For the first time in history, people came together, thoroughly knowing and understanding the history of the great civilizations that came before them, and why they failed. The founders understood their own history and experiences in the colonies, and they decided to create a nation built on natural law and individual liberty. They built upon the tradition of previous Western civilizations, but they went the necessary step further, by saying that rights did not come from other men, or from government. Rather, individual rights are naturally inherent by the virtue of our existence as human beings, and whether you believe in God or not does not change that fact. Our liberty transcends any man or his laws.
Liberty is more than freedom. Liberty is freedom with responsibility. It means that you are free to pursue your dreams and keep the fruit of your labor, and to pass that fruit on to your children. Above this however, it means governing yourself. It is self-responsibility and self-governance, and the freedom to pursue your dreams is your reward. Liberty doesn't mean anarchy. Liberty isn't the freedom from work or duty. Liberty doesn't mean you don't have a responsibility to take care of yourself. Liberty is the single most precious gift you can give another person. It is the freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail and learn, and to try again. The reason so many people try to immigrate to America is because we give them the gift of liberty.
We were, and still are, an anomaly in the history of mankind. Our forefathers laid the foundation in such a way that it allowed for us to grow and combat injustice while still preserving the best parts of our traditions. And if you think about it, any time we have faced down an act of injustice successfully, the result was more liberty to those that had none or had too little. That gift of liberty to black Americans and to women, for example, was inevitable because of the philosophy behind the words written in those founding documents. The founders knew that something like slavery and a Declaration of Independence that claimed that "All men are created equal" could not coexist forever.
I do not believe that many of the recently passed laws by this Congress and this President will result in more liberty, which is why those laws are fundamentally different from the gains we have made in the past against real injustice. Ironically, it is today's "progressives" that seek to take us backwards, to a time when people did not work for themselves, where they were forced to give of themselves to those that ruled over them so that those benevolent rulers could then graciously and generously give rights back to the people.
However, as I said above. America is exceptional, and it is her traditions, her promise, her beacon of hope and light, her burning fire of liberty for which we fight.
Have an incredible 4th of July. Today is 7-4-2010, and today I recommit myself to America and it is here that I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to ensure that generations of Americans will have the opportunity to enjoy the gift of Liberty.