“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Today, on Independence Day, join us in recommitting to these truths—truths of the dignity of the individual and the importance of democracy. These truths define the best of who we are as Americans and inspire our movement to renew our great nation.
When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration, there was a wide gap between the nation he imagined and the reality of the fledgling nation that existed at the time. Courageous Americans through history have narrowed that gap. But there is still some distance between how our nation was founded and what we as a nation ought to be. As Americans, the onus is on us to continue to narrow the gap between our nation’s ideals and our reality. We aren’t called to look backwards. We’re called to push ahead—to work together to create a healthier, stronger, more cohesive republic.
The American Revolution was not simply a war, it was a rejection of the tribal warfare, monarchies, and aristocracies which ruled the world at the time. Today we celebrate not just our independence as a country, but the forging of a new path born of liberty and enshrined in a Constitution. The idea of individual rights and democratic guardrails were novel, revolutionary concepts. They still are today, as the all too human urge pushes us towards the tribalism and illiberalism to which the Declaration stands resolutely opposed.
Today, as we celebrate the 4th, let’s recommit to the principles of the Declaration and the work of renewal.