As Independence Day approaches, I want to focus on the hope that America has always inspired in people like my Eastern European-born mother, myUkrainian-bornpaternal grandmotherand other immigrantsthroughout our history. And further back, the excitement, the thrill that explorers like Lewis and Clark experienced as they embarked on dangerous yet exciting journeys of discovery. To them, exploring the unknown America was the equivalent of our explorations of the far reaches of the solar system. But they didnot send unmannedvehiclesthat sent back photographs. They crossedthe forests and mountains themselves, and brought back images of what they found by drawinginto notebooks by hand.
Butbeyond the thrill of explorationthere was also the emotion of hope forgreat possibilities without limitin this new land. There wasthe desire to establish a great nation,one thatwould respecteveryone’s right to freedom, everyone’s rightto pursue wealth and happiness in his own way, to create and trade products and services freely.
When I first learned in myThird Grade classof the Trading Posts of the old frontier, I loved the idea. Everyone brings what he produces, and trades it foranother man’s product which he needs. The whitesettlers and NativeAmerican Indiansfor the most parttraded with each other benevolently. It’sa microcosm of Capitalism.
Nowhere was the hope for a great future, a great new nation open to all, and”with liberty and justice for all,” greater than within the hearts and minds of the Founding Fathers. They had seen the horrors and errorsof history, the failings of other nations, and they were determined to create a government that corrected themistakes of past nations, and held strong againstthe evils of the past, a government truly by and for the people. They actually succeeded.
Now we only have to beat back the slowlygrowingencroachments on our libertyof the last 100 yearswith the “eternal vigilance” the Founders knew would be necessary, and with a philosophy thatupholds individual rights inviolably. Objectivism, anyone?