As I reflect on the meaning of Independence Day, I cannot help but to see the stark contrast between the freedoms which we as Americans have come to take for granted and the situation in Romania, where the Romanian people struggle to live day by day under the capricious and self-serving will of oligarchs and authoritarians and a corrupt and impetuous government.
Never you mind that the 2008 NATO Summit was held in Bucharest.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a
more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote
the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our posterity…
United States Constitution
The purpose of human government is to enable the people to obtain, individually, for themselves every good and moral opportunity to pursue and enjoy the common good.
Regardless of geographical differences, the purpose is everywhere the same. This, the human spirit has taught us in its longings, triumphs, and struggles through human history. And this wisdom is made more compelling by our own tears, hopes and prayers.
George Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. understood themselves as instruments of human destiny. They saw that the implications of their efforts, sacrifices and triumphs were not limited to their time; they understood that the things for which they struggled for must also belong in a wider sense to humanity and the future.
In America, the rights of the individual prevail today over the sometimes questionable prerogative of state and government.
The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional right of an American to have a gun and, especially, for the purpose of self-defense in one’s home. This individual right has been clearly acknowledged independent of the necessities of military or militia service, duty and training. The ruling comes out of the Court’s review of District of Columbia v. Heller. Additionally: Washington, D.C.’s many year ban on handguns and a mandatory requirement for gun locks was deemed unconstitutional.
District of Columbia v. Heller is the most important Second Amendment case in American history. Today’s decision is a historical decision that will guide the way courts and States consider questions about the American right of responsible citizens to own a gun for a long time to come. The American right of an individual for self defense is more clearly defined as a Constitutional right.
This historical decision represents the deeply considered and powerful reasoning of Justice Antonin Scalia who led the majority opinion. According to Georgetown University Law Professor Randy Barnett, Justice Scalia’s opinion “is the clearest, most careful interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution ever to be adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court.”
This opinion, writes Barnett in The Wall Street Journal, “is the finest example of what is now called original public meaning jurisprudence ever adopted by the Supreme Court.”
Obama critics on the Left and Right are trying to play a wide menu of prejudices including discrimation on the basis of race, religion, sex, political affiliation, and so-called unproven commitment to the Democratic Party. Such prejudices represent irrational hostilities and hasty judgments that lack sufficient evidence, knowledge or consideration. These prejudices are divisive and dangerous resistance to our individual pursuit of information, evidence, knowledge, and truth. These prejudices move us in the direction of Authoritarians.
Fear and Loathing in America
As the 2008 presidential campaigns move to the next level of national attention and debate, old and new prejudices have come out of the closet. With Senator Barack Obama’s chances of winning the Presidential election looking up; Obama critics on the Left and Right are trying to play a wide menu of prejudices including discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, political affiliation, and so-called unproven commitment to the Democratic Party.