What to An “American” Is The Fourth of July?

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.”
–– Frederick Douglass

Independence Day Message from Jose Vega, LaRouche Independent Candidate, 15th CD in the Bronx

July 4, 2024––In his 1852 speech “What to The Slave Is The Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass, with righteous and compassionate patriotism, declared his independence from the stupidity and evil of the polite world, demanding – instead of plausible platitudes – a principled dialogue on the evil problems on slavery: 

Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY.”

By transforming the celebration of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence into a deliberation on the questions of right concerning every living soul protected by the US Constitution, Douglass demonstrated himself how the nation’s founders “seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defense.” 

Douglass counterposed the natural lawfulness of the “eternal principles” embodied in the US Constitution against the scandalous treason of the mere opinions of the idiot apologists of slavery:

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that the right to hold and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic… But I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe…  

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple?”

The fact that Douglass warned against this already-commonplace misinterpretation of the US Constitution in 1852 should give any patriotic, or any sane, American citizen pause today in 2024—because the treasonous element is so plainly hegemonic throughout today’s “United States of Amnesia,” with its necrophiliac lust for a three-front World War in Ukraine-Russia, Israel-Palestine, and Taiwan-China. 

Our nation’s current folly can be directly traced back to prior treasons in our nation’s history—treasons which involved the gradual political ascendancy of British-centered imperialist oligarchical factions. This endemic evil will never be resolved by any slogan, nor by any ideology, but only by an educated, patriotic, and compassionate electorate seeking to create “a more perfect Union.” 

American Independence has never been, at any point, a “thing” to be celebrated, as such. It has ALWAYS been not other than an anti-imperial, anti-slavery process to be undertaken “at whatever cost.” The Declaration of Independence itself, as a document and as an action, is “a link in the chain of our nation’s continuing destiny.”

As Douglass—and President John Quincy Adams before him—rightly noted, such a destiny has, from its inception, been weighed and marred by its issuance from within the rotten husk of a British-controlled Imperial World Empire whose most lucrative commercial enterprises consisted of the colonial rape and traffic of slaves, arms, drugs as well as raw material resources. Such a World Empire had, at the time of the American Revolution, inhumane precedents and inhuman predecessors stretching back into the sordid depths of pre-Renaissance European history, and earlier forms of pre-Christian civilization. 

The various families of the rentier-financier oligarchy long predated the American Revolution—and continued to exist throughout and after the American Revolution and Civil War, as treasonous catalytic agents of disunion.

Those who fail to recognize such an obvious continuity in history of anti-Union oligarchical influence in the United States of America are not yet prepared to face up to the menace of what appears to be “U.S. Imperialism” today. Just as there were those factions within the United States who pushed for the nationalization of the slave trade that Douglass called “inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous,” as well as treasonous and un-Constitutional—so, too, today there is an orgy of treasonous factional and foreign-national influence occurring daily within the various “agencies” of our disinformation-addicted post-9/11 “state of exception” permanent bureaucracy.

The problem facing the world emphatically is not “the United States.” If only it were so simple! What we face is the even more grim reality that the true revolutionary spirit of the United States Constitution has largely ceased to exist within the minds, the memories, or the intentions of this country’s inhabitants, so that they accept treasonous monetary tyranny and endless race-supremacist wars as a “necessary evil.” 

Meanwhile, those few who adhere to the “saving principles” contained in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, are, most often, like Douglass, distorted, blatantly censored, or simply erased from American public life and institutional memory.

So today when we ask, “What to An American Is the Fourth of July?” — calling to mind Frederick Douglass’s astonishing speech, “What to The Slave Is the Fourth of July?” — an independent mind can do more than hope that an American would grasp the scorching irony of such a title.

Join my Independent Campaign for an unbought and unbossed Bronx.

Declare your independence.