2005 Independence Day weekend thoughts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

National holidays are declared for many reasons and some are far more weighty and significant than others.

As the son of an enlisted flyer in WWII Europe, a retired Naval officer, and a long time reader of American history, I feel that Independence Day is among the most significant.

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I just recently finished reading David McCullough’s &uot;1776&uot; and while my immediate impression was that it didn’t rank up there with his Pulitzer prize winning &uot;Truman&uot; and &uot;John Adams,&uot; it had a much narrower focus and, as such, successfully captured the tremendous significance of one miserable year of failures, mistakes, poor judgment, treachery, cowardice, improbable fate, and desperate determination that began what many of us take for granted – these United States.

At the very end of that first year – in fact, on another weighty holiday, Christmas – the mostly uneducated colonial soldiers and their semi-educated but militarily ignorant officers slowly started to change a tide into what became an epic struggle that changed the political landscape of the world!

In this respect McCullough’s new book deserves praise for leaving his readers with a singularly strong message as opposed to many less weighty ones.

On this Independence Day I’d ask all Americans to consider the sacrifices of those estimated 25,000 first-Americans (one percent of the new country’s population) who perished in pursuit of not much more than a concept with virtually no realistic chance of success. I’d hope that all the currently popular revisionist historians dredging for dirt on the dead, mostly white, Founding Fathers to reconsider the perils of trashing every imperfect historical leader who nevertheless managed to collectively bequeath us with something purer than any one of the original contributors.

Beyond the book review, I’d like people to recall some of the recent Supreme Court decisions and perhaps reconsider some of their political maxims and stereotypes in the aftermath.

Why did the liberal contingent come down hard on the little guys in the Kelso Eminent Domain decision?

Why were the conservatives opposed to the decision?

Many of you honestly believe that conservatives are in the pocket of rich business interests, the developers, and those with influence?

Are you so sure today?

Why didn’t the liberal justices oppose the power of local governments to simply steel any individual’s land-present the owner with a check for it’s present value-add it to other parcels similarly acquired, and sell it at a huge profit to private developers who promise the land will now return more tax money to the municipal coffers?

How could our political stereotypes fail us so woefully?

Frankly, this nation has in fact already adopted a three-party system and this all occurred over the last 50 years with few really noticing.

While Democrats snipe at Republicans and Republicans snipe at Democrats, a middle party has been growing like a cancer – a Bureaucratic Party wearing both Republican and Democrat garb, that believes above all in the power of government. This party is perfectly willing to sacrifice all individuals-the unborn, the small landowner, the uneducated, the religious right, the anarchist left, conservatives, liberals and any other group or sect that stands in the way of accumulating more power at the political center-the Bureaucracy.

And the Bureaucracy Party has only two goals – to grow and to always feed itself first.

Keep this in mind when you wonder why your city is perfectly willing to tax personal property at prohibitive annual levels rather than reel in public spending.

It explains why public schools are permitted to gorge at the public tax trough without ever having to produce results. It shines light on why the Justices of the Supreme Court – given life-time tenure supposedly to insulate them from political pressures – decide that any and all can be sacrificed as long as tax revenues to feed the bureaucratic social programs can be perpetually increased. You see it in the daily editorial stances of the vast majority of Hampton Roads media outlets as they howl endlessly about the public’s failure to &uot;invest&uot; in transportation, but fail to hold State or municipal agencies accountable for continued mismanagement and failure.

Now some might understand why most municipalities become job programs with ever increasing personnel rolls.

It’s all about growing-the more, the merrier.

Is it time to consider whether Government, State or municipal employment, or living on government largesse (welfare), might really be a serious conflict of interest when it comes to being eligible to vote?

Just a thought on this Independence Day weekend!

George H. Mears ME,

MBA, Cdr USN (Ret.)