Happy Fourth of July

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On this date 242 years ago, 56 men signed the declaration of Independence. Each of them pledged their “lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor.” Some of them lost their lives, as did some members of their families. Some of them lost all of their fortunes. But all of them maintained their sacred honor. How I wish we had leaders in our country today who were like these men of old.

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Perhaps the fault is ours for choosing to vote for those who tell us what we want to hear instead of what we ought to know, telling us we can have it all at no cost instead of laying out the facts honestly and asking us how much we are prepared to sacrifice to make our system of government work again. Our founders argued, but they also listened, they realized that people could have different ideas about what was valuable and what was not, then they bent, they compromised, they gave up on some issues in order to get agreement on others, always with an eye to the one overarching principle that bound them all together — the new nation must survive, and in order for it to survive, it ‘s people were going to need to learn how to live with all kinds of people they disagreed with in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

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