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Feature 07.03.2024 5 minutes

God Bless America

4th of July fireworks over the Statue of Liberty

A very happy 4th of July to you and yours.

The 4th of July should be a day of gratitude, awe, and reverence for the principles and statesmen that have made America great.

We should also remember it’s a day we celebrate armed resistance against and American independence from what had become by 1776 an increasingly arbitrary, capricious, and tyrannical British overlordship.

In 2024, as we strain under an increasingly capricious, arbitrary, and often malevolent domestic overlordship, we also ought to use the occasion of the 4th to reflect upon and make plans for the recovery of the spirit of ’76 in service of restoring constitutional republicanism. This is not the occasion for that reflection and planning—work that consumes the Claremont Institute and its staff’s time for most of the rest of the year (and is much bigger than any one election). This is instead the opportunity to introduce a feature celebrating American Independence Day.

The 4th of July is a noble reason to honor America’s greatness, but it’s also a noble excuse to come together with friends, family, and fellow citizens over good food and drink. I have been attending 4th of July celebrations with the Claremont Institute at its Publius fellowship every year (with one exception) for twenty years. My first Independence Day celebration with this fine organization was in 2004, when I was a Publius fellow fresh off my May Hillsdale graduation ceremony. Back then, the Publius fellowship was four weeks long, although it was about the same number of seminars and evening talks that we now squeeze into 2 ½ weeks. We were lodged at the senior apartments at Claremont McKenna College, and the grill was manned by the program director and staff. The fellows (there were nine of us that year, though these days we host 14), following tradition stretching back to Claremont’s founding, recited patriotic speeches from American statesmen, starting always with the Declaration of Independence and featuring Jefferson, Lincoln, and Coolidge on the meaning of July 4.

It is fitting that the Claremont Institute’s Publius fellowship always straddles Independence Day. We at Claremont regard this holiday, as all patriots should, as the occasion for reverence and gratitude. So, raise a glass tomorrow, to friends, family, and country—and gaze up together not only at the fireworks, but at your noble American inheritance of political freedom.

We are pleased to offer you a selection of reflections, recommendations, and lighter amusements from our friends, fellows, and alumni. We’re thankful for your continued readership and support, and we wish you and yours a very happy Independence Day.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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In God We Trust

Go Fourth!

A reminder on our nation’s birthday that opportunities for greatness unfold in an expanding Now.

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