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  • The Meaning of America

    The Fourth of July presents the occasion not only to celebrate our great country, but also to reflect upon its meaning.

    The division between today’s liberals and conservatives is not irreducible to policy differences. It is indicative of a deeper debate about the meaning of America.

    Such debates are not new.

    Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, often celebrated America’s birthday (which was also his) by defending America’s principles against the challengers within the “progressive movement.”

    The progressive movement began in the early 20th century and included academics, journalists, and even politicians. They asserted that America had advanced beyond the principles of the Declaration of Independence. All men were not created equal; some peoples were more historically advanced than others. Rights do not come from nature; government creates rights. Legislation did not require the consent of the people; it required technical expertise to regulate every aspect of life. These propositions had tremendous implications for governing.

    On the contrary, Coolidge responded. There is finality to the Declaration: “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.”

    Let us remember those words this Fourth of July.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to The Meaning of America

    1. Spiritof76 says:

      We must declare that the progressive movement which has corroded our vitals is the cancer and it is anti-freedom. It is not a question of "if men are created equal". It is not negotiable.

      We must destroy the progressivism or its cousins of socialism or communism or be destroyed. We must not be passive or nice about it. Declaration of Independence is a document etched in steel that can never wash away.

      I for one am tired of being put in chains.

    2. dennis florida says:

      i believe calvin said it all. no further comment.

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