The following address was delivered on Saturday, July 3rd, 2021 as part of the Red, White, and Blue Tour in Sturgis, South Dakota.
It was 245 years ago that a brave group of American colonists sent what was effectively a legal complaint to the King of England. Inspired by the English jurist William Blackstone, the complaint contained a list of the colonists’ grievances, then demanded their independence as compensation for damages. This citizen’s complaint is commonly known as the Declaration of Independence.
We won our independence, but we now suffer under a new sort of tyrant. We find ourselves bound by the invisible chains of codependence.
We celebrate July 4th, 1776, as our nation’s birthday. It is not, in the strictest sense, the date of our birth; nor is it even the actual year. Depending on how you choose to define it, our nation was actually “born” either in 1787 (with the signing of the Constitution), in 1788 (with the ratification of the Constitution), or in 1789 (with the convening of the First Congress). What then should we call July 4, 1776? It is the day we got pregnant. What followed was a long and bloody path toward liberation and birth.
Today, the Declaration of Independence is one of the (if not the) most cherished American documents. Its language is inspiring, and it reminds us of the incredible courage shown and the price paid by those who risked and gave all to secure for us the gift of freedom. It is a foundational part of our history.
But it is not a part of our present. We no longer are a distant colony living under the rule of an unreasonable king. We won our freedom, wrote a constitution, and built a new nation. Using the greatest ideas from the Enlightenment, our founding fathers started us on a path that led us to become the greatest nation in the history of Western Civilization.
We won our independence, but we now suffer under a new sort of tyrant. We find ourselves bound by the invisible chains of codependence. We are not being ruled unreasonably by others. Instead, we are unreasonably letting ourselves be ruled by the need to appear caring and helpful. We are supporting, perpetuating, and enabling the irresponsible and destructive behavior of our fellow citizens who are determined to fundamentally transform the tenets of Americanism.
It is, therefore, once again time for a statement to be made and for lines to be drawn. We cannot find the strength to restore our republic if we cannot first find the strength to set our own minds, bodies, and consciences free. It is time to formally and publicly decline to remain codependent.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a group of people, who believe in the laws of nature and in nature’s God, to dissolve the codependent bands that (to their own great detriment) have connected them to others, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind require that they list the actions they intend to take in separation and rebellion.
Let it first be clear, we hold these truths to be self-evident:
- That all Americans are created equal.
- That they are endowed by their Creator with, and have had codified in their Constitution, certain inalienable rights. These include the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to act as we choose insofar as we do not compel others to act as we choose.
- That these rights have been gradually eroded, both through public seizure and voluntary surrender.
- And to continue to allow these rights to be denied to us by others—or worse, to voluntarily surrender our rights for the sake of and in appeasement to others—is immoral.
Since our present circumstance has become destructive toward the above-mentioned truths, it is the right of the American people to abolish the current state of affairs and to institute a new order, one based upon:
History has shown that people are more disposed to suffer and stay silent while evils are sufferable than they are to stand up and fight on behalf of themselves. With respect to their perception vis-à-vis others, they also are inclined to be governed and inhibited by three types of fear:
- The fear of losing something they think they have.
- The fear of not getting something they want.
- The fear of not being liked.
These fears can lead a free people to subjugate their own free will, and to establish in its place a sort of social codependence that erodes their freedoms and weakens their very God-given soul. But when a long train of abuses, usurpations, oppression, and persistent censorship leaves them no alternative, then it is their right—their duty—to throw off such suppression, as well as their inhibitions.
Today’s true Americans have spent so much time trying to prove who and what they are not that they have forgotten who and what they are. That ends now.
Therefore, we are resolved that from this moment forward, in declining our codependence on those who do not hold to our truths, that we shall:
- Break loose from the self-fitted chains and shackles of political correctness.
- Take back our language: no longer will we surrender words and phrases from our language to others. We will use the words we choose, regardless of their contemporary characterization or classification by others.
- Not be made to condemn or apologize for the actions of others. Likewise, we will not be made to applaud or affirm the behavior of others. We will apologize only for our own actions, when we feel it appropriate, and we will salute others only when we are personally so moved.
- Never deny our friendships or turn our backs on those of us who are being attacked by others simply because it is easier, convenient, or avoids confrontation.
- In accordance with the above, we will not hesitate to intervene in a situationally appropriate manner when we see one of our fellow citizens coming under attack. To turn away is to become complicit.
- Let those around us know that when they attack any one of us, they attack all of us. e will not tolerate the phrase “but I didn’t mean you.”
- Embrace the classical notions of being masculine and feminine whenever and however we choose, and we shall not make excuses or issue apologies for so doing.
- Be skeptics at every turn when someone claims to be an “expert,” an “authority,” or a follower of “science.”
- Not allow ourselves ever to use the excuse “I was just following orders” to serve as a reason for engaging in or helping to silence or harm our fellow citizens.
- Not engage in defending ourselves when we are called “racist,” when we are called “homophobic,” when we are called “privileged,” when we are called “xenophobic,” or when we are labeled by anyone other than ourselves. We will not respond by giving examples of people we know or things we have done to prove what we are and what we are not. We do not need to try to justify ourselves or disprove baseless accusations to others. We will simply respond: “Your words. Not mine.”
- Embrace our faith in God if we possess such faith, without reservation. We may wear it on our sleeves, or we may keep it to ourselves. We will display our faith however we so choose, and will not deny the existence or importance of our faith for the sake of providing false comfort to others.
- Refuse to acknowledge the need for and legitimacy of “safe spaces” or “microaggressions.” Simply because someone else decides they are threatened or offended will not be a reason for us to question our beliefs, our words, or our actions.
- Call “lies” by their proper name—which is “lies.”
- Not give the benefit of the doubt to those who seek to silence us or control us by presuming they are of good intentions. We will take them at their word and assume they mean and intend exactly what they say.
- Take great care in using terms such as “courage” and “bravery,” understanding that those terms have become corrupted in their use to signify simple acts of hate and defiance. We know true courage and bravery when we see it, and we will not lose sight of either.
- Be unwavering and undeterred in proclaiming that the interests of American companies, workers, and citizens must be placed above all other interests when it comes to matters of policy.
- Look directly at God, ourselves, and another human being every single day and say these words out loud: “I know who I am.”
We, therefore, the free people of the United States of America, do solemnly publish and declare our new independence by declining to be codependent upon those who seek to do us harm. There can be no harsher sentence served upon a people than that of being held prisoner to the approval of others.
We recognize that, in making this Declination, we place ourselves at risk of various forms of reprisal. We do so, knowing that the truest expression, the fulfillment of individual freedom, is the willingness to place that freedom at risk for the purpose of preserving it, so that future generations of Americans might enjoy it.
As we join in this Declination, we do so with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, and we mutually pledge to support each other with our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
This article is part of a Human Events Opinion Special Collection released July 4th, 2021: “INDEPENDENCE DAY 2021.” You can read the other pieces in the collection here.