It's been 240 years since that fateful July when The Declaration of Independence was crafted in Philadelphia.
America is still here, all these years later, and in many ways the country is all the better for its age. But are Americans more free today than we were back then?
It's not an easy question to answer, for sure, but we're going to try. Matt Kittle and Eric Boehm take a look at that question on this special Independence Day edition of the Watchdog Podcast.
Sure, there's an overbearing and growing regulatory state. There's a seemingly endless bureaucracy and our elected leaders too often seem more interested in helping their friends (and themselves) than they do about the founding principles of America. On the Left, we have calls for outright socialism (an entire philosophy that has not endured as long or as well as America has, it's worth noting). On the Right, we have calls for the election of a strong-man who promises that government can be the answer to all problems, if only it were the right government.
In the whole, though, Americans have plenty to be happy about and thankful for on this Fourth of July. Our union is more perfect and respects the rights of all people to a greater extent than it did when those founding documents were written. We have a pluralistic and federalist system that allows for individuals to make their own choices and to make the most of their lives.
We're not always free, but we're still free and we should celebrate that.