A not-so-happy Independence Day
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, July 2, 2015


Happy Independence Day. Thank you, Founding Fathers; America was great while it lasted.

Recalling that poor Oldsmobile ad: never mind the Founders, this is not even my own father’s America! Not because of some recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, but because of some of the issues that were already a problem before the Court spoke last month: the loss of personal responsibility and the nation’s common sense, the substitution of political correctness for insistence on truth, the easy acceptance of trillions in national debt passed on to future generations, the substitution of open borders for rational legal immigration. Speaking of that last item, this also isn’t my immigrant grandparents’ America!

It’s hard to admit, as we display our American flag on Saturday, that it no longer stands for American exceptionalism or even much in the way of respect from the rest of the world. And since my recent column noting that the historic Confederate flag shouldn’t be banished, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has called for the American flag to be banned due to its links with racism.

“I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag! We need to put the American flag down because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag”, he spewed.

Since my column ran, I heard a strong argument that my own understanding of Civil War history is wrong. I’d learned that the war wasn’t fought over slavery, which was on its way out as no longer economically viable, but was fought over states’ rights in general and other economic factors. Going to the Internet, I discovered that this is a major ongoing argument! While mine was repeated, I found more sites which state that the invention of the cotton gin, which helped with processing, encouraged increased slavery to pick more cotton and make the Southern economy stronger.

I wonder if revisionism was part of my own history studies as well as today’s. Never mind. I still want to know: if we celebrate the colonies seceding from England (happy Independence Day!), how come the South couldn’t secede from us?

Also: While it’s fair to assume that the estimated one in ten African-Americans who fought for the Union had slavery as a motivator, it’s hard to believe that the roughly 665,000 northerners who were casualties of that cruel war would have suffered/died to free the slaves. If they did choose to make this sacrifice, I hope their spirits aren’t waiting in limbo to hear prominent black leaders say thank you today.

Here’s something fun to discuss at your 4th of July family picnic. Media analyst Mark Dice did a man-in-the-street interview, asking Americans to sign a petition to ban the Stars and Stripes and replace it with a triangle/rainbow flag representing gay pride in a “new world order”. Yes, some did.

Though I lost confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court with the 2005 Kelo decision that let local government take private property to give to developers, I don’t have a problem with most of the recent SCOTUS decisions; the Justices had to work with what they had.

For some reason Congress thought it could pass a law in 1996 telling the states they should defend traditional marriage, as if this was any business of the Federal Government. The feds should support contracts, and let people call their unions marriage or whatever they want within their own spiritual paradigms.

However, I wouldn’t have missed reading Chief Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion on gay marriage, deploring this major change in a “social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen (to the) Aztecs”. The former chose never to evolve out of the hunter-gatherer stage, and the “social institution” of the latter included human sacrifice and playing ball with their enemies’ skulls. And, the polygamy of the Old Testament was also an ancient tradition. Next marriage case!

On ObamaCare, some Justices thought their job was to interpret the actual language of the law; others tried to determine the intent of Congress. A lot depended on whether one thinks Congress meant to refer to “a state” or “The State” (i.e., Big Government) while it was passing a law it admits it hadn’t read. So, leaping right over Congress, the Court decided to follow the intent of Barack Obama, which was to make such a mess of our health care that eventually patients would throw up their hands and beg for a single-payer system.

When MIT Prof. Jonathan Gruber apologize to a Congressional hearing for having said President Obama’s health law depended on “the stupidity of the American voter,” he meant voters are too stupid to know that socialized medicine is good for them, so lawmakers had to be deceptive at first.

We’ll be hearing more about the Court’s support for ridiculous lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act, allowing them not only for “purposeful discrimination”, but “disparate impact”, however unintentional. Investor’s Business Daily writes, “President Obama's race cops will wage an even bigger war against lenders, insurers, employers and whoever else fails their ‘disparate impact’ test”.

At least the Court stopped the EPA from more quickly wrecking our economy with impossible emission requirements, and preserved the death penalty for savage killers.

Not being a lawyer, I’d maybe be reluctant to give my opinion about these great legal decisions, but the smartest lawyer I know emailed me this when I asked him for some insight:

“I have been a lawyer for 35 years and I have read practically every SCOTUS decision in the last 35 years. There is no understanding… They just make it up and call it precedent until they don’t want it to be precedent anymore. That’s why they call it a “living Constitution”; so it can change to suit the mood.”

Happy Birthday, America. This year’s gift: a chance to observe what is happening in Greece and Puerto Rico, and decide to grow up.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a Salem News columnist.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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