Independence Day Is No Time to Define Patriotism Down

Independence Day Is No Time to Define Patriotism Down

Independence Day Is No Time to Define Patriotism Down

A retired public employee from Tacoma named Sherry Conway on June 20 posted a comment to the Facebook page hosted by the Northwest Accountability Project criticizing those who help fund the Freedom Foundation’s activities. She wrote:

They aren’t patriotic. If they were, they’d make sure every American was well taken care of instead of spending their wealth on power and the ruination of the USA.

Admittedly, the last people on earth capable of producing anything worthy of thoughtful consideration are the shadowy, labor-funded shape-shifters working for NWAP, whose only mission is to smear the public-sector unions’ most effective opponent.

But Ms. Conway’s manifest indifference to — or contempt for — the principles on which this nation was founded are well worth exploring anytime, but all the more so as we celebrate another Independence Day.

By definition, the term “patriotism” refers to “devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country,” and by that standard, the Freedom Foundation’s objectives could hardly be more patriotic. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has never wavered from its mission statement to advance the principles of “free markets and limited, accountable government.”

Those ideals weren’t made up out of thin air, by the way. They are, in fact, the same blueprint the Founding Fathers followed, beginning with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 243 years ago this week, to construct the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

Contrary to the revisionist history promulgated by the modern Left and parroted by willfully ignorant acolytes like Ms. Conway, the pioneers who hewed civilization out of unsparing wilderness were rugged individualists who came to these shores seeking only the opportunity to work hard and rise as far as their talent and many sacrifices could take them.

They harbored no illusions about being “taken care of,” nor did they empower their elected representatives to craft a system of government that would.

Having fled tyranny in their home country, they were keenly aware the greatest threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was government. For that reason, they created a constitutional republic whose seminal documents recognized we were endowed with our fundamental rights by our maker and included strict protections from government overreach.

But there always have been — and always will be — those who refuse to play by the rules. As Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed in 1835, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Public-sector unions are the living manifestation of those fears.

For generations, they grew larger and wealthier with every new public employee hired. And using the dues dollars extorted from millions of conscripted workers who wouldn’t have handed them over voluntarily, unions were able to corrupt government at every level.

Until very recently, that is. And the Freedom Foundation is at the forefront of the national movement to curb union excesses and restore the power to the people.

Again, patriotism means “devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country,” but a true patriot loves his or her country for what it is — or at least what it was intended to be — not what it could be degraded into becoming at the hands of a powerful, unscrupulous special interest.

On the Fourth of July, the Freedom Foundation redoubles its commitment to safeguarding the legacy of liberty bequeathed to us by the Founders. We pledge to do so by continuing to battle those determined to misrepresent and misappropriate ideals they have no interest living up to.

And we’re pleased and proud to have you make our crusade possible.

Vice President for News and Information
Jeff is a native of West Virginia and a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in journalism. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis, Wash., as a broadcast journalist and has worked at a number of newspapers in West Virginia and Washington. Most recently, he spent 11 years as editor of the Port Orchard (Wash.) Independent, which earned the 2011 Washington Newspaper Publishers’ Association’s General Excellence Award as the top community newspaper in Washington. Previously, he was editor of the Business Examiner newspaper in Tacoma, Wash., for seven years. Jeff lives in Lacey; he and his wife have grown twin daughters.