Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth is one of my favorite holidays as an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our common article of faith in the independence of a nation committed to freedom and individual rights.  While the New York Times ran a piece this weekend on the divisiveness of the American flag and the Washington Post ran a story on how the Statue of Liberty is now a sign of hypocrisy, there are many who still view this country as the greatest hope for freedom in the world.  Those are the symbols of the people we strive to be — and the millions who came before us. The American Republic was always meant to be a work in progress.  I have criticized our erosion of freedoms and individual rights (particularly free speech) but those are our transgressions — our failure to live up to what this country stands for or the symbols of our long struggle. For example, the assault on free speech across this country is being carried out despite our founding principles, not because of them.

On this day, it is important to remember and to celebrate what was have accomplished in the protection of liberty. We have the ability to change our society but our constitutional system remains the greatest vehicle of justice and equality in the world.  This holiday unfortunately shows how our differences threaten to overwhelm our common article of faith in this representative democracy. However, there is more than unites us than divides us and this holiday is a reminder of that transcendent fact. Many of us will join today to celebrate these United States and its history and values.  My family will celebrate with a cookout and, of course, lots and lots of fireworks.

We will have a traditional cookout of burgers and dogs with  other delights.  I use the holiday to have copious amounts of my favorite cherry pie though we also have the traditional apple pie.

I truly love this holiday because it ideally celebrates what we have in common as opposed to what divides us.  For all of our faults and failures, we have triumphed over great evils from without and within. The Framers gave us a system that has withstood it all through the test of time and turmoil.  It will withstand these days and we will find a course forward as a nation.

Once again, as a Madisonian scholar, you will have to forgive my quoting James Madison from Essays for the National Gazette, 1792:

madison“In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness.”

Happy Fourth, everyone.

46 thoughts on “HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!”

  1. Jonathan: For you the 4th of July is the time we “celebrate our common article of faith in the independence of a nation committed to freedom and individual rights”. You further say “our constitutional system remains the greatest vehicle of justice and equality in the world” and “there is more than (sic) unites us than divides us…”. As a “Madisonian scholar” you quote James Madison in 1792 that America is the only country that created “charters of power created by liberty”. Lofty words by you and Madison but bearing little resemblance to the ACTUAL founding of this country.

    When the country was founded “justice” and equality” applied only to white owners of property–including the owners of slaves. Your idol, James Madison, owned over 100 slaves. Among other of the Founding Fathers 21 were also slave owners, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, etc. Slavery has been the red thread running throught most of our history and its legacy persists today in the form of systematic racism.

    The great black abolitionist Frederick Douglas spoke often about the hypocrisy of the Founders like Madison. On July t, 1852 he gave a speech on the 76th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In part he said: “What to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless;…”

    Douglas’ words resonate even today. The murder of George Floyd reveals that even today Black people do not enjoy the rights that white Americans take for granted. Take voting rights. After Trump lost the election last year Republican legislators around the country passed new Jim Crow-era laws to make it harder for Blacks and other minorities to vote. Arizona was one such state. A lawyer for the GOP in Arizona openly admitted that without these voter suppression laws the GOP would be “at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats”. The ugly truth in this statement is that when Black and other minorities vote in large number the Democrats win! Arizona’s law was challenged in the courts and reached the Supreme Court last Thursday. In a sweeping decision a 6-3 conservative majority upheld the Arizona law saying it was not an “undue burden” the the right of Blacks to exercise the right to vote (Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee). The racist Donald Trump and other white conservatives applauded the Court’s decision. In a separate column in USAToday you also applauded the decision and said the DOJ’s challenge to a similar voter suppression law in Georgia will ultimately fail in the wake of Brnovich. You say the Biden administration’s decision the challenge the Georgia is just following the “politics of the moment”.

    Let’s be clear. Trump and his GOP allies in many states like Georgia and Arizona want to turn back the clock when only white people got to vote. Suppressing the Black vote is the only way the GOP can win in closely contested states. That’s the GOP agenda and it’s a sad commentary that you apparently support these anti-democratic efforts. If Frederick Douglas were alive today no doubt he would regard your claim that “our constitutional system remains the greatest vehicle of justice and equality in the world” as a total “sham”!

    1. “If Frederick Douglas [sic] were alive today no doubt he would regard your claim that “our constitutional system remains the greatest vehicle of justice and equality in the world” as a total “sham”!”

      You might want to read the entirety of Douglass’ speech:

      “Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed
      themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the
      Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful
      thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY

      And so it is.

      1. Yes, Douglass acknowledged that the conservative foundation mitigated the progress of diversity, inequity, and exclusion. He, along with the nation’s conservative founding fathers and Christian majority, recognized that the original compromise was a first-order forcing of progressive corruption. We cannot treat human life as property and the Declaration of Independence was explicitly Pro-Life, and the Constitution avoided diversity [dogma] past, present, and progressive. The founders were well aware of the conventional, nominally “secular” Pro-Choice religion, and the accompanying witch hunts and warlock trials to which it was disposed. Baby Lives Matter

    2. Civil rights for free men, women, and children, without diversity (e.g. racism), inequity, and exclusion, political congruence, and other class-based bigotry.

      Turn back the clock in the manner of the Pro-Choice religion and wicked solution that denies a woman and man’s dignity and agency, and a wholly innocent life in order to Keep women appointed, available, and taxable, and serve the special and peculiar interests of feminist and masculinists.

  2. Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 (unconstitutional portions) subvert the American system of constitutional due process and Reagan himself would oppose how it’s being used today. EO 12333 has been exploited illegally to subvert the authority of the Judicial Branch courts to provide constitutional judicial review. Today it is being exploited to subvert even the FISA Court. It’s been used for nearly 20 years to justify Cointelpro blacklisting torture. Reagan would have been disgusted using his EO to torture innocent Americans.

    Reagan supported and signed an international torture treaty to outlaw torture and cruel treatment. Congress enacted and Reagan signed this torture treaty into federal law – all torture, including blacklisting is a felony crime for any U.S. official. Reagan wanted every member nation to investigate and prosecute both torture and cruel treatment.

    Simply bypassing the court’s authority don’t make it legal. Cointelpro tactics are COVERT punishments, the target is never accused of any crime or any wrongdoing but deemed guilty (covertly) and given a life sentence of covert punishments. Reagan’s generation called these “Kangaroo Courts”. EO 12333 devolved even further than Kangaroo Courts by bypassing the courts altogether.

    This taking away of freedoms exploiting EO 12333 predates 9/11. When will Congress overturn the unconstitutional portions of EO 12333? Reagan never intended for his EO to be used for interrogations, false imprisonments and torture. Happy 4th of July!

  3. “Defund NPR” is trending on Twitter on July 4.

    Because NPR denounced the Declaration of Independence on 4th of July.


    My tax dollars should not pay one cent for Progressive Democrat activist “propaganidsts” posing as “journalists” like Yamiche Alcindor. She is one of the worst. DEFUND NPR!

  4. I hope you add to the celebration the reading of the Declaration of Independence, including the long train of abuses the signers cited.

    There is a fine excerpt in, I believe, Little Town on the Prairie by Laua Ingalls Wilder about an Independence Day celebration and her dawning understanding of what it means and her responsibilities as an American.

    Happy Fourth doesn’t seem to convey the proper complexity of sentiments that are a maelstrom in my soul.

    1. I joined in with the crowd anyway with tears in my eyes while watching this in my kitchen:


      Because I am an American, d@mnit, and I love my country, even in the midst of a maelstrom.

  5. A Festive & Memorable 4th of July to you, Professor Turley. Your Ciceronian
    disquisitions inspire & educate the Citizens of our Republic. & those anecdotes
    of personal experiences in Nature serve well to humanize your Public Persona.

  6. “In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness.”

    – James Madison

    Imagine, in 1792, James Madison, the Framers and the Founders enjoyed actual comprehensive and full liberty.

    Congress taxed for “…general Welfare…” not individual or specific welfare, regulated nothing but money, commerce and land and naval Forces, and did not “…claim or exercise dominion…” over the private property of individuals.

    Immigration was willfully and wittingly restricted to “…free white person(s)…” and voting was deliberately restricted to male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

    We cannot fathom the liberty they had and the liberty we lost…to the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) in America.



    Americans are forced to allow invaders to overrun their borders, to speak and print American ballots in Spanish, Chinese, Farsi, Swahili, etc., to place aberrations on pedestals to be worshiped as “untouchables,” to teach their children how evil they and their country are, to deliver on silver platters their national jobs, industries, intellectual property, military secrets, blood and treasure to dumbfounded but delighted direct and mortal enemies overseas, and to pay for the massive, prodigious and ever-burgeoning wholly unconstitutional welfare state, the benefits and entitlements of which are voraciously consumed by domestic and global parasites, as former, ineligible tokens are ensconced in the offices of president and vice president by the “swamp’s” higher headquarters, the Deep Deep State, and conduct a coup d’etat in America which concludes with the theft of a presidential election by the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) in America.

    Oh, Happy Day!!!

    The American Founders are rolling over in their graves…and fomenting the Second American Revolution.

    How about a skosh more of Madison et al.:

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

    1. George.
      Just steal a valium out of a surburban wife’s (or husband’s) hand bag and relax for one day. Just for one day don’t let the Lefties ruin your day. Embrace the hot dogs, parades, movies that you hold dear; And wave that American flag. It will make you feel better, and it’s guaranteed to irritate Democrats, BLM, Antifa and other Nazis.

      1. Wholly unconstitutional affirmative action gives you much confidence, doesn’t it?

        I don’t know what a Valium is.

        I know what a Combat Infantryman’s Badge is.

        I know what a Purple Heart is.

        I know what the last full measure is.

        I know that the only heroes who should be waving the flag are dead – the civilians waving flags are a joke by comparison.

        Where and when did you serve to establish or maintain the aforementioned independence?

      2. Such things are more akin to Cipher’s steak.

        Don’t let such things be the Valium or the soma.

        The flag would be raised not for what is but for what was and for what could be.

  7. The flag stands as a symbol of America, a place that allows criticism and burning of our national symbol without a threat of legal retaliation. What is more a symbol of democracy and individual freedom than that? That flag flies and is the symbol of a free country where you can petition the government for redress. It represents the country where criticism of government and public and policies is allowed. It even stands as a symbol of a place so free that the press and media can even demonize that very symbol. What more could a anti-flag person want. These are all rights that many people and nations do not have. So while you trash the flag, you should be thankful that you live in a country where you are allows one to trash the symbol of the very place. A place they likely call home. Thus intellectually everyone, even those who burn the flag or think it is divisive, should be glad that the flag flies over this country.

  8. The United States is a Republic, a Constitutional, [d]emocratic Republic.
    Yes!, you will hear and see the erroneous, at best, ignorant claim, and, at least, stupid assertion that we live in a “democracy.” Wrong!
    The professor has never professed “America” is a “Democracy.”
    If one were to read the Constitution, visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia or read James Madison’s “Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787,” one would understand that the last thing anyone wanted was a democracy. The issue came up nine times. Each time it found no support.
    Madison said it best, “If a Democracy can put Socrates to death, no one is safe.” He also said, “If everyone in Greece (Ancient Greece) were Socrates, it would still be mob rule!”
    I now return America, “My fellow Americans” who are … Television fed; movie educated and internet anesthetized.
    Enjoy the Independence outdoors.
    Wave the flag; but Don’t you dare think or read. Bang! Bang! Bang!
    dennis hanna

    1. We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it. Ben Franklin.

    2. A republic that is Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, without the legal establishment of diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), inequity, and exclusion, and the pride from self-moderation of liberal license to indulge narcissistic secular choices.

      The founding fathers were experienced and insightful to construct a foundation that would mitigate the progress of the democratic/dictatorial duality under a constitution that constrained the excesses of single/central/ monopolistic enterprises.

  9. Ahh, Turley’s view on freedom, well he does have the freedom of cashing FOXNEWS checks. And his blog reflects it with all the pride he must have seeing his bank account grow bigger each day. And well, shall we discuss Turley’s freedoms? Like never saying a word about what is happening with voting rights. Like never pointing out the lies of Trump and his cult of believers of a election fraud. And if he did, Turley would lose that one right of cashing FOXNEWS checks that he so looks to keep.

    1. FishWings once again breaks out his clanging cymbal. I once again offer for your reading pleasure the history of Professor Turley. A history of his writings for The Washington Post, The New York Times and other news agencies considered to be on the left. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Turley. Repeating the same unfounded criticism day after day reveals a distinct lack of imagination. This approach can be found in the bantering of elementary students when making fun of other students. The same “your a boo boo” days on end. One could only hope that for FishWings elementary school would be out for the summer.

    2. This is a land that aspires to offer equality not equity. That has always been the case. So Turley being able to express his opinions, receive compensation—that is the freedom that this symbol represents. So he has made the most of his opportunity and has had success. So your comments are an analogy to what this country offers. His opinion and your opinion. The fact that Fox MSNBC or CNN doesn’t pay you for your opinion is not really even sarcastic. It is irony however that you can make a critical comments that you have, and the Republic and it’s symbol allow you to be an irritable ass. You can reply, just FYI I don’t read them, but others naught read it. Oh, and a growing bank account is an American aspiration and there is nothing wrong or illegal about how his bank account has grown. I hope everyone prospers. That is an ideal but it is not always the outcome. But under the law everyone is equal. That is why hundreds of thousands of people are coming here every couple of months. It is for the opportunity for financial success and liberty.

      1. A column I can agree with wholeheartedly. I wish the people who can only see this country’s flaws had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time elsewhere. You might be singing a different tune. It might even be the Star Spangled Banner. Nothing and nobody is perfect. What we have in this country is recourse. We are a work in progress, a clumsy young child in an old world, but you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. “America America, God mend thine every flaw, and crown thy soul with self control, thy liberty in law.”

        1. Beautifully stated Deborah! God bless America, land that I love! Thanks so much, Professor Turley for your invaluable insights!

    3. Fish, do you have any notion of how, your repeating of the same uninformed assertions, only confirm your ignorance.

  10. The U.S. military has had critical-race-theory advocates speaking at military installations. Military personnel have been forced to participate in humiliating CRT classes and exercises. That’s as evil as letting the Klan setup a recruiting booth in front of the PX. That’s as evil as letting neo-NAZI’s decide the syllabus at the Air Force Academy.

    When leftwing generals and admirals try to brainwash troops, how is that ok? How is it ok to create a hostile work environment for conservatives???

    It’s one thing to let military personnel be educated about violent and controversial ideas. It’s another thing altogether to legitimize the advocates of such ideas, and that’s exactly what Milley and Gilday are trying to do.

    If Milley and Gilday subvert the military leadership, Schumer and Pelosi can dump the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court all day long. They can rewrite the nation’s election laws and any other laws. They can outlaw any political speech they don’t like.


    If patriots want to do something patriotic, they can stay in the military and prevent these traitors from turning the military into the DNC’s enforcement arm.

    If Biden really cares about the 4th of July, he can knock off the double standard and fire Milley and Gilday today. That’s the kind of fireworks we really need today.

  11. Turley can’t even wish people a Happy Fourth without getting in digs at the NYT and WaPO. Turley: you are an example of what is dividing this country.

    1. Natacha, the questions that come to the surface must follow. Did the N.Y. Times diminish the value of the American flag and it’s value in uniting the American people for the continuing of a place of freedom? Did The Washington post tell us that the Statue of Liberty is no longer to be the beacon that draws so much legal immigration to our shores? Why have so many lost their lives to assure that the flag still waves? Why do so many people from around the world see the Statue of Liberty as they come to seek the liberty they know they will find in this land? On this day when this nation needs a proclamation that will unite us all TheTimes and The Post recommend our division. A dig well made is a dig well deserved, especially on the Fourth of July.

      1. Normal folks just skip over the radical rantings of Natacha and FishWings. The only good thing is that they certainly did not enjoy the Holiday.

  12. “Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here, in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July.”

    Ronald Reagan, 1981

  13. Re NYT and Post stories — the link should have been to the original stories, so we could draw our own opinions; rather than to a third party review of the articles

  14. Happy Independence Day to you, too (and to Darren).

    With your Madison quote, here’s a gem from Jefferson:

    “For I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    1. Sam! Wow. Forget the hokey-pokey. That quote is what it’s all about!

  15. Watch some fireworks. Don’t shoot any rockets at any human. Oh say. Can’t you see? If not then see an eye doctor. Otherwise you can’t watch any grandparts. Give truth thru the night. While your grandkids still waves.

    1. I’ve said it before, but I totally hope you’re Turley dive bombing his own blog.


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