This Independence Day
By Rep. Kristi Noem
June 26, 2015
How different the fourth of July must have been in 1776. Today, it’s a loud celebration with fireworks, parades, and excitement. But I imagine a much quieter and reflective tone in 1776. Yes, John Adams had written that in the future our independence “ought to be commemorated … with shows, games, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.” But we still had a war to win against the British. And for the next seven years, we battled to secure our independence and protect our rights, among them “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
There have been so many times over the last few years that I’ve seen these liberties once again tested and strained by an intrusive federal government. The President’s health care law, for instance, took control away from families and put our healthcare options – and our wallets – into the hands of bureaucrats. The Environmental Protection Agency repeatedly seeks out new regulations that threaten to increase our electricity bills or erode our property rights, as a new “Waters of the U.S.” rule could do. The government is telling our schools what ought to be put on lunch trays and targeting certain groups that speak out against an even bigger federal government. It has to stop.
My focus each and every day is to reverse this trend and to make sure you’re in control. We’ve made some progress, although we still have a long way to go. When the Department of Labor tried to ban some kids from doing certain farm work on their relative’s or neighbor’s farms, I put pressure on them and they withdrew the rule. When OSHA tried to regulate small family farms, we got them to reverse course. When the President’s health care law sought to ration care for seniors, we gutted the finances for the program and continue to fight for its full repeal.
Independence Day is yet another reminder of why we need to keep fighting for a smarter government – a government that opens opportunities for every American and protects our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. During this year’s Independence Day celebrations, I encourage you to take on our Founding Father’s quieter and reflective tone – if only for a moment. Consider the battle they fought, the declarations of liberty they made, and the journey we have yet to finish.
I am so proud to live in this country – a country where anything can happen because we have the freedom to pursue our American Dream. We each share the responsibility of keeping it that way.
From my family to yours, have a safe and happy Independence Day.