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. This country remains the greatest hope for freedom in the world and these protests reaffirm those rights. We celebrate the ideals of the people we strive to be — and the millions who came before us. With the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Framers placed themselves and their families at the greatest peril for the principles of self determination and democratic rule. The American Republic was always meant to be a work in progress. Yet, our Constitution created the most successful and stable constitutional system in the history of the world.
This is a great day for family and food and fun. It is also a day to remember and to celebrate what we 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. There is more that 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.
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:
“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.