On July 4th, 1776, the United States declared its independence from the United Kingdom. This is the day the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was brought forth, and it is believed by many – though disputed by historians – to be the day it was signed.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the Declaration tells us, “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.” It is not a long document, but it is powerful in its words, and in its beliefs. It brings to mind and heart a feeling of determination, truth, and will. It even gives us reasons why the founding fathers and their fellow men decided to declare their independence from the oppression of their British roots.
Men and women gave their lives for the freedom to choose whom they serve, to pursue happiness. To be free.
Times change, however, and the more humanity gets involved in perfect ideas, the more things change. The more human greed and Hobbes-like philosophy is thrown around by the 1%, the less that freedom seems to ring.
I am making the choice to move with my husband to the United States for many reasons. One of these reasons is the freedom to succeed; the absolute glory of this dynamic marketplace. My biggest fear in this decision, however, is similar to this man’s. Nick Hanauer, a gentleman comfortably in the .01%, suggests in his open letter to other “zillionaires” like himself that if the ultra-rich are not careful, they will end up in a similar position with Marie Antoinette, the Czars of Russia, the British their ancestors once fought to remove – at the receiving end of a revolution.
George Takei expresses this potential perfectly: “[American Democracy] can be as great as people can be, but is also as fallible as people are.” He is one of thousands of backers of a “Super PAC to end all Super PACs” called Mayday PAC. Its focus is primarily to rebuild Congress so that it is not influenced by big money, but by the people. It has been run of late by not men, but by money – indeed, the most fallible, un-human thing that could run a country. This cannot – certainly, it will not – go on.
The United States is a wonderful country for many reasons, not least because of its potential for greatness. It is founded on ideas greater than any man, but valuable for every man. If it could live up to its potential, and build upon itself to become as great as men can be, it could perhaps make itself become, in not only potential but in truth, the greatest country in the world.