Once upon a time, our ancestors paid dearly for munitions to throw at the enemy, just for the right to survive.

Today, we throw our munitions into the sky so that we can watch and listen and admire their artistry.  The sound of artillery punctuates our music, and our firearms are props carried in a parade.

Our Independence Day celebrations bear out the truth of John Adams’s famous line:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

But what’s the next step?  We have been the grandchildren, blessed to live in a world of culture and education–but what will be left for our children?  I fear that the beautiful blessings our generation has enjoyed are becoming too expensive and impractical for us to pass on to the next  generation–which, I fear, is potentially unprepared to earn its own.  To whom then will they turn?  The ancient philosophers suggest that the natural progression is either anarchy or tyranny.

How can we prevent that disaster?  We must bring Adams’s quote full circle, and we must study politics (and hopefully NOT war) in order once again to establish a nation of peace that cultivates science and architecture and commerce and industry; and we must raise a generation willing and able do dedicate themselves to the labor of building their communities, without the temper tantrums or appeals to Washington for bread and circuses.

It will not be easy.  Public opinion polls show that most Americans are tired of politics and have stopped paying attention–the perfect recipe for cold left-overs.  Case in point:  where is the Tea Party?  From what I can tell, they have dried up and are merely stains in the bottom of the cup.  Fellow patriots, step up!  Educate yourself on the issues and the candidates!  Speak up!  Don’t be afraid to offend your liberal neighbor–our children’s future is at stake!  Pony up!  Stake your “…lives, your Fortunes, and your sacred Honor…” for the cause!  Encourage one another as the early patriots did–around the dining room table, in church, and even in the local “public house.”  This is not about Romney or Obama any more than the War for Independence was about Washington or George III–it’s about liberty, and justice, and the rule of law, and opportunities for our children and grandchildren to accomplish something and become something greater than we are.

Need a conversation starter?  I heard last night that the Fourth of July fireworks show in the nation’s capital this year will be the biggest display in the country.  It’s just one more thing that Washington, D.C. has taken over from our neighborhoods and our communities.  “We can do it bigger and better than you can do it yourselves…”–that’s the consistent, continuous message that our young people and children are hearing.  Is that what you believe?  Is that what our forefathers fought and died for? 

Don’t let this Independence Day be a sham.  Join a modern-day “Committee of Correspondence” and use your Facebook, your Twitter, your e-mail address book, and every contact you have, to get the message out:  we want America back, and we will play politics to get it.