As we celebrate the founding of our country this Fourth of July, let us take a moment to reflect back on the historic struggle undertaken by the Founders against impossible odds to secure our liberty, and let us also contemplate how little our present circumstances have changed from those of the colonists who rallied around the slogan of “No Taxation without Representation” as we certainly have plenty of taxation with representation.
A serious study of the founding of the United States that gets past the romanticized stories presented in the average high school history book reveals that the colonists had almost no chance of success in their struggle for independence. Great Britain was the world’s lone superpower and ruled the world’s oceans with the mighty Royal Navy, while the American colonies had trouble protecting their frontier borders from Indian attacks. Many colonists were acutely aware of the long odds of launching a revolution against so formidable an enemy as Great Britain, and there was a sizeable colonial population who remained loyal to Britain even after the war commenced. The colonists lacked arms, a standing army, military training, supplies, a navy, and most of the other necessities of war, including an overwhelming desire for war by a sizable portion of the population. On paper, Great Britain had every advantage except the advantage of fighting on home soil as she had to transport men and materials across the Atlantic Ocean to wage war with the colonies.
Another consideration is the fact that the colonies approached hostilities toward Great Britain at a glacial pace that could easily lead one to believe protestations were mere grumbling amounting to very little. Complaints about the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act of 1765 were not recognized for the fury they revealed from the colonists who employed the phrase “no taxation without representation” in protest. It was the fundamental belief by the colonists that they should enjoy representation in the British Parliament before the matter of colonial taxes could be considered since they believed being taxed without representation amounted to an illegitimate exercise of tyrannical power. These acts were passed to assist Britain in recovering the costs incurred in defending the colonies in the recently concluded French and Indian War. The colonists were all too happy to be defended by British troops against the French who allied with Indian tribes to threaten American colonists. Many colonists, including George Washington, fought alongside the British against the French and distinguished themselves well. It was Washington’s prior service in the French and Indian War and his heroic accomplishments in that struggle which recommended him for command of the Continental Army by the Continental Congress as they cast about for a military leader.
Poorly organized and outnumbered, the colonists fought guerilla style against the British who preferred to adhere to the rules of warfare in vogue at the time. While the British lined up their troops in neat formations and marched towards the enemy, the colonists preferred to hide behind walls and trees taking shots at the British and retreating to decimate their forces. Having no comparable navy, the colonists nevertheless managed to wage a spirited naval war against Britain mostly through the exploits of sailors such as John Paul Jones and his naval victories as captain of the USS Bon Homme Richard.
Fortune and Providence were very much on the side of the colonists as they exploited their strategic advantages of fighting for their homes and liberty while utilizing vast spy networks to gather intelligence on British military intentions. The British badly underestimated the military prowess of the colonists forgetting that many colonists had served with distinction in the French and Indian War. Lounging about in the relatively safe confines of colonial cities such as New York and Boston, British generals at first took a lackadaisical approach to the colonial uprising confident that they would soon crush the rebel annoyance and hang their leaders. George Washington struggled to maintain troop strength in the face of desertions and death from illnesses and starvation. In desperation, Washington often turned to men such as Prussian officer Baron von Steuben, forced to leave Europe over allegations of homosexuality, who distinguished himself by turning Washington’s men into an army through constant drilling and training. With his back against the wall, Washington could ill afford to turn down qualified leaders offering their services to the Continental Army.
Convincing the likes of France to ally with the American colonies against their common enemy Great Britain required the shrewd diplomatic skills of Benjamin Franklin to persuade the French that the colonies could defeat Great Britain. We are able to celebrate America’s independence on the Fourth because of the unlikely combination of good fortune, determined men, and resilient leaders which came together under the Hand of Divine Providence to deliver the colonies from the tyrannical grasp of Great Britain. It is all the more letdown to then realize that men who labored under impossible odds spurred on and reinforced by slogans such as “no taxation without representation” while eventually securing America’s liberty would shudder to see how we their descendants have squandered the liberty they fought so valiantly to secure by allowing our representatives to place upon us so great a burden of taxation. While we can claim that we have the representation our Founders initially lacked, we must also admit that we have a much greater burden of taxation than our Founders could have ever imagined.
We have allowed the siren songs of the left to lull us into accepting deviations from the intent of the Founders to create all manner of entitlements and government support in the name of social justice to demonstrate our empathy at the expense of our convictions. Our good intentions of supporting the poor, the aged, and the infirmed have morphed into support of the indolent and unleashed an attitude of entitlement that has wreaked havoc on the traditional work ethic that has always underpinned our economy. Americans are increasingly transitioning away from being productive workers to become government dependents in a vicious cycle which threatens our ability to remain a solvent nation. These entitlement payments require ever increasing taxes imposed on a shrinking workforce of producers in an unsustainable cycle with growing resentment among the working class tired of struggling to survive while watching others live better lives avoiding work.
The colonists slowly grew tired of watching Great Britain extract the wealth of the American colonies while condescendingly expecting the colonists to be grateful for the few crumbs which fell their way. There are things which grate upon a man worse than death such as watching others profit from the sweat of your brow, and when the colonists reached the point where their fear of dying was overcome by their resentment of the conditions under which they labored, the American Revolution commenced in earnest. Americans today are rapidly reaching the point where their resentment at being taken for granted by an arrogantly entitled political class and their never satisfied minions is overcoming their fear of retribution. Just as the colonists reached their boiling point to initiate a revolution against Great Britain, so too is the pressure building on Americans today to defend themselves against the anarchy being unleashed by the left.
The election of Donald Trump as president has caused the snowflakes of the left to become unhinged and resort to violence in a futile effort to gain that which they could not win at the ballot box. It is the left which resorts to violence as communist tyranny is an integral part of its political DNA. America is a center right country whose citizens are unwilling to relinquish their liberty for the siren song of communism with its false promises of equality and wealth redistribution. Dejected snowflakes are realizing there was never any chance Obama could enact the communist paradise of their dreams in America and that violence was always the only path to achieving their goal of communism in America. Many of these snowflakes are beginning to embrace violence against Americans to sow chaos and anarchy they hope will destabilize America and lead to their victory. They would do well to remember that conservatives don’t shoot; they shoot back defending themselves against predatory attackers such as communist trolls of the left.
America was founded upon liberty and continues to dearly value liberty. It is this sentiment which we proudly celebrate on the Fourth of July remembering the sacrifices of the Founders in their struggle against Great Britain’s oppression and tyranny. Those on the left contemplating violence against America would do well to remember that Americans will only take so much before determining to right what they see as wrong. Have a safe and blessed Fourth of July, and God bless America.