Happy 242nd Birthday, America!
America is not whatever you want it to be. America is not freedom from worry. It is not free stuff from the taxpayer. It is not a guarantee that you will be successful in life.
By Jesse Kelly JULY 4, 2018
Would you die for America? Think about it. Really give it some thought. It is one thing to pound your chest and loudly proclaim your love of country, but would you really die for it? I’m talking rope around your neck, standing on the gallows, and you have to make the choice: Leave America behind or tell them to drop you like a sack of potatoes.
Assuming you would tell them to pull the lever, maybe you should think about why. Why bother dying for America? You only have one life to live. Before you go claiming you would give it up for America, you better know what America is and what it is not.
America is about self-governance and limited government. It is that simple. That is why those brave men risked (and gave) their lives 242 years ago. They were tired of a powerful centralized government. They were tired of having their labor taxed and confiscated.
They wanted to set up a new country, a country where the federal government would be small, limited, and noninvasive. In fact, the Founders were so concerned about federal power that they added a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Some argued that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and redundant because the Constitution already laid out specifically what the federal government could and could not do. But the Founders were so fanatical about self-governance and limited government, they decided it was better to err on the side of overkill. That is America.
America is not whatever you want it to be. America is not freedom from worry. It is not free stuff from the taxpayer. It is not a guarantee that you will be successful in life. It’s not even the flag or the troops or the fireworks. America isn’t “paying taxes.” It is not “never having to worry about your medical bills.” In short, America is not customizable to your fleeting whims or whatever you are “feeling” whenever the fireworks are sparkling in your eyes.
“Patriotism” is not difficult to define, as much as the Left would have you think it so. It is not a fluid thing. Torching the flag and crapping on the anthem is not patriotism. It may be a reflection of the freedom that makes America great, but it is not patriotism.
Patriotism in America means loving limited government. It is that simple. You love that America has a constitutionally limited government, or you do not love America. Saying you love America and do not want the government limited is like saying you love your car but hate the engine, seats, and interior.
Look around you. Look at the life of comfort and luxury you have: Running water, indoor plumbing, and a grocery store with stocked shelves. The worst part about your drive to work tomorrow will be a traffic jam that forces you to sit in a climate-controlled pod with your music on the radio.
You drink freely from the water that comes out of the tap. You’ll go to church this Sunday without a gripping fear of the government or a mob slaughtering you for it. You wear what you want. You say what you want about politicians without fear of reprisal. Your kids have multiple changes of clothes. Your roads are paved. You can eat anything you want for your next meal, and you can do it a short drive from your house.
You live the life of a king. Being born in America is the greatest win of life’s lottery in human history. Those things I listed above are not reserved for royalty. Our poorestpeople have those things. Despite all the endless whining and screeching, all people in America have it good. They have lives 99 percent of people in history would kill for.
And why do you have that life? You have it because the American government is limited. This life you live is not an accident. It did not fall from the sky. It was intentional, and others do not have the privilege of living it.
You get to live it because wise men long ago had a vision of what would happen in a society where men were free to govern themselves. That vision sprouted into the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, a nation expanding on itself again and again. It’s a nation of free people pursuing their own self-interests, but without government interference. That is why you live the life of a king.
So, back to the beginning: Would you die for America? Not for the America you want it to be, for what it is: Freedom. Would you really die for freedom? The freedom to live your life as you choose. The knowledge that your children will live as they please and succeed or fail on their merits.
If you would, then waive your flag high on Independence Day. You earned it. No matter your age, race, or religion, if you believe in freedom, you are truly an American.
Jesse is a Marine Corps combat veteran, former congressional candidate in Arizona, and host of “Jesse Kelly Brief.” Jesse resides in the Houston area with his wife and two sons.