July 09, 2003

Independence from England, Dependence on Washington?

Ron Paul on the Constitution and the celebration of the Fourth of July:

Those who dismiss the Constitution ignore the link between the wisdom of our Founders and the freedom and prosperity we still enjoy today. America is not prosperous and relatively free merely by accident. It is prosperous and free because we still retain vestiges of our constitutional system of limited government, with its emphasis on property rights and the rule of law. Other nations are similarly filled with bright, hardworking people, and enjoy abundant natural resources. Yet why have they not prospered like America? The simple reason is they enjoy less liberty. Without liberty and property rights, the human spirit diminishes. More freedom always means more prosperity, which is why American enjoys a much higher level of material well-being than almost any other nation.

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, we might consider what our Founders would think of present-day America. Would they find the ideal of a servant government intact? Would they see a society that abides by the principles established in the Constitution?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. They would discover a society completely dominated by the federal government, totally at odds with the weak central state they envisioned. They would find the people over-taxed, over-regulated, and far too dependent on government in every sphere of human activity. They would find most Americans woefully ignorant about our own history and Constitution, despite the prevalence of college degrees. Worst of all, they would find an attitude of complacency and subservience toward government, a mindset of accepting whatever Washington hands down.