Independence Day Mail



Disclaimer: Buffy and Co. are Joss's; Daria and Co. are owned by Glenn Eichler and MTV; characters, etc. from the Number of the Beast and its offshoots are owned by the estate of Robert A. Heinlein. None are mine, no infringement intended, making no money.

Buffy looked out through the window of the cottage the Scoobies and Daria's family were using, then called out. "Hey, Will!"

A red head bent around a corner. "You bellowed, O wife of mine?" Willow grinned at her.

"Gay Deceiver is out on the lawn next to the M113."

"Goody! Maybe they got some news from home." The couple walked out just as the doors to the vessel opened. "Deety!" Willow hugged her clanswoman. "Why are you here?"

"Well, we had a couple more MearsGirls fixed up with Dad's device, and we thought you could use them. These are June and January Mears." Deety indicated the two androids. "But, really, Hilda wanted to show you something."

The Gay Deceiver's dimuntive captain came out the door and hugged both Buffy and Willow, then stepped back. "I know you wanted me to keep a look out for anything your Author, Deacblue, did, so Smart Girl's been watching the networks. A few days ago, she found this." She handed a sheet of paper to Willow, who began reading out loud.

"Independence Day 2017 by Deacblue

Today is the Fourth of July. For most of us, that means a day with family and friends, hopefully outside having barbecue and corn on the cob, drinking a beer or other liquid refreshment, and most likely acting a bit silly while we wait for dusk and the big fireworks show. We wave flags around and generally have lots of fun. But how often do we stop to think about why we have an Independence Day, why we celebrate it, and what we really can do to honor it and its creators?

July Fourth, 1776, is the day in which the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the thirteen American colonies. For most people, that makes it America's birthday (with others pointing out that the official version wasn't signed until August of that year, and still others saying that September 17, 1787, or March 4, 1789, the dates that the U.S. Constitution was created or went into effect, would be a better choice, with a few holding out for when the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791). I happen to agree with them. This is the first point that Americans said, "This place is ours. The right to say what happens here rests with us, the people. Not with any lords or any foreign powers, just us."

This is why we celebrate Independence Day; we broke free of rules that said, basically, that we were the property of the State, and we started to form a State that said that we were just as important as it was.

This scared the bejesus out of many people, especially since the Declaration put forth the idea that people, from the richest plantation-owning millionaire to the lowest ditch-digger, had rights, rights that a government couldn't take away willy-nilly. Before this, and in some places after, rich lords and ladies in the great cities of Europe could run down children in the street, only paying the parents a token, a few francs or guineas, when the children were killed. Peasants didn't have rights, and the lords had important work and places to be. They couldn't be held responsible for children playing in the street!

But we took these rights, and these responsibilities, for our own. It's interesting, in a country that is several dozens times larger then those were at that time, with far more vehicles, going much faster, there are few accidents and fewer fatalities involoving children being hit. It became our problem, and we solved it, working together. We have done that again and again, as a country, and it works for us. Different people, remaining different people, coming together to achieve great things. It comes from one line, in a centuries-old paper that was acknowledged by its writer to be mostly boilerplate at the time.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

Think about that.

You have the right to do as you please, as long as you don't harm me. And I have the same right, because I am your equal. It doesn't matter if either of us is white, black, red, Arab, Asian, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, straight, gay, lesbian, man, woman, what have you. You have the responsibility to uphold these rights, for everyone - because they have been upheld for you. Not always perfectly by any means, but there have always been people behind the wagon pushing.

That is because the ideals that our country is founded upon trust us to uphold the rights of everyone. In fact, it depends upon us to do so.

And this is what we all need to do, to honor those who have come before us and paved the road. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard. Especially when it's hard. When people that we'd rather see in the ground than spew their nonsense are yelling at us and other people. Who we are as a people and a nation demands that we protect their right to do so, as long as they aren't harming anyone. Have you done that, or have you done what you could to stop those people from speaking?

We, as Americans, treasure the idea that our elected representatives are speaking as an actual representation of the people they are speaking for. Is that true of you, or have you and your friends twisted things around so that as many of you got elected as possible, so that you could win?

Winning. This is the dirty word that both major parties have become obsessed with over the last few election cycles. To those it applies to, I say, your constituents have had it up to here with you winning. They would like you to govern, please and thank you. Governing doesn't mean vote after vote coming down on party lines, it means that you represent their needs and if that means working with someone across the aisle to provide them, then do so. If all you want to do is win, go into the military and stay there.

So, while you're eating those ribs that fall off the bone, popping open a few cold ones, and laying back on a blanket with your loved one, give a little thought to what your responsibilities are as a citizen of this place we call the United States of America, won't you?"

She shrugged. "Sounds like his usual drivel."

Buffy nodded. "Yeah, but you gotta agree with what he said. At least he's not a complete waste of space."

Hilda shook her head. "If you girls say so." She smiled as she climbed back in Gay Deceiver. "I have to get back to Tertius. Jake's got a tub all waiting for me!"


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