Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Happy Fourth of July!
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 12:00 AM :: 1742 Views :: Hawaii History

Happy Fourth of July!

by Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President / CEO, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

July Fourth is just around the corner, and once again I am reminded of how lucky we are to live in a country whose principles are so clearly stated in its founding document.

I’m not talking about the U.S. Constitution, which also is a wonderful achievement, but rather the Declaration of Independence, which set our nation on its course to become the leading light for freedom throughout the world.

Written by Thomas Jefferson, who later would become America’s third president, it boldly states:

“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 of 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.”

It was a revolutionary document, declaring that the 13 colonies no longer wanted to be part of Great Britain. And the brave men who signed it — America’s Founding Fathers — knew they were putting their lives, fortunes and “sacred Honor” at risk for doing so.

Dick Rowland, founder of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, loved the Declaration of Independence. He carried small copies of it and the U.S. Constitution to distribute to people he would meet. He constantly referred to it in conversation and speeches. It was his way of saying that America has been on the right path since its beginning, and he wanted to keep it that way.

But Dick also recognized that America is not perfect, and never has been. Slavery, unequal treatment of women, blue laws, censorship, cronyism, corruption, the military draft, excessive taxation, illegal foreign wars — the list goes on.

But thanks to the guiding principles of the Declaration of Independence, buttressed by the U.S. Constitution, the most egregious of those violations have been struck down, and the rest are always on their heels.

That’s why Dick founded the Institute, to help eliminate these remaining violations of our nation’s principles and keep America on the path to freedom for all.

His focus, of course, was how to apply those principles to Hawaii, to help lower its cost of living, expand opportunities and make the islands a place where we all can thrive and prosper.

To that point, some of the grievances against Britain’s King George sound like they might have been about modern Hawaii. The one that stands out for me is: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

However, another statement that stands out for me is when Jefferson says, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”

And so it is today. Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. But they do require our attention when, as Jefferson also said, “a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.

In other words, to continue on our path to freedom, we need to always remember the guiding principles of the Declaration of Independence — that we all are “created equal” and endowed with “certain unalienable Rights,” among which are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And we should be grateful that we live in a country where such principles are there to guide us in the first place.

Happy Fourth of July!

E hana kākou! (Let’s work together!)





TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii