces of tyranny are able to change our entire system of governance and remake the building blocks of our civilization in a single day, as it remains to be seen whether or not the supporters of liberty can even conjure up a 100-year-plan to preserve the remaining morsels of constitutional freedoms.

Party Like it’s 1776

This July 4th must be different for those who ascribe more meaning to the day than fireworks and barbeques.  The events of the past few years culminating with last week’s political and judicial massacre must galvanize the conservative movement to think past the current system of failure.  How much longer can we continue to constrain ourselves to traditional failed methods of fighting against those who have illegally supplanted our Constitution long ago?  How can we fight back against this usurpation given the constitutional constraints we feel obliged to follow - constraints that were designed to prevent this worse-case-scenario but failed miserably in doing so?

There is no single panacea to restoring our foundational principles, but the solution begins with the freedom movement first recognizing the gravity of the problem.  Recognizing that we must pursue multiple avenues – whether it means using constitutional avenues to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches, exploring a new party that would invariably replace the failed Republican Party, begin working on Article V conventions, and changing the speed and intensity of our tactics in engaging the culture, politics, and corporate world the same way the Left does, albeit in a lawful manner.  It’s time to start winning again and the only way to win is to go on offense. 

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.  The same systemic flaws will continue to fester, irrespective of which face of the same beast sits in the Oval Office. When assessing the failure of our movement to stop the inexorable destruction of our founding principles, we must be reminded of the admonition Haggai: 

“You have sown much and you bring in little. You eat without being satiated. You drink without getting your fill. You dress, and it has no warmth. And he who profits, profits into a bundle with holes.” [Haggai 1:6]

There are too many leaders of the freedom movement who have profited off of simply observing and opining about the list of grievances, yet are bought into their line of work to the extent that they refuse to join any meaningful effort to redress those grievances. 

It’s time for everyone who longs for the restoration of our Republic to harness the inspiration from this Independence Day and unite behind a common cause – with a full commitment to an all-of-the-above approach to fighting the silent coup against our founding with equal and opposing force – and then some.  Inaction is not an answer; to remain silent or continue with the failed status quo is to be complicit in the dismantling of our 239 year old foundation. 

We must take this time to pray and look to God for guidance and wisdom to properly confront this crisis.  But if we are to assert a  firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence the way our Founders did, it is incumbent upon us to unite behind a comprehensive plan –and mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor in pursuit of that plan – in order to merit that divine providence. 

Let’s reembrace and restore our Declaration of Independence, lest the growing deceleration of independence turn into full-blown tyranny in our lifetime.    

 

Daniel Horowitz is the Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.          

- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/Commentary/2015/07/What-Does-Independence-Look-Like-Today#sthash.ozcM28oi.dpuf

There’s no way to sugarcoat this.  This Independence Day is marred by a thick darkness that cannot be illuminated by the endless fireworks over the weekend. 

This week we celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation on earth, marking the 239th year since the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776.  What we are truly celebrating is not the mere creation of a new nation and the document of secession from England, but the founding of a country on the self-evident, God-given rights and ideals expressed in the Declaration.  It is those ideals that gave birth to what would become the greatest nation in the world and would distinguish the American Revolution from the many other rebellions that led to the formation of new countries throughout history.

The Importance of the Declaration – even more than the Constitution

These revolutionary ideals we celebrate are self-evident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That in order to protect these rights people are entitled to popular sovereignty – to form a government that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.”  The Declaration concluded “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” for success in establishing this new nation constructed upon the foundation of God-given rights.

The subsequent crafting of the Constitution was built upon all the principles of the Declaration and any ambiguity in the law must not countermand any of the self-evident truths expressed on Independence Day.      

President Calvin Coolidge noted in his July 4, 1926 speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration that although the Founders knew that the times and technology would change and progress, the ideals expressed in this document were to be interminable.  In his own words:

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.

In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.

While Coolidge was clearly taking a veiled shot at the progressives of his time who were beginning to alter the framework of our Founding, he was still able to confidently assert in 1926 that “America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago.”

How far have we strayed from those self-evident truths?

Standing here today 89 years after Coolidge’s seminal speech, what can we say about the state of the principles declared 239 years ago?  In this era of hyper-progressivism and paganism, which Coolidge rightly observes as regressive, there is indeed no equality, no rights of the individual, and no rule of the people.  Not only has our system of government been hijacked by those who stray from these principles, the ruling elite have bastardized these very principles to justify their new order – an evolving philosophy that is antithetical to the self-evident truths of nature and nature’s God.   

Equal Rights and Pursuit of Happiness 

Equal rights?  That ideal has been replaced by the pagan Gods of political correctness, established and guided by a tiny ruling elite, which has granted special rights to selected protected groups at the expense of the individual.  In one fell swoop, the Supreme Court has enshrined “disparate impact” into our Constitution, mandating subjectively equal outcomes for their favored groups in all areas of private life and punishing what the Thought Police perceive as “unconscious prejudices”  – an anathema to the true ideal of equality expressed in the Declaration.  The most irrational repudiation of natural law has allowed this growing trend of super-rights – invented rights granted by government instead of God – to infringe upon the pursuit of happiness and private enterprise of those who reserve just the inherent rights granted by God.  

This fringe ruling class has concocted special rights for transgenderism, homosexual marriage, and other specious ideas that run counter to the laws of nature – “rights” our Founders could have never fathomed.  These special rights are creating a brush fire of tyranny that is threatening to violate all forms of religious liberty with the vitiation of private property rights and the imposition of involuntary servitude.

And this assault on religious liberty to benefit a fringe libertine minority, which is unprecedented since our nation’s founding, is in itself rooted in the erosion of the ideals of civil liberty and property rights (pursuit of happiness).  With the ability to tax and regulate almost every act – and in the case of Obamacare, even inaction – government, not God, has become the benefactor of those rights.  It was only a matter of time before this 100-year march towards government control of private property and commerce (pursuit of happiness) would inevitably lead to the curtailment of religious liberty. 

As John Witherspoon presciently warned, “there is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.”

Life 

Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility.

And what about life?  Once again, the culture of extirpating God from the consciousness of this nation has led to the loss of life for nearly 60 million babies since 1973.  For all the talk about how they feel “progressive” values can supplant inherent rights and create new rights not expressed in the Declaration or Constitution, the Left regressively ignores modern technology that shows babies fully formed in the womb as a human life, certainly after 20 weeks.

Popular Sovereignty

What does a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed look like?  We now have a Congress that is impossible to replace through the electoral process, irrespective of their mandate from the people.  Because Congress has abused its enumerated powers from its original scope as laid out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, the cycle of money and politics allows the congressional leaders of both parties to use the boot of government to entrench their own political interests. 

What’s worse, Congress has outsourced most of its legislative mandate to an unelected executive bureaucracy.  They won’t even wield the power of the purse to reign in an imperial president from fundamentally transforming America through immigration, something that even King George lacked the power to implement without the English Parliament during the times of the revolution.  Indeed, James Madison referred to the power of the purse “as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”  Yet, with a corrupt Congress that has outsourced their job to the executive, we now have governance without representation and a legislature that has permanently abdicated their responsibility. 

Furthermore, we now have a Supreme Court that has given full license to the Executive Branch to legislate as they see fit, and in the event that they need help, the Chief Justice is more than eager to legislate himself.  They have become de facto legislators, except that they have lifetime appointments with no practical way of being held accountable.  Hence, a government that does not derive its powers from the consent of the governed.

The Brush Fire Against the Foundation of the Declaration of Independence  

Nowhere is this rapid abandonment of the principles asserted in the Declaration more evident than with the growing brushfire in this country against religious liberty.  

How ironic that the ideals expressed in the Declaration, which were rooted in the inviolable truth of natural law and nature’s God, would be countermanded 230 years later by a relentless war on God and natural law.  How tragic that religious liberty – the very impetus for the creation of America – is now under assault by a powerful decadent elite who seek to eradicate religion, not just from the public square, but from private institutions and businesses – and in short order – even from one’s home. 

Liberty-loving Americans have watched the slow erosion of their God-given rights and Founding principles for close to a century turn into a brushfire over the past few years, threatening to destroy every principle, tradition, and civil societal institution we hold dear.  With religious liberty in the crosshairs of the fringe elite, for how much longer will the patriots continue playing checkers while their opponents play chess?

When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

During our Founding, Sam Adams warned the public that “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”  Now, with an entire movement dedicated towards eradicating marriage, religion, and even gender from our society, and a court system and body politic that has asserted the very foundational rights of the Declaration to bless this destruction, we are at the precipice of losing all religious liberty.  And the forces of tyranny have just gotten started. 

Calvin Coolidge concluded his epic July 4 message with a warning against those who would turn their backs on the spiritual and religious foundation of the Declaration for “pagan materialism.”  He beseeched the American people to “cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy” and to follow “the spiritual and moral leadership” of our Founders.  When Coolidge warned of the materialistic paganism of his time, he certainly could never have envisioned the coming war on religion, marriage, gender, and liberty itself.

Where are the Patriots of our Time?

For the past 100 years, and over the past generation in particular, every facet of our civil society and system of governance has been stripped bare and turned on its head.  Religious liberty is the last remaining frontier of America as it was founded.  This issue is like none other, and an all-out assault against religion warrants a response like none other.  As founder Benjamin Rush observed, “the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

The preamble of the Declaration concedes that revolutions are wholly undesirable except in the most extenuating circumstances.  But if we reach a point when Americans can no longer practice their religion unencumbered by the most extreme sexual-identity fascism, the justification behind the preamble of the Declaration and the American Revolution itself would pale in comparison to what is confronting us in our generation.  Moreover, as previously noted, at least King George was not bound by a constitution of a Republic; our current political cartel has violated every tenet of the constitutional rule of law built upon the self-evident truths of that great document.  

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.

The “long train of abuses and usurpations” our Founders were referencing seem puerile compared to the existential abuses and usurpations we face nowadays from the very government that was founded on this great document.  Whereas the colonists were confronted with taxation without representation; we languish from, as Justice Scalia noted, “social transformation without representation.”  Whereas the colonists were confronted by a king who never recognized unalienable rights under natural law and nature’s God, we suffer from a government that corrupts the very essence of our founding documents to infringe upon those unalienable rights and create new rights for special classes – asserted rights that are an imprecation to nature’s God.

Yet, even those professional politicos who claim to share the Founder’s vision for our country are never willing to do what it takes to restore our republic.  They bring feathers to a machine gun fight; girl scouts to an ISIS fight.  Even following the bloodless revolution that took place last week with three court decisions that will forever remake our country (not to mention a number of odious legislative and executive actions), the reaction from so-called constitutionalists has been the old banal and underwhelming path to failure. 

They refer to lawless actions contrary to the consent of the governed as “the law of the land.” 

They continue to focus exclusively on the failed electoral process, learning nothing from the profound dichotomy between last November’s elections and the tragic outcome. 

Meanwhile, the forces of tyranny are able to change our entire system of governance and remake the building blocks of our civilization in a single day, as it remains to be seen whether or not the supporters of liberty can even conjure up a 100-year-plan to preserve the remaining morsels of constitutional freedoms.

Party Like it’s 1776

This July 4th must be different for those who ascribe more meaning to the day than fireworks and barbeques.  The events of the past few years culminating with last week’s political and judicial massacre must galvanize the conservative movement to think past the current system of failure.  How much longer can we continue to constrain ourselves to traditional failed methods of fighting against those who have illegally supplanted our Constitution long ago?  How can we fight back against this usurpation given the constitutional constraints we feel obliged to follow - constraints that were designed to prevent this worse-case-scenario but failed miserably in doing so?

There is no single panacea to restoring our foundational principles, but the solution begins with the freedom movement first recognizing the gravity of the problem.  Recognizing that we must pursue multiple avenues – whether it means using constitutional avenues to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches, exploring a new party that would invariably replace the failed Republican Party, begin working on Article V conventions, and changing the speed and intensity of our tactics in engaging the culture, politics, and corporate world the same way the Left does, albeit in a lawful manner.  It’s time to start winning again and the only way to win is to go on offense. 

There must be recognition that what we are doing is not working, and that self-evident truth of failure runs much deeper than combating this administration.  The same systemic flaws will continue to fester, irrespective of which face of the same beast sits in the Oval Office. When assessing the failure of our movement to stop the inexorable destruction of our founding principles, we must be reminded of the admonition Haggai: 

“You have sown much and you bring in little. You eat without being satiated. You drink without getting your fill. You dress, and it has no warmth. And he who profits, profits into a bundle with holes.” [Haggai 1:6]

There are too many leaders of the freedom movement who have profited off of simply observing and opining about the list of grievances, yet are bought into their line of work to the extent that they refuse to join any meaningful effort to redress those grievances. 

It’s time for everyone who longs for the restoration of our Republic to harness the inspiration from this Independence Day and unite behind a common cause – with a full commitment to an all-of-the-above approach to fighting the silent coup against our founding with equal and opposing force – and then some.  Inaction is not an answer; to remain silent or continue with the failed status quo is to be complicit in the dismantling of our 239 year old foundation. 

We must take this time to pray and look to God for guidance and wisdom to properly confront this crisis.  But if we are to assert a  firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence the way our Founders did, it is incumbent upon us to unite behind a comprehensive plan –and mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor in pursuit of that plan – in order to merit that divine providence. 

Let’s reembrace and restore our Declaration of Independence, lest the growing deceleration of independence turn into full-blown tyranny in our lifetime.    

 

Daniel Horowitz is the Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.          

- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/Commentary/2015/07/What-Does-Independence-Look-Like-Today#sthash.ozcM28oi.dpuf
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