Why do we still honor Independence Day
By Don Valentine
This 4th of July marks the 239th anniversary of the formation of the United States of America. Among the plethora of remarkable things the country has accomplished is establishing a viable constitution. This constitution in its second incarnation from the original articles of confederation has become the bedrock for a globally prominent government.
Let’s reflect on the significance of the structure and malleability of this constitution. Nearly two and half centuries ago the Founding Fathers crafted a document that has had less than 30 amendments. The key was to establish a document that would allow for flexibility. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Adams to name a few could not have predicted what the future would bring over the decades.
The Founding Fathers did not forecast same sex unions. A humanitarian concept like affordable care was not prescribed in their era. We see in the past weeks another example of the flexibility of the constitution as these two laws have been deemed by the court to be constitutional.
That is the marvel of what the Founding Fathers were able to draft. They envisioned a government free of tyranny. This is a government with a fair balance of power. That was exhibited again with the 2 aforementioned laws coming into fruition. The legislative branch brought the laws to the President’s desk. Upon passage each law was disputed through the proper legal portals. The last branch in the balance of power the Supreme Court affirmed both laws. This is a fine demonstration of why we celebrate each July 4th the independence from tyranny. We have created a union that lets us disagree in harmony. Americans can live civilly with the rule of the majority and voice of the minority.
Don Valentine Free Lance Writer, U.C. Berkeley ’89 B.S. Psychology, McGeorge Law School J.D. ‘92