Working on the Fourth and going immediately from there to my parents' house, I didn't have a chance to write any meditations on Independence Day. I hope you'll forgive me for my tardiness, but here are some brief thoughts on the subject of freedom.
A free man (or woman, if you so choose, but I'll be using "man" as a generic term) should have the authority to do as he wishes with his person and property, so far as his actions do not interfere with another's right to life, liberty, and property.
A free man has the right (and the responsibility) to defend his life, liberty, and property should anyone else threaten it.
A free man does not have the right to take another's life, liberty, or property, nor does he have the right to ask another to do so on his behalf. This still applies when there are many free men taking the property of one. It even applies when those many petition the government to take the property of few, or even one.
A free man has the responsibility to earn his own way. He has no right to expect anyone else to make his way for him.
A free man has the responsibility to preserve his freedom, as well as the freedom of others.
There are those who would tell you that a man should submit to those who would take his property by force. They'll talk about the "greater good" and the "needs of the many," but a free man should not be forced or coerced into giving up his property. Socialism is wrong because it forcibly removes the fruits of the labor from those who have created them and divides them indiscriminately among those who have created wealth and those who have not. Just because other nations are socialist, some will tell you it is a just system. This is not true.
America may have some unjust and socialist practices, but we're still a free country at our core. And that's what makes this country great. If we could work on whittling away the bloated government, it could be even better, but we can't expect perfection, can we?