"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
— Thomas Jefferson
It is Independence Day, a great American tradition which combines three things we like: eating, alcohol and fireworks. Set against the pent-up tension of having to be around your relatives in scorching heat with dubious potato salad, what could be better than to add booze and explosives to the mix?
We Harts have a great time on the Fourth. We drink, and then Uncle Mac (my "Drunkle") does his fireworks show. Nothing brings back memories like hearing the kids say, "Quick, ice down his fingers and let's get him to the emergency room. I hope Dr. Seiler can sew them back on again." Drunkle Mac enjoys celebrating the third of July, the last day he had all his fingers.
The CDC in Atlanta warns us not to undercook our meat on July Fourth picnics for fear of bacteria-borne illnesses. As a handy guide, it advises at barbecues that your steak might be under-grilled if you look up and it is eating your corn.
The nation celebrates Independence Day in different ways. In the patriotic South, we celebrate with picnics and family gatherings. In Democrat-dominated Northern cities, they protest the lack of abortion rights for transvestites. In Chicago, they have extra gun violence on hot Fourth of July weekends. So many get shot that it is mathematically safer to marry O.J. Simpson than to live in Chicago.
We are again proudly celebrating our independence from the tyranny of Britain. Amid all the rituals and remembering the bravery of our founders, it's a great time to score "low-low prices" at the gigantic mattress sale near the mall. Our capitalist Founding Fathers would be proud.
Independence Day is personal for me. I am a descendent of John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was called "Honest John," and he effectively signed his own death warrant by putting his "John Hancock" on the Declaration of Independence. First British, then later Hessian, troops raided his farm. His 13 kids fled to Virginia to escape death and New Jersey, ending any possible future association by my family with the reality show "Jersey Shore."
With this family history, England was always special to me. It was my, and our nation's, mother country. Now it is the home of the only Muslim men's soccer team to get to the finals in the World Cup.
One personal observation about the Founding Fathers that explains America: they had ADD. Most had families and good lives in Europe, but they risked everything to come here. This explains why most creative entrepreneurs, artists and innovators reside in the USA, and why the Germans, English and Swedes left over there are all so stoic and boring.
Ben Franklin was a printer, musician, scientist and writer. As lore has it, he was flying a kite and did not notice lightning when he discovered electricity. Obama's OSHA would have shut him down. Thomas Jefferson was an inventor, architect, writer, philosopher, statesman and lawyer. Nothing could hold his attention for very long except Sallie Hemmings — thus my suspicion that he had ADD.
Jefferson was one of the best presidents we have ever had. His only mistake was appointing Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court.
The freedoms we enjoy come with individual responsibility. The notion of freedom and liberty resonates with people, especially in the South. I hear guys I grew up with say, "By God, if I want to keep a bobcat in my coat closet, then I ought to be able to."
We celebrate our freedoms, which have increased under Trump with his abolishing many of Obama-era regulations. He seems to want to expand freedoms worldwide. Trump even went to the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula to visit with Kim Jung Un, and has essentially halted him testing missiles. Trump looked at the quality of their rockets and convinced Kim Jung Un that he should stop setting off their rockets as he could lose a finger.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@Ronald Hart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.