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The Spirit of '76
[July 4, 2002]

By Nicholas Provenzo

The past few days I've been thinking back about how I came to form my understanding of America. I was seven during the nation's bicentennial celebrations in 1976 and my family had gone on a road trip through New England that summer. I vividly remember Boston; hiking the bicentennial trial, visiting Paul Revere's home, the Old North Church, the USS Constitution, Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill and the Peabody Museum. I remember how the stories told to me of the Founders and early Americans were stories of strength, intelligence, valor, integrity, and a sense that to the virtuous anything was possible—and that this was my birthright.

Yet today, that birthright is under such challenge, one shudders to comprehend it. The hard-won freedoms of the past are so barely understood, one wonders how they even endure. Today we carry the burden of everything from an arbitrary monetary system, obscene tax code, and vicious antitrust regulations, to the pyramid scheme of Social Security, race-based "affirmative action," and the stranglehold of environmentalism on our growth.  A decrepit, monopolistic—in the real sense of the term—educational system squelches the potential of America. And what can only be described as brutal savages now threaten the gates. To say these are dark times is not cliché, it is the truthful observation of a sober mind.

Yet it would be wrong to conclude that darkness owns the day. Morally, the problems that America faces are a literal house of cards—they collapse under the slightest touch. When one comes to realize that the individual is efficacious and that he is equipped by nature with the one resource he needs for his survival—his reasoning mind that is the day one brings the house of cards down. I'm proud that we at CAC have enjoyed some success in helping move America closer to that day.

So, even in the pitched times that we liven in, I will not yield my view of America. The spirit of '76 still exists and when one sees it, its glory is such that one wonders how one could ever have doubted it. We will prevail. The question is only when.


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