Of Kings and Queens and Freedom
Driving across the plains a couple of years back I was musing while I drove home from visiting my son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Rolling through the countryside across gentle hills and through green valleys I marveled at this land and our people. There were a thousand vistas along the way that would make a perfect home for either you or me.
Verdant vales and lush fields, corn across the plains, and wooded hills streamed past as I drove. A hundred, a thousand, a million perfect views of freedom, of happiness, of new places to build a house with a view, a farm with a windmill, a ranch with horses, a cottage beside a stream.
The American dream, the vision of freedom, is still here and alive in the United States, and it walks quietly and steadily beside us, a future vision of things to be. Here is where the dreams are made and where dreams become reality.
Foreigners misunderstand America, and what freedom here really is. They do not understand how our constitution protects individuals, not classes or groups. They neither grasp the laws designed to limit government, nor the responsibilities and duties that we free individuals must carry. The tree of liberty is fed with tyrant’s blood and that is just one of many responsibilities that we all know.
The ultimate effect and genius of our government is that each person is a sovereign individual; a king or a queen in their own right. It’s no mistake that fathers in America oft call their daughters princess, although there is neither title, divine right, nor grant of nobility to do so. We are each of us noble in America, and in America we write our own grants of nobility as we walk this land of 300 million kings and queens.
So foreigners misinterpret our easy grace with freedom and our ability as ego, they mistake our declarations as braggadocio, and they see this brawling country of three hundred million souls and fear our great powers.
What caused all my marvel while speeding through the plains wasn’t just freedom from kings, freedom from repressive religions that would have no other, nor freedom from dangerous philosophies. Instead it was the sheer wonder at everyone’s ability to gain their dream in America.
There is a new dream in america, or one simply born anew from ashes at the start of this century. It’s a dream of a world where all are free, where all are nobles, where everyone looks everyone else in the eye, and no person bows their head to anyone. The dream of a world where everyone is free, where energy and ability to achieve are in every person’s hands — a new century and a new millennium of freedom for all.
There are dangerous tyrants in the world who would block that, there are apologists and serfs to dangerous ideologies who will fight us from fear or from greed of money or power. Do not waver as you hear their seemingly reasoned whining plaints about why we are evil to think in such a manner. Remember instead that there’s no such thing as a little freedom, and that capitalism and the dream to achieve, to create, to design, to improve, to build, is a primal force of human nature — in the end and over time it will win all as surely as the sun does rise.
Here we are free to achieve, and here we acquire the means to do so. Here we are free to create, to speak, to disagree, and to celebrate — and so you should celebrate on this day of independence from tyrants and philosophies of divine rights; for you are a king or a queen in your own right and by your own light. So as the rockets flare tonight decide on what your kingdom will be, what you will achieve, and cherish your will to be free.