Independence Day

I’m generally all in favor of people using holidays as an excuse to celebrate drunken awesomeness, but I really must insist than on July 4th Americans know something about what the fuck’s going on.

Know that Thomas Jefferson was the principal writer of the greatest set of written principles man has ever elucidated. Know that Ben Franklin, probably the greatest mind this country has ever known, in his non-theistic forward-thinking convinced Jefferson to change the truths we originally held to be “sacred and undeniable” to “self-evident” and thus divorced from the idea of our rights as providence bestowed from high on down. Know that George Washington, the greatest leader the US has ever been privileged to be lead by, despite his secure wealth and social standing nonetheless took up the charge of leading a ragtag group of rebels into war against the battle-hardened and never-defeated British army, with no incentive but his own conviction that men should be self-governed, and not the purview of a distant King and Parliament.

HBO ran a series two years ago, John Adams, which should be required viewing for anyone with so much as a passing interest in how America, The Great Experiment, was birthed. Check this scene, where the Declaration is being drafted, and Franklin expresses his delight at Jefferson’s invention, the swivel chair.

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