Celebrate Your Independence

by YES! Staff

Americans are historically an independent lot, but increasingly it appears that far too many of us seek comfort within group identities. Given the economic and geopolitical challenges we’ve faced in these early years of the 21 st century, perhaps we need a renewed commitment to that innovative independence now more than ever.

Obviously it is easier to hide behind the façade of labels –be it religious identity, political persuasion, race, gun ownership – but when these definitions become the starting point in our quest to understand each other, entire spectrums of possibility are lost.

Just look at our political dialogue, whether it be the decade-long gridlock in our nation’s capital or the protest, counter-protest going on in Raleigh, for instance, and do your best to pick out areas where we are moving forward in addressing the many challenges facing our nation as we celebrate Independence Day once again.

Students of American history know, and know well, that compromise was the driving factor behind such innovations as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention. Had Jefferson not allowed Franklin to suggest edits to the Declaration then his words might have failed to achieve their needed impact. If state delegates to the Constitutional Convention had not been willing to cede their primary interests to the notion of the greater good, it’s certain that our nation would have taken a much different path.

Compromise and innovation are the two sides of the American success story. We need compromise more than ever to deal with uncertain issues related to solving the debt crisis, improving our nation’s health, and providing a mechanism for new citizens to know the fruits of liberty. Our elected leaders should not fear the art of the deal. Instead, we need innovators who can hammer out legislation that gives hope and relief to those fac- ing structural barriers in the pursuit of prosperity. ! YES! WEEKLY chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration .