iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell

Posted: July 4, 2010 11:13 AM

Liberty and American Exceptionalism

What's Your Reaction:

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.

Yet President Obama doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. As we note in our own national bestseller on Obama's blueprint, he is on video telling a foreign audience in Greece in 2009 that America is only exceptional in the same way that Brits think Great Britain is exceptional, or the Greeks think that Greece is exceptional.

In other words, we're all exceptional. But since the definition of an exception is something that stands out from the norm, we cannot all be exceptional. If we're all exceptional, then none of us are exceptional. President Obama could not be more wrong.

He's busy fundamentally transforming our nation. He's leading a government takeover of our free-market economy, including the best health care system the world has ever seen. He's trying to grant citizenship and the right to vote to millions of illegal immigrants who have no interest in becoming Americans, pledging their loyalty to this exceptional nation alone and renouncing all other ties. He's trying to silence his political critics, and muzzle those few media outlets that tell the truth.

And to top it off, as we saw last week, he's packing our nation's courts, and our Supreme Court, with people who see society the same way he does, and will rubber-stamp his agenda as being consistent with the Constitution.

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our Independence Day--our freedom from oppressive government and our commitment to individual freedom.

In doing so, we oppose the Obama vision, and his blueprint for big government and America.