This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to the US News and World Report: June 30, 2011
Democratic political candidates can skip this weekend's July 4th parades. A new Harvard University study finds that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.
"Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation's political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party," said the report from Harvard. "The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.
Their findings also suggest that Democrats gain nothing from July 4th parades, likely a shocking result for all the Democratic politicians who march in them.
"There is no evidence of an increased likelihood of identifying as a Democrat, indicating that Fourth of July shifts preferences to the right rather than increasing political polarization," the two wrote. The three key findings of those attending July 4th celebrations:
When done before the age of 18, it increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.
It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent. It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.
What's more, the impact isn't fleeting. "Surprisingly, the estimates show that the impact on political preferences is permanent, with no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older,"said the Harvard report.
Finally, the report suggests that if people are looking for a super-patriotic July 4th, though should head to Republican towns. "Republican adults celebrate Fourth of July more intensively in the first place."
Modern Democratic Party vs. Independence
My favorite parts of the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
A quote from Thomas Jefferson:
"A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...."
We the People:
Our ancestors threw-off British rule because it abused its authority. Britain was convinced the colonists were so dependent on them that they had no alternative.
On our watch, the limited government we inherited has evolved into another overbearing central authority. The Republican Party is reforming, but the Democratic Party still thrives on many peoples’ dependence the federal government. Such was not the Democratic party of my grandparents.
Celebrate independence from a central authority. And if you still enjoy that parade which honors that Declaration of Independence, you just might be a Republican after all.