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1819 News asked people to answer a single question for Independence Day: What is the state of American independence today?

We have gathered our responses from politicians, public figures, leaders and readers of 1819 News. Here they are:

Joey Clark, host of “News and Views” on News Talk 93.1 FM WACV out of Montgomery:

“The American heart is held hostage today by the corrupt powers of its Leviathan government and the fruits of its own success — a heartbeat quickened by a storm of perpetual threats yet slowed by the comforts and privileges of its prosperity and prominent position. Despite this quivering pulse, the American heart may yet pound in rhythm with the drums of independence again, as more Americans remember it is their birthright and duty to alter or abolish any form of government which is contrary to our sacred liberties so that we may then lay down new foundations for ourselves and future generations. “

Gary Palmer, U.S. Representative, Sixth District of Alabama:

"When I am asked questions like this, my first thought is that the question reflects the concern that millions of Americans have for the future of our country. The fundamental principles that we have relied on to keep us together are under tremendous assault as we become more and more divided. Even though our Pledge of Allegiance declares we are '… indivisible,' the harsh reality is that we are more divided now than at any time since just before the Civil War. Yet I still believe that the core values and common sense of everyday Americans will pull us through this latest 'great' challenge. 

"So, what does this mean in relation to the celebration of our Independence Day? Maybe it means nothing more than a reminder that we live in a country that is different from any other in the history of the world, a country that gives people the right to govern themselves. And while I think we still believe in the 'self-evident truths' expressed in our Declaration of Independence 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,' the question remains today as to whether or not we still recognize and accept the responsibility imposed on us to secure these rights. The Declaration says that in order '…to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

"The governed would be us today, and every generation since the founding before us and every generation after us. If our country is divided, it is because we have let the people running our governing bodies divide us. If our country is weaker and less prosperous, it is because we have elected people who have made us weaker and less prosperous. If we are less free, indeed, if our freedom is under assault, it is because we have allowed it to happen.

"Consequently, every Independence Day should be more than another day off work or an extended weekend, it should be more than fireworks and bands and cookouts. It should also be a reminder of every generation’s obligation to properly and purposefully engage as citizens in the governing of our cities and counties, our states and our nation because the future of our nation is really in our hands.

"In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan said, 'Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do that same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.' Even in these difficult times, I still believe in the tenacity and resiliency of the American people to get through the toughest of times — from the suffering of the Continental Army at Valley Forge to the carnage of the Civil War to fighting and winning two world wars to the fighting the war on terror — Americans have always risen to the occasion.

"While there are tremendous challenges ahead and serious work that must be done, it is my faith in the character and tenacity of everyday Americans that keeps me optimistic about the future of America’s independence."

"This Independence Day, I hope Alabamians across our state will join me in remembering what’s most important in life: faith, family, and freedom. This is an occasion to honor the heroes who have fought and sacrificed to keep America safe, strong, and free. Our nation is at a crossroads, with our liberties, rights, and values under attack every day by the Biden Administration. While the country we know and love is in peril, I am filled with hope for Alabama’s future and America’s future. It's time for the next generation to step up to preserve the American Dream and defend the freedoms on which America is built. From my family to yours, I pray that everyone has a blessed Fourth of July!"

Betty Womble, Jefferson County:

“What is the state of American independence today?’ I see it slipping away like quicksilver. Plans have been laid out and implemented for many years and are now bearing fruit to destroy our nation. Cries of ‘disinformation’ and ’conspiracy theory’ have been made by the very ones who are giving out the disinformation and proving by their actions the conspiracy isn’t a theory but fact.”

Scott Buttram, The Trussville Tribune, Publisher:

“How independent is America? Unfortunately, America is not as independent as she should be or could be. Our country has become voluntarily and needlessly dependent. Too often, we find ourselves dependent on those who are not our allies.

“We have given away our manufacturing sector to China, Taiwan, and Mexico. We are reliant on Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran for energy. We allow China to steal our technology with impunity.

“On this Fourth of July, let us resolve to return to the ‘can do’ self-reliance exhibited by our founding fathers and return America to true independence.”

Daniel Taylor, The Sand Mountain Reporter, News Editor:

“America is still the greatest, freest nation in the world. The average citizen enjoys virtually complete freedom day-to-day even though, right now, the government is abusing and suppressing people in ways our founders would have fought a second Revolutionary War over without hesitation. Most agree ‘freedom isn’t free,’ however it's usually others far away and long ago that pay the price. But the battle for our freedom is here at home today, every day. Same as it ever was, really. The common man’s price for freedom is eternal vigilance and self-control. The spirit of America, of freedom, lives on, and as we’ve seen recently, the good guys can still win. Our country needs another Great Awakening, and that starts with freedom-loving Americans taking responsibility and taking charge against the powers that be who think they know better.“

Mark Congleton, Co-Owner and General Manager, LifeRadio.FM:

“The state of independence in America certainly isn't what it once was. Today there are increasing numbers of people who wish to be free from the responsibilities of adulthood and many politicians who would be happy to relieve them of those responsibilities. Plus, many in our government are working to make our nation more dependent on other nations for our energy rather than being energy independent, and allowing other nations to do our manufacturing, eliminating job opportunities here at home. The good news is that many Americans across the political spectrum are waking up to these problems, understanding why they're happening, and are ready to make some of the changes necessary to correct course. There is hope for America.”

John Hannah, Blountsville:

“American independence can be defined in two ways, National or individual. I’ll speak to the individual. I think individual independence is on shaky ground. However, I am encouraged by recent Supreme Court decisions that return decisions, that affect us all, to the states and protects our rights as specified by the constitution. Now if we could get our politicians, on both sides, to do the same rather than trying to legislate their own ideology.”

Paul Reynolds, Republican National Committeeman - Alabama:

“In accessing the health and well-being of independence in America today, a pertinent question must first be asked and answered. The question? America must be independent of what and from whom? For discussion purposes, we could say independent of any power seeking to control us in ways that thwart and impede our quest for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. Then in addressing the question of independence from whom, it is obvious that America has citizens with diabolical governmental constructs completely alien to those of the Founding Fathers. Since officeholders described in the previous statement currently control the two government branches that set policy and execute the dictates of that policy, the immediate state or well-being (health) of an individual citizen's independence in America is poor at best and visibly unstable.

“However, this Independence Day, not only are we able to give thanks for the sacrifice of countless lives sacrificed in combat to preserve this governmental structure called the Constitution, but also for the highest of thanksgiving and praise to our Creator for the amazing spiritual gifts of discernment, insight, and wisdom that America's ‘Founders’ possessed. How else can it be explained that in 1776 it was possible to look forward to the future, to today, and see the onslaught of destruction the Constitution is now facing? The Founders saw the inner conflict that was possible because they had a healthy view of unrestrained human nature. Therefore, they prepared a system of checks and balances to hold back the worst types of turbulence, even that at the magnitude we are now experiencing.

“So, is America now healthy? Are individual liberties and independence at a maximum? Certainly not! But can we give thanks and celebrate the day with hope? We sure can! Why? Because by divine appointment our Founders acknowledged HIM (our Creator), and He set their pathways straight (Proverbs 3:6).”

Craig Savage, U.S. Air Force (Reserves), Mobile:

“Since our inception, we’ve been a country that fights to create and protect a collection of rights that allow for a free state. July 4th is a celebration of every fight our country has fought to build and protect those rights.”

Leland Whaley, Host of ‘Leland Live’ on Talk 99.5:

“On July 4th, 1776, brave men declared independence from a Tyrant. They won the war and created a founding document that restrained the government and divided it to disperse future tyranny. 246 years later, the tyrants have regathered their power in Washington DC. and where are the leaders who will fight the new tyrant? We are governed by one political party bent on destroying our founding and another too weak and corrupt to stop them. Every election is a choice of the lesser of two evils decided on by a low turnout of the constitutionally ignorant influenced by childish name-calling campaign ads paid for by a powerful few and not vetted by a lazy media establishment. Enjoy your Bar B Que and watermelon on Monday. If you lose a finger in a fireworks misfortune, try to keep the middle one. You are going to need it.”

Kathleen Wood, Madison, AL:

“I believe American freedom is stronger today than at any other time in my life. Yes, we have been assaulted in our basic rights - freedom of speech, freedom of religious expression, and even the right to life. Yet through all of these challenges, I believe we the people have risen up to meet them with more determination, commitment, participation and civic duty than ever before. We have investigated questionable and false narratives, shared information, supported true Patriotic civil servants, demanded justice in the courts, and stood together as one America regardless of race or creed against those who would try to steal our futures from us. Far from losing this battle, we are only just beginning a movement which will turn the tide for generations to come. As the hymn says, ‘America, America, God mend thine every flaw! Confirm thy soul in self-control and liberty in law.’ May God still bless America.”

Perry O. Hooper Jr., Alabama Republican Executive Committee:

“We must Reject Biden and his Far-Left Agenda for Liberty and Independence to Survive.

“The Declaration of Independence is unquestionably the most important document in our country’s history. It declared our independence from the despotic rule over the colony from the tyrannical rule of King George. We were free as a country to live our lives ‘in the pursuit of happiness.' Ever since that fateful day in 1776 our elected government has been taking away our independence bit by bit.

“As Larry Kudlow, former economic advisor to President Trump, pointed out Joe Biden is not exactly King George, but Biden is attempting a radical, woke transformation of all of American society. If his big-government socialism succeeds, it will cause the complete collapse of our independence.

“We must have a modern-day declaration of independence against the absolutist government controlled by the left-wing. We have to vote the tyrants out of Congress in November and cleanse the White House in 2024. We must vote in a new Republican-led government that will  make George Washington, Thomas Jefferson,  Benjamin Franklin, and all the Founding Founders proud.”

Paul DeMarco, former Alabama State Representative:

“American citizens are blessed to freely practice their religious faith and express their opinions, even those critical of our government. The independence we have to live and take care of our families is the best on this planet.

“Despite the push by the left in this Nation to restrict those God-given rights, no country has protected our ability to do both like the United States.

“We do not need to take any of our Constitutional rights for granted, particularly with the actions and efforts in Washington DC.

“Yet, I will enjoy the 4th of July and the independence we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America.”

Mayor Dave Thomas, City of Springville:

"We're more dependent now than ever before, but I predict we'll become more independent in the very near future, as liberal policies are replaced with conservative."

Bill Armistead, former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party (2011 to 2015) and former State Senator (1995-2003):

"If we are to maintain our American independence for the generations to come, we must have an American awakening. When only 10% of Alabama voters go to the polls to elect our next United States Senator, it must be obvious to everyone that we have become, by and large, complacent. This complacency, if continued, will soon threaten our freedoms and possibly lose our American independence. 

"If we heed what Founding Father Daniel Webster said, American independence should be around for another 246 years: “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, because if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email news@1819news.com.  

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