Independence Day?



In 2017, for the first time in our nation’s 241 year history, July 4 is meaningless.

Back in the late 1700s, we fought a bloody, costly, and frequently hopeless war to rid ourselves of foreign totalitarianism.  In one of the most incredible underdog stories ever told, we defeated an opponent vastly superior in wealth, training, and numbers.  With home turf (and the French Navy) on our side, we managed a miracle and won our Independence from foreign totalitarianism.  The men who signed the Declaration of Independence knew that they were signing their death warrants. These men burned the bridges to lead a war fought with conviction – but also with desperation.  We would be a new nation, or we would die trying.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t felt conviction like that, but their example certainly inspires me.

Did these American Revolutionaries spend decades of their lives and spill gallons of their blood and sweat so that America would end up beholden to a dictator in Eastern Europe?  Did they fight so that we could, a couple of centuries later, allow a hostile foreign power to choose our leader? Our nation is a Republic, modeled after Ancient Rome. Our nation is founded on the Democratic Ideals of the Greeks, where every citizen has an equal voice.  But what matters most is that our nation is independent. If we aren’t independent, then are we truly America at all?

Perhaps some Americans justify our kowtowing to Moscow with the promise of a tax cut.  They use their bank accounts as surrogates for independence.  To them I say that Patrick Henry did not shout for liberty from taxes – he shouted for liberty from foreign influence.  He shouted to fight against the continued pressure of a dictator’s boot. Thanks to our victory almost 250 years ago, Americans shall forever choose American leaders and Americans shall forever make American laws. Russia doesn’t get a say – not then, not now, not ever.

Other Americans are too ignorant of our history and ideals to be appalled at the loss of our independence. Civics education (or the lack thereof) has failed us so much that a large segment of our population brainlessly celebrates and shouts for our ‘Freedom!’ without any knowledge of what our freedoms actually are. They have chosen to ignore our Bill of Rights and much of the Constitution, while would-be authoritarians mock our values and ideals.

The authoritarians desire two things – money and power. Money buys power, and power steals more money. There’s nothing else to it. Try as they might to cover that cold, hard, steel-gray truth with red, white, and blue paint, the authoritarians aren’t fooling me. If they have fooled you up to this point, it isn’t too late. They are professional con-men who prey on your unacknowledged biases, and exploit your lapses in critical thinking. They have assumed you would absorb their propaganda like sponges, then squeeze it back out to others in your circle. Free yourselves from these manipulators of your minds.

At this point, casting them aside should bring no guilt, for there is no guilt now – only hope or despair. Despair is not an option.

If you have hope that we can reclaim our Independence, then change your heart. Change your mind. Legions of Americans have fought and died for our ideals. Hundreds of thousands of them have given their lives and limbs to oppose totalitarians. Did we come this far and fight this hard to cower away now?

If there aren’t enough Americans left to ride a wave of renewed commitment to our independence over the heads of foreign powers wishing to erase our ideals from history, then our cause is hopeless. But I don’t think we fight for a lost cause. We fight for the heart and soul of America. We remember the blood, sweat, and tears of those who toiled and died before us. We feel the breath of Liberty on our faces as we venture out to profess her virtues and defend her honor.

We can’t lose. We won’t lose.

“Forbid it, Almighty God.  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me Liberty or give me Death.”  — Patrick Henry

Keith Pochick M.D.


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