Musing on Independence Day 2013

Idea

American independence and the American republic are based on collective action. Individual freedom is guaranteed by the united economic and political communities, and the states that constitute the republic.

Through the blood, sweat and tears of individual Americans, our independence was gained more than 225 years ago. Through the blood, sweat, tears and national endeavor, American control of a continental empire was achieved. A horrible civil war 150 years ago secured this individual and collective compact for freedom and independence. Upon that war and subsequent political movements Americanism as a global ideal for economic, racial and sexual human equal rights were achieved.

Founded in the late 18th Century and forged in the 19th Century, Americans fought three global wars during the past 100 years in the 20th Century to secure our freedoms and guarantee those same freedoms to individuals and countries across the globe. In that process, America and Americanism became the dominant social, economic, political and military force in the world.

In the formative years of the 21st Century, America confronted a national security threat caused by global disaffected religious and sectarian groups organized against its political and economic dominance. After more than a decade of costly regional wars and conflicts, that ongoing security threat continues without resolve. America’s democratic leadership has yet to formulate a clear strategy to protect American security and promote American political and economic interests in the ever changing world.

More than five years after a global economic disaster, America and the world struggles to find its way. Americans are anxious and global public protest. A multicultural president elected on hope and the American dream struggles to make a difference.

The American republic will survive. Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Ike and Reagan confronted greater existential threats. America’s collective spirit will prevail.

By: Strategic Communication Professor Mark Helmke