Declaration of Independence op-ed

Categories: Steven Johnson News

Each Fourth of July, we celebrate America’s Declaration of Independence as we commemorate the anniversary of our country’s founding. This spirit of independence is something we should cherish and must preserve for our children.

Just as our government is not beholden or dependent on another government for its sovereignty, we as individuals should not rely on federal, state and local governance. Our founding fathers envisioned a nation where citizens could pursue their dreams, seek their own happiness and accomplish their own goals, objectives and aspirations aside from government intrusion in their lives and interference in the marketplace.

What they did not envision was a country of individuals dependent on government for their well-being. They did not envision a country of businesses lobbying state and federal governments for special privileges and immunities.

Our founding fathers believed in the principles of freedom, entrepreneurship, individualism and independence. They believed the role of government in our lives should be very limited. The Constitution mandates that Congress shall meet “at least once in every year.” Our founding fathers would be astounded if they saw the extent government plays in our lives today.

In honor of everything our founding fathers accomplished and stood for, I believe we should take a step back and look at where our country is today. What do we do right? What do we do wrong? What could we do better?

How can we as a society ensure that our children grow up and live in a country more free, more prosperous and more independent than the one we live in today? We have been afforded great opportunities, with many things that are good and right in our nation but it seems that there are some areas of improvement that can be made. One of the biggest changes is demanding government take a step back, not be so involved in our lives and simply let us interact with our neighbors as we see fit. Government does not give us our freedom and independence, it is there to preserve and protect them.

Unfortunately, we have a mindset of ‘ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.’ Let’s change that mindset to what President John F. Kennedy envisioned, let’s be that free and independent country, let’s be a sovereign country, let’s demand freedom and equality in opportunity, let’s oppose corporate welfare and special handouts, and most importantly, let’s fight for independence!