News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

July 3, 2014

EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence

A day to embrace America, leave political views aside

TERRE HAUTE — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”

As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.

It hasn’t happened by accident. Americans have worked hard, fought and died to establish and defend their country. We hold them forever in our debt.

We Americans love our country. On that there is no question. Yet a majority of us seem to hate our government … or portions of it. At least that’s what public opinions polls indicate. We create superstar politicians who excel at stating their visions for the future, then loathe them as they struggle to implement those visions with real policies and programs. The governing institutions that grew from the founding principles are often gridlocked by partisanship. Sometimes that may be a good thing. At other times, it’s certainly not.

And despite our discontent, we repeatedly re-elect the same people to the same positions.

Perhaps it’s too much to ask Americans to declare a truce today, a ceasefire from ugly partisanship, and observe the nation’s birthday together in acknowledgment of the wonderful place it has become. That is our plea, nonetheless.

For Americans, this is the grandest of all birthdays. Let’s celebrate it with joy. Fly a flag. Light of firecracker. Sing the national anthem. Thank a veteran.

And reflect on the words in that preamble to the founding document adopted on this day in 1776.

Happy birthday, America.

Reader poll results

Recently, the Reader Poll at Tribstar.com asked:

What is your reaction to the federal judge’s ruling striking down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages?

Results: 202 votes were cast.

• Agree — 76 votes, 37.26 percent

• Disagree — 113 votes, 55.94 percent

• Undecided — 13 votes, 6.44 percent

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