TODAY: Freedom from oppression

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The path to Independence Day began when our founders suffered severe hardships and terrible tragedies to leave their homelands to escape persecution from people in power and to live free. Then came the Declaration of Independence, a violent revolution and independence from oppression. The Constitution was created to set up a democratic form of government. With memories of oppression from people in a position of power the guarantee of “individual rights” written into the Constitution.

A milestone in the understanding and guarantee of human equity and rights was reached when our founders realized the absolute truth that rights apply only to the individual. The universal “Bill of Rights” was created to guarantee a government of the people, by the people and for the people. To do so, it guaranteed all individuals their unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without any coercion from a majority or any group or person in a position of power. Without the guarantee of individual rights, a democracy is no more than mob rule.

After the Constitution became law, the following was inevitable as the path to independence was opened and hope for freedom was unleashed. Women claimed their individual right to vote; people of color claimed their individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; people are claiming their individual right to universal health care; women are claiming their individual right to equal pay; gay people have claimed their individual right to marry whom they choose; women have claimed their individual right to birth control; students are claiming their individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, etc.

On Independence Day, Americans celebrate an ongoing quest for independence from oppression with a flag which represents a republic guided by the guarantee of individual rights. Americans are fortunate to be able to celebrate independence from oppression with and a flag which stands for a factor of freedom which cannot be burnt, stolen or lost as long as there is one freethinking person on Planet Earth.

MIKE JOYCE

Coeur d’Alene

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