“Here sir, the people govern.”
- Alexander Hamilton, in a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention
Though, in recent years, my patriotism has been at times unduly tested, though at moments I have despaired for our ongoing experiment in national self-governance, each 4th of July, my love for America renews. For each Independence Day, I think upon the Founding Fathers, that motley band of forward-thinking, eloquent-talking drunks who, eleven score and nine years ago, had the outrageous, fortuitous cajones to say, “this whole ‘starting a new country’ thing doesn’t look too hard; let’s give it a go.”
The Founding Fathers! A group so sure that fortune favors the bold they willingly laid their lives on the line to stand behind the bold notion of independence, of a complex nation based on the simple ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Certainly, I have my concerns and quibbles with where this nation stands. But, on balance, I can understand why they inscribed the Great Seal with “Annuit Coeptis” – “Providence favors our undertakings”. More than two centuries later, I can’t help but think they were absolutely right.