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Education, Family, Freedom

Op Ed by David Arredondo, Lorain, Ohio

How does one achieve and maintain the spirit of American independence in an utterly interdependent society?  We do this by cultivating it in our hearts and minds, and by inculcating it in those of our children.

It is no longer possible for most Americans to maintain the physical independence so common in the agrarian days of our founders; we cannot practically grow our own food, or make our own clothing, or build our own houses. But we can grow our own minds, make our own decisions, and build our own futures.

David Arredondo

The first tool is education. Imperfect though it may be, Americas system of public and private education still provides the essentials for learning. It must be encouraged and supported, not only by the citizens whose children use it, but by their neighbors in each community, the legislators who must adequately fund it, and the administrators responsible for using each dollar wisely. 

Interestingly, in the spirit of independence, more families are successfully home schooling their children.  As basic skills are gained, more advanced tools are readily available an excellent example being our own Lorain County Community College, the best in Ohio. With education comes the skill to think independently and make reasoned decisions. Without it, we are sheep led by the loudest shepherd.

Second is family the core strength of our nation. Study after study underscores the importance of a two-parent structure to the success of the children. Yet year by year, single-parent families increase in number, and are increasingly identified as a major factor in the problems of crime, school dropouts and welfare dependency that sap many Americans of the ability and will to think and act for themselves.

With the basic building blocks of education and family, Americans are the better prepared to respond independently to the demands of their governance to be aware, involved participants in the decision-making of their cities, counties, states and nation.  Education especially in history and civics helps offset the propaganda of partisan politics. Strong family values give purpose to retaining that which is good. Without that vigilance and participation, government falls into the hands of those least inclined to act for the betterment of the governed, and most inclined to prostitute it to their own selfish ends.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, Jefferson wrote in the Declaration we celebrate today, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights But those rights, and the independent spirit that recognized them and embedded them in the fabric of this nation, do not come without a price. That price is a continuing struggle by each and every one of us to improve ourselves, as independent individuals and citizens, so that coming generations may build upon the freedoms we have so enjoyed. 


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