On the Fourth recommit to the hard work needed to keep a democracy that works for all

Posted 3 July 2022 at 9:24 pm


I just received a letter from a friend in Europe. There many predict we, the US, will be an autocracy within 3 to 4 years.

Ben Franklin said we are “A democracy, if you can keep it.” Democracy is a finely turned and balanced endeavor you have to work at. Government created the foundation allowing people to cooperate and  flourish. King George did not permit that. Under him government was all about his maintaining power and accumulating wealth for him and his powerful friends. His whims were law.

Therefore what I write does not address MAGA – his intellectual heirs and the true RINOs of today’s world. They love Trump so much they are willing to get in bed with racists, convicted criminals, disbarred lawyers and all manner of people who do not care to put the common good first.

On this day, the Fourth, we celebrate our founders, the men and women who lost their lives for us, Democrats and Republicans who talk to each other and make sure bad apples, no matter their label, are weeded out.

We celebrate those who remember that free speech and new ideas can not be regulated out of existence as that diminishes us all and stifles the never-ending search for truth and personal advancement.

Right now there are some who, like King George, do not put honor and inalienable rights first as did our forefathers. They stand in the way of our celebration of free speech, freedom of religion, the Ninth Amendment protecting unenumerated but fundamental human rights.

Our rights expand by what the Declaration calls “the laws of nature” as society grows and advances. (Justice Thomas just wrote we need to reconsider and ban contraception. SCOTUS is about to consider a case in which gerrymandered legislatures can regulate and overturn the popular vote.)

For the rest of us today we celebrate our legacy which includes recognizing the traps we have avoided which have brought other democracies down. We celebrate a country where the central government promotes learning and all manner of things to ensure a person can advance as far as talent, hard work and desire allow.

We celebrate that we do not have kings and potentates. That we protect the rights of minorities in our huge melting pot. We still hope we can again celebrate the Rule of Law which until 1984 politicians did not meddle in when it came to Federal Court appointments – looking only to intellectual qualifications.

Today is a day to honor all the hard work needed to maintain the careful balance of interests (and the compassion King  George did not have) needed to make our country work and to pledge to honor that history.

Today real Republicans and Democrats need to re-up on the importance of keeping honorable company and voting for upright leaders. Just as you tell your kids that bad kids will drag them down, politicians that put power before answers are a constant danger. Look at convictions and disbarred lawyers to figure out who was in bed with them – easy pickings with no distracting fake drama that way.

The Fourth of July is a day to rediscover the grace and balance on which our freedom rests. It is a day to remember that easy political answers are often little more than  dangerous propaganda. To pledge to do better.

The Fourth is a day to celebrate how far honorable and selfless people have brought us. We recommit to listening to honorable and expert voices lest we wither into the ashes of history.  In the midst of any and all assaults on our institutions it is a day to pledge to protect them and stop those who would destroy them.

Happy Fourth.  Most of us want to “keep it” – democratic government by humble, well intended and honorable citizens.

Vote for freedom and not personality and power. Prove my friend wrong. Meanwhile celebrate the Fourth while you can.

Conrad Cropsey