July 4, 2018: 242 Years And Counting


On this day we honor the passage of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which is generally considered the founding day of these United States of America.

In order to guard against taking that event – and the principles of freedom embodied in the Declaration – for granted, we encourage you to watch this excerpt about that independence vote from the 2008 “John Adams” HBO mini-series – and to contemplate what it meant for those men in Philadelphia to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in the cause of liberty 242 years ago.

That’s 242 years of Federalists, Whigs, Know Nothings, Democrats, Dixiecrats, Republicans, slavery, a Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, the Weathermen, robber barons, a Trust Buster, two World Wars, terrorist attacks, liberal Supreme Courts, conservative Supreme Courts, Democratic Congressional and Senate majorities, Republican Congressional and Senate Majorities, presidential impeachments, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, and the imprisonment of 4 of the last 7 Illinois governors.

This country survived all of those and far more, and it prospered, because of adherence – albeit imperfect in various respects – to the enduring values embodied in that Declaration and in the Constitution that followed, along with its 27 Amendments.

In this editor’s lifetime this country survived Presidents Harry Truman (D), Dwight Eisenhower (R), Jack Kennedy (D), Lyndon Johnson (D), Richard Nixon (R), Gerald Ford (R), Jimmy Carter (D), Ronald Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Bill Clinton (D), George W. Bush (R) and Barack Obama (D). And it will survive President Donald Trump (R?).

Because of what those guys in Philadelphia started 242 years ago.

Robert J. Trizna

Editor & Publisher

To read or post comments, click on title.

7 comments so far

We can only hope.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This country was founded on hope.

This country was born of conflict and has always had divisions, sometimes bitter ones like the Civil War. But it has endured because of the reasons you describe going back 200+ years.

This country and its direction are worth fighting over and fighting for. That is a kind of creative tension that keeps it vital and evolving rather than complacent.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Exactly. Adams and Jefferson – two of the most prominent Founders – didn’t talk to each other for 12 years after they faced off in the 1800 presidential election, considered by many historians as one of the nastiest in history. But their reconciliation that began in 1812 produced 158 letters in which they discussed their respective political philosophies (Federalist v. Democrat-Republican) before their respective deaths, fittingly on July 4, 1826 – the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration.

Call me a skeptic but I will not be counting on 158 letters or any meaningful discussion of political philosophies by the gentlemen to whom you attached the (R?).

I could be wrong. After all he will tell you he has written many bestsellers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: How many letters has BHO written to GWB, or vice versa? Or Slick Willie to Dumbya? Want to be called a “skeptic” on those, too?

Oh come on PD. You are every bit as skeptical as I am as evidenced by the fact that you felt obligated to put a question mark after the R.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The question mark after the “R” was intended solely to express our uncertainty of whether and what kine of “R” the current POTUS really is, not whether this country can survive him.

We do find it perversely humorous, however, that people like you claim to be worried about the survival of the country even though: (a) the Dow is 4,000 points higher since the current POTUS was sworn in, and 6,000 points higher since his election; (b) overall unemployment is at its lowest level in 50 years; (c) black unemployment is at its lowest level ever; and (d) we have less American soldiers at war than at any time since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Is all of that attributable to DJT? Of course not, just like not everything that went on under GWB or BHO (or their predecessors GHWB and WJC) was attributable to them. But by those criteria – which for the past 50+ years have been 4 of the most valued benchmarks of how the country is doing – the current occupant of the WH is not just meeting but exceeding his recent predecessors, despite his coarseness, his vulgarity, and his questionable personal conduct.

When did I ever say ANYTHING about the survival of the country?? Hell, I will copy and paste my entire comment……”Call me a skeptic but I will not be counting on 158 letters or any meaningful discussion of political philosophies by the gentlemen to whom you attached the (R?).

I could be wrong. After all he will tell you he has written many bestsellers”. There is NOTHING about the survival of the country.

What I did say was that I do not see him having a meaningful discussion of his political philosophies which you would at least seem to agree with since, like me, you cannot even whether he is even an R and if so what kind he is. Kind of ironic for a guy who loves to preach to others about “governing principles”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, we misinterpreted your comment. But while we’re on the topic, do you know how many letters about public policy BHO has written to GWB? Or how many “meaningful discussions” they’ve had?

7949.09 to 19732.40 ain’t too shabby. Speaking of “perversely humorous”, you didn’t list national debt as one of your measurements…..interesting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re talking about the post-Recession Dow increase under BHO, then you also have to credit BHO with the $10 TRILLION increase in the…wait for it…national debt during that same 8-year period. If you compare that to the $1 TRILLION increase in said debt over Trump’s first 14 months in office. That would project out to approx. $7 TRILLION of additional debt over an 8-year term, and the 4,000 point Dow increase would project out to a 27,000 point gain over that same period.

I didn’t vote for him (didn’t vote for Hillary either, voted down-ballot only), but if Bush or Obama had achieved in their first year-plus of their watches what Trump has achieved in his (the criteria you mentioned in your Note) they would have been proclaimed as locks for the 10 best presidents ever.

The fact that this guy is a barbarian who is hated by both sides of the political Establishment makes him the target of the long knives who don’t care what happens to the country so long as they get to keep playing with the levers of power.

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