Editorial: Happy Fourth of July! More Independence Needed


Remember well the resounding words of the Constitution's preamble – WE THE PEOPLE. And we need to toss out of office the politicians who don’t understand WE, who are in it just for ME.

The Declaration of Independence was approved today in 1776 by the Continental Congress. Thirteen colonies then embarked on a great experiment in self governance as a sovereign nation. That was the start of something great and thus far enduring. Let us renew our faith in their fighting spirit and move – relentlessly – toward more independence after the celebrations are over.

This independence holiday will be marked by parades, baseball games, fireworks and barbecues in what are now 50 states. We have grown from 2.5 million people to more than 311 million. We rightly celebrate our origins, with commerce as key to our roughly $15 trillion gross domestic product. Here’s a timely example of our ongoing industriousness: The annual dollar value of our shipments of American flags and banners is $303 million, according to the latest Census Bureau data. And we make more than $200 million in fireworks each year.

Troubling, though, is the import of $191 million in Chinese fireworks – it’s symbolic of our wider, and growing, unemployment problems and national debt that result from a weak economy and even weaker leadership. U.S. exports of fireworks, sadly, came to just $37 million in 2010, with Japan – thank you – purchasing more than any other country at $6.3 million. We need to export more and import less of not only fireworks but everything. This should be supported by policies that create American private sector jobs and restore our manufacturing strength.

Unfortunately, as a result of political decisions of our government comprised of craven “pay to play” politicians, we are not as free as we should be given our heritage. We remain dependent on foreign oil from nations that are openly hostile to us. This national security threat distorts our foreign policy and sends our patriotic young men and women off to face death in needless and unfunded wars. 

The negative result is in evidence in our foreign military bases that support the economies of other nations. We are currently occupying 130 countries and paying for their defense – while they concentrate on job creation and exports. This contributes to our unacceptable unemployment rate – more than 9% officially and actually twice that – the highest since the Great Depression.

This self destructive, unfunded military policy is also in play with our borrowing to cover our increasing national debt. We now pay 42 cents in interest payments for every dollar of it. And if it goes on for much longer, the phrase “Not worth a Continental – referring to the worthless paper money printed to pay for our original revolutionary war – will return in a newer dollar-designated denigration.

The response from that tawdry cast of characters who reside at great taxpayer expense along the banks of the Potomac is comprised of 2012 election slogans that are insulting to hard working, decent Americans who at heart still hold dear the principles we were founded on.

That said, we should celebrate our feisty past today, and honor the men and women of vision – and property that created wealth – who established this country starting with the War of Independence, continuing through the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution that is still in place – as fine a document of governance of the people, by the people and for the people that ever existed. Remember well the resounding words of its preamble – WE THE PEOPLE. And we need to toss out of office the people who don’t understand WE, who are in it just for ME.

So it is in this spirit that AutoInformed looks to celebrate future Independence days – ones that build  on our past but move to an even more independent future and stronger economy. Let’s start with a new Energy Independence Day. Then let’s add a Debt Independence Day. And how about another Independence Day celebrating our rejection of foreign wars and entanglements our founding father’s were so fearful of – all this for our people, of the people and by the will and sacrifices of our people.

Shame on us for forgetting that independence is our tradition, and independence is our national strength. Shame on us for forgetting that independence from corrupt foreign governments made us a great country that looked after its own citizens and eschewed alliances with stealing, murderous old world politicians. Shame on us for losing  our independence – won with Patriots’ blood – so we could drive gas-guzzlers, as multinational auto, oil and power company plutocrats, and the politicians who are in their pockets, thwarted and continue to oppose real reforms. Shame on us for allowing our arsenal of democracy to be severely hurt by imports from nations we might ultimately have to fight to maintain our independence.

In the spirit of 1776, the18th century year that was the start of something great and thus far enduring, let us find our fighting spirit once again and move toward other types – but nonetheless needed, nay vital forms – of independence.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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