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Independence Day Reflections

July 11, 2007
Weekly Columns

Last week, millions of Americans across the nation gathered together to celebrate Independence Day.  Though the traditions of this holiday never fail to trumpet the accomplished past and the promising future of the United States, what is the present-day state of American affairs?  Considering the recent holiday, I think it is important to reflect upon the current status of America and the Congress.

This year's annual Gallup survey has shown that American's overall confidence in Congress has fallen.  This comes as no surprise.  The public is concerned that Congress has failed to secure our borders, has repeatedly played politics with the security of our troops, and is unresponsive to the call of fiscal responsibility.  Additionally, the public has felt a pinch at the gas pump and as a result those affected have had to consistently make difficult spending choices within their own families.  In my opinion, Congress must take dramatic action on a bipartisan basis to address these and other pressing issues.

Today, America and Americans are the target of foreign opinions so fervent, so passionate, so critical, that they often bear little relation to reality.  Anti-Americanism is on the rise all across the world at a time when free peoples face a common foe who seeks to destroy all that we believe and hope for in our world.

Still, we should never lose faith in America.  We are a strong nation that has recently observed an anniversary celebrating over 230 years of independence.  Our patriotism is enduring despite our day-to-day circumstances.  History has shown that Americans rightly demand a government that is responsible directly to the people according to the principles of limited-government.  I believe that the United States remains free because of those in our society who seek to embrace our history, acknowledge our present-day troubles and find future solutions to correct our problems.

I am inspired by Colin Powell's statement that we should "Never lose faith in America.  Its faults are ours to fix, not to curse."  In truth, many individuals deserve praise for their efforts to grow America.  I am proud that citizens in Oklahoma and across the nation commit themselves locally to help the United States continue its tradition of excellence.  While, the 4th of July celebration reminds us of those who sacrificed in the past, it has also, in my opinion, become a way for us to honor the diverse individuals that continue to give our country hope for the future.  It is a time when every American should resolve to make this great republic an even better place to enjoy, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  We owe that to our founding fathers, to our children and to the world in which we live.