Let’s Take a Measure of our Declaration of Independence

Today, Friday July 3rd appears to be the unofficial July 4th Holiday from work for most in the U.S. -- except for the nearly 10% officially unemployed who are on a downturn holiday every day. And that figure doesn't include those whose unemployment benefits have expired, were laid off from part-time jobs, independent contractors, small and medium size business owners in bankruptcy, and daily laborers who can't find work. The country and government that emerged from the first Independence Day in 1776 is currently in distress, as it has often been since its inception. But one of the markers of a sustainable revolution such as ours is its ability to adapt and survive.

We have always viewed Independence Day as a celebration of The Declaration of Independence -- which is precisely how it ought to be viewed versus simply an excuse to take the family out to watch fireworks. Of course this interpretation must allow for historical context and acknowledge that in 1776 "all men" was culturally defined as Protestant men -- not Jews, Catholics, women or people of color. Despite this cultural anomaly of the time, the document is timeless and brilliant -- arguably the most important non-religious text ever put to paper or parchment. We believe the foundation it paved ultimately allowed for the future inclusion of all men and women from all corners of the world. And we should read it in that context 233 years hence.

If you have not read The Declaration of Independence lately, you should. It is well worth doing so. You may be struck by how fresh the lower body of grievances are today, not unlike those expressed on this and other publications and blogs that voice a strong perspective. There is, however, one huge difference: The signers of the Declaration were committing treason that was punishable by death for doing so. Which for us is context enough to show how trailblazing the Declaration was and is. Even as father and son who disagree more often than not on political philosophy, we still believe that as a people, we've come far in establishing "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Granted, collectively we still have a long way to go in this journey. But we owe so much of what we have today to the great men and political and social philosophers that risked their lives in the steamy summer of 1776.

- Jason Busch and William Busch

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