Editors' note: this piece is co-authored by Ken Klukowski
On the Fourth of July, we don’t only celebrate the birth of our nation. We celebrate American exceptionalism—everything that makes the United States the greatest nation on earth. In celebrating this, we reject President Obama’s blueprint for the kind of country he seeks to make us.
On July 4, 1776, fifty-six dedicated patriots resolved to risk everything in the hope of a new beginning. Elected to represent colonists from across the thirteen British colonies on the American continent, they decided to embark upon a grand experiment, to form a self-governing democratic republic.
They were risking their lives. Had they failed, they would have been hanged as traitors, their lands confiscated by the Crown, their fortunes forfeited, and their families left disgraced and destitute.
Yet they succeeded, and the freest, safest, and prosperous nation in the world was born.
We don’t just celebrate the historical fact of America’s birth. When we celebrate Independence Day, we celebrate everything for which the United States stands.
We celebrate the right to speak what we will, no matter how unpopular, without fear of government reprisal. We celebrate our right to worship according to the dictates of our conscience. We celebrate our right to bear arms in defense of ourselves and our freedom. We celebrate our right to be secure in our homes and our families, and should we become entangled with the law, our right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process, which includes everything from our right to a jury trial, to our right to a lawyer, to our right to not incriminate ourselves or be tortured.
While many of us take those rights for granted, the reality is that they are rare, both in history and even around the globe today. But those rights, that liberty, is what we celebrate on the Fourth of July.
In other words, what we celebrate is American exceptionalism.
That’s the belief that America is something special. We are a shining beacon of light throughout the world and throughout the annals of history. We are the exception, not the rule.
The national bestseller The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World does a masterful job of showing American exceptionalism in the context of world history. With a special focus on economic freedom, this book shows that the principles of liberty enshrined by our Founders in our Declaration of Independence, and later in the U.S. Constitution, led to an inconceivable level of prosperity, safety and happiness in this country that the rest of the world looked at in shocked disbelief.