The Declaration of Independence contains the clearest, most concise, and most eloquent articulation of the American creed: a political definition of man in two axioms, and three corollary propositions on government.
The self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, whose 237th birthday we celebrate on Thursday, aren’t as widely thought to be “self-evident” as they once were. They have been forgotten by many and transformed beyond recognition by others.
[On this Fourth of July] it might be good for us to revisit our great charter of liberty, to remind ourselves of its true meaning and to see why modern liberalism wasn’t baked into the Founding cake.
We begin, not on the Fourth of July, but today, on the second of July. For it was on July 2, 1776, that the American colonies actually declared their independence from Great Britain. With twelve colonies voting yes and New York abstaining, the Continental Congress approved a short resolution declaring that “these United Colonies are, and, of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States.”