This fourth of July, when you watch the fireworks will you think about this? The Declaration of Independence? We should. After all, the holiday’s meant to honor this, not just fireworks. Though, those are nice. Although it’s ironic that since America’s founding, government has grown so much that you may not be allowed to buy fireworks where you live. All these places ban them in the name of safety, The Declaration isn’t about safety or things government should do it’s about limiting government, it’s about freedom. The founders were sick of British oppression. They worried about government having too much power. Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues wrote the Declaration to create a new form of government, one where people could rule themselves. It worked. When the Declaration was signed, America was considered a backwater. But very few years later, America was the most prosperous and probably the freest country in the world. The fourth of July celebrates the Declaration, which led to the Constitution, the document that really lays out the rules meant to limit government. “Trust no man with too much power”, said Jefferson “bind them with the chains of the Constitution.” It’s chains have done a lot of good. We have a right not to have our home searched without a warrant, a right to bear arms, to free speech. It’s good we declared independence from Britain because in Britain, government sentenced this man to more than a year in jail “I’ve caused a breach of peace. I’m being arrested” for making this Facebook live video outside a courthouse. Others get locked up for things they write. Hundreds get arrested every year. Sentenced for writing an offending comment. Fortunately in America, thanks to the Constitution, we can say most anything we want without being jailed. We also have a right to bear arms, but the country we rebelled against has some of the strictest gun regulations in the world. Those regulations haven’t stopped crime. So now they’re going after people who have knives. One British police agency bragged about a weapon sweep that found scissors and pliers. But don’t worry, they’ve been taken off the streets. I’m glad I live in America where I can carry pliers and speak freely. And there’s more to the Constitution than the First and Second Amendments. Supreme Court overruled. The Supreme Court overruled. Supreme Court overruled. The Constitution divided government power in ways that limit authoritarian politicians from both parties. We are throwing them the hell out of our country. Trump’s own appointee ruled that a law making it easier to deport some immigrants was too vague. Allow intelligence agencies to track who a terrorist is in contact with. The Supreme Court stopped the Obama administration a hundred times. No President Obama, the Fourth Amendment says government cannot just search people’s cell phones. They have to get a search warrant. No, you can’t just declare carbon dioxide to be a pollutant. A major setback tonight for President Obama’s climate change initiative. I’m glad we have this document. It has often kept presidents and Congress and judges from grabbing too much power. The limits stated in here have not fully succeeded, unfortunately. Thomas Jefferson promised “a wise and frugal government.” Frugal? Give me a break! We’re already more than 21 trillion dollars in debt. Jefferson also wrote about leaving men “free to regulate their own pursuits.” Now we’ve got more than 180,000 pages of rules. Still, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have helped keep us free. That’s something to celebrate.