"The Founding Fathers were civic and political giants. They distilled myriad ethnicities, religions and governing ideologies into a set of institutions that laid the groundwork for centuries of prosperity, innovation and relative peace. Yes, that deserves fireworks, parades and grilled meats.
"But here is my darker Fourth of July thought: What if we have become a nation of free riders? I don’t mean free riders in the contemporary sense — slackers in one part of the country living off the hard work of their fellow citizens somewhere else. What if we are free riding off of the great political achievements of the past? What if we inherited a great set of political institutions and are grinding them into disrepair, like a race car that hasn’t had an oil change or engine overhaul in decades? Let’s face it, when you look at today's Congress, do you see Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson?"
Read the full column here.