“NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 15, 2021, as Bill of Rights Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
The occasion has been officially recognized every year, by every president, since 1962. Before that, it had been declared just a few times. Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first presidential proclamation, which dedicated December 15, 1941, as Bill of Rights Day, to celebrate the founding document’s 150th anniversary. It was published eight days after the Imperial Japanese Navy launched the surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt said: “No date in the long history of freedom means more to liberty-loving men in all liberty-loving countries than the 15th day of December 1791.”
Hope for an American Future
While the state of civics education in the U.S. is perpetually poor, there has been excellent news to report on recent trends. According to the 2021 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey, “U.S. adults who correctly named all three branches of government increased to 56%, the highest since the survey began in 2006.” A glance at the attached graph shows the numbers are heading in the right direction, with ignorance flagging and knowledge growing:
Perhaps the scourge of lockdowns coupled with recent political shenanigans brought about the changes?
Rights of the Individual
Sadly, President Biden seems to need a refresher on the Bill of Rights. His proclamation includes numerous mentions to, and in worshipful terms of, democracy. However, he incorrectly calls the United States a democracy when it is, instead, a constitutional republic. Maybe it’s not a distinction that we can expect to be made on an ongoing basis, but for a Bill of Rights Day proclamation? C’mon man! Biden went on to say, “our history of amending the Constitution illustrates that improving our democracy is the shared and constant duty of all Americans.” The problem there is that the Bill of Rights is not about improving democracy; it is about respecting the individual’s rights. Not the collective, not society, but each of us, celebrating our voices, protecting our lives, and demanding, in the face of the most powerful government body in the history of the world, that a single person matters and is paramount. Celebrate that today.
As far as a shared duty, well, we can agree on one if we are to see our rights recognized under the Bill of Rights endure. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Part of that vigilance is to inform and teach our children, neighbors, family, and friends that our rights are sacrosanct and enshrined in the Bill of Rights as protections against the government trampling over the individual. So use the day to learn about the Bill of Rights and teach those who don’t know about it.
~ Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
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