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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/5/09

What Is Independence: A Gaggle of Definitions

By       (Page 4 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   3 comments, In Series: Holidays

Though Snow also pointed out that the first Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, the holiday would not have existed without the prior brilliance and self-sacrifice of not only the founding fathers but the unnamed people who helped realize their epochal ideals and amazing foresight.

We have strayed a bit from defining independence to expressions like liberty and freedom. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines liberty in terms of freedom: "the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases," and so forth; And in its definition of freedom, M-W specifies independence as a synonym.

There are many overlapping terms that all contribute to our celebration of July 4, which encompasses many realized ideals and others we aspire toward. To quote Joseph Farah again, "The sad truth is the American dream of independence has been betrayed. Americans are worse off today, in terms of individual freedom, than they were before the War of Independence."

-Back then the main fear was attacks by the peoples whose lands we invaded and purchased for trifles. Now much of our enslavement as sheep is imposed by the so-called First Estate. In fact they not only depend on our tax money to maintain their luxurious lifestyles, but on loans from countries with budget surpluses. They lack independence. So who is free in this country? Who is independent? Who enjoys liberty? I will return to another negative to account for what we do have: lots of disadvantaged people, a disgraceful number forced to pay taxes to support the wealthy instead of spending the funds on health insurance. But how many of us are better off here than any other place in the world?

-I don't know for sure, but I do count my blessings every day and haven't been overseas since 2001. On July 4, sitting alone writing, my favorite pastime, accountable to no one except taxes, the grim reaper, family and friends sporadically, and all of the troubles of the world. I feel independent. Democracy is alive if not exactly healed from the last eight years. And the harder we work to maintain it, as hard as did the Colonists in the 1770s and onward, the closer we come to our ideals, the closer to independence even in this globalized environment the world has become.

So until then when we will have even more to celebrate, I wish you a happy Independence Day and the hope that it will remain on the calendar forever, with good reason and not just the euphemism quoted above in the first epigraph.


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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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