Ben Stein: July 4 About Freedom and Dignity

Some thoughts on Independence Day now from our contributor Ben Stein:

Two hundred and thirty four years ago, a group of very brave Americans came out with the rough draft of the best idea for human organization in the history of the world: a nation in which the government would run not by a monarch, but by the consent of the governed.

As I said, that was a rough draft, that Declaration of Independence. For generations, Americans lacked the ability to govern themselves because of their race, and then for a while after that because of their sex, and even for longer, because they didn't have enough money.

But in a miraculous process, through wars and protests and lawsuits and demonstrations, this American nation now truly is run by the consent of all of the governed, of all races, creeds, sexes, and economic stations.

This truly is a miracle in human history. Its glory can be demonstrated by a simple test, as former Prime Minister Tony Blair once said, "How many want in and how many want out." Very few people leave this country voluntarily, and a heck of a lot risk their lives to get in and stay in.

Now, we are under attack by a creed that hates the freedom and human dignity this country stands for. Those people have serious power to hurt us, as we have learned. And some people say we cannot beat them because you cannot fight an idea.

But that is exactly why we are going to win: because the idea that the founders came up with in 1776 is the one that is closest to the deepest aspirations of the human heart: freedom and individual dignity. The men and women who risk their lives to vote in Iraq and Afghanistan, our brave men and women who offer up their lives for this ideal, the millions who want to come here prove that the Founders had hit a home run. Or, put it this way, how many taxi drivers do you suppose there are in Pakistan who left New York City to move there?

We and the other free societies are where the human soul wants to be, and on this Independence Day, We are not red America or blue America, to coin a phrase. We are a very blessed America and the future belongs to the free.
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