By Frank Lewis
It has been a tough year for the United States of America. Veterans have been fined for flying flags in front of their homes by homeowners associations, soldiers banned from restaurants because they have their service dogs, students being told they can’t wear pro-America shirts because it incites violence.
Add to that VA hospitals that purposely delayed care for our veterans, many who subsequently died, and you have a country in turmoil. First, let me say, most veterans hospitals and clinics give excellent care. My late father-in-law, Mathew Duncan received great care at the VA in Huntington and Kevin W. Johnson told me the other morning he has always gotten excellent care through the VA. But it has been a tough years for veterans in places like Phoenix.
The point here is that it may appear on the surface that our country and the freedoms we came to know over the years is gone. Government agencies discriminating against political opposition, spying on regular citizens, things like that. But our republic isn’t irretrievable. It is still the kindest, most benevolent nation on earth, and whatever it has, it has because of its veterans and the Constitution which they defend on a regular basis.
With the media now becoming the message (see Marshall McLuhan), the only mention of the Constitution is in the context of the word “unconstitutional,” or in a speech by Rand Paul. But that Constitution is still alive. No matter how much the overpaid, under-working, and self-serving spin doctor bureaucrats in Washington try to trample on it, it is still there, and I have faith that someday a new generation of citizens will get fed up with the status quo and start running for office and pledge to return us to a government of laws, not of men.
The Constitution was conceived by people who had been victims of taxation without representation and it may appear to be happening again, but please, don’t forget, a lot of people put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors on the line to create that great document and we still have people defending it today. Our military keeps the Constitution alive. We have made this nation a Democrat versus Republican state, but I believe that more and more people are fed up with partisanship and you may see that change somewhere down the line. Our soldiers are not arms of any political party. They defend America period and the Constitution that made it great.
The Fourth of July is a time we celebrate our heritage and our Constitution. It was born out of sweat and blood and honor. The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.