4th of July Musings

Independence Day this year left me thinking about governance, and in particular about whether we as a nation are still capable of doing the great things that paved the way for the USA.  This led to a somewhat dark column in US News & World Report:

"There is a sad irony to Independence Day: This is a celebration of civic achievement by a nation that can barely muster the energy to vote. It is recognition of great political leadership by people who don’t respect politicians, don’t want to be politicians, and don’t believe “great” “political” and “leadership” should be in the same sentence."

Read the full column here.


"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.

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