What July 4th means to me: the 2014 edition

Ronald Reagan gave a very famous speech at CPAC in 1974  in which he tells a story about the day the constitution was signed.  He gave another variation of the same speech in 1981, in a speech called “What July 4th Means To Me”. This is an excerpt:

The myth goes that on July 4, 1776, while sequestered behind locked doors, the Continental Congress of the 13 British Colonies, our Founding Fathers, were in hot debate on whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence and break from Great Britain. Most of the men feared for their lives and their family’s lives, for if they were to sign such a document, they would be traitors to the crown, and would almost certainly be put to death if found.

As these men were debating the issue, and leaning toward NOT signing, a mysterious man arises from out of nowhere. Citing the grievances that had brought them to this moment he said, ‘Sign that parchment. They may turn every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave and yet the words of that parchment can never die. For the mechanic in his workshop, they will be words of hope, to the slave in the mines—freedom.’ And he added, ‘If my hands were freezing in death, I would sign that parchment with my last ounce of strength. Sign, sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck, sign even if the hall is ringing with the sound of headman’s axe, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.’

And then it is said he fell back exhausted. But 56 delegates, swept by his eloquence, signed the Declaration of Independence, a document destined to be as immortal as any work of man can be. And according to the story, when they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he could not be found nor were there any who knew who he was or how he had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors.

Now, of course, it’s all complete bullshit. The story is lifted and paraphrased from Washington and His Generals: or, Legends of the Revolution by George Lippard, published in 1847. But it is very plainly a fiction.

For one thing, independence was declared on July 2nd, the text of the Declaration was approved on July 4th, but the document wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.  Even on August 2, not everyone was available, so several people signed later, including Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton.

In fact: There was never any mass signing. There was never any moment in time when every single signer of the Declaration of Independence was in the same room at the same time. The above story could not ever have taken place, and certainly did not take place on July 4th, 1776.

But this kind of attention to factual detail has never mattered to real American Patriots.  What we like is a good story, right?

So, in honor of that tradition, and to celebrate July 4th 2014, we are please to present to you the revised, updated for a modern conservative era, 100% Liberal Bias Original ™ story of “What July 4th Means To Me” and the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

 


 

It was a dark and stormy night on July 4th, in the year 1776.  Our founding fathers, including George Washington, John Calvin, Ronald Reagan, and Jesus, were hanging out in a bar, because they were regular, down-to-earth Americans. They all carried shotguns, of course, which they had visibly displayed in their holsters so that any bad guys would see how strong and powerful they were and not cause any trouble.

And John Calvin said, “I won’t want to sign this, because it doesn’t have a bit that says anyone who even thinks about having an abortion will go directly to hell where she will be raped by the spawn of Beelzebub. I think that should be in this fine document before I sign it.”

And Ronald Reagan said, “I don’t want to sign this, because it doesn’t explicitly outlaw all taxation on rich people. Everybody knows that only poors should pay taxes. That’s what this whole war against the British was really about!”

And Jesus said, “I don’t want to sign this, because it doesn’t say that slavery is a God-given right that can never be taken away by any amendment, and black people can never ever vote no matter what! I don’t think I can support a document that could possibly be amended to allow black people to vote!”

So as they were wavering, the arch angel Moroni appeared riding a golden SUV. He was beautiful and muscular and the image of Republican manliness (no homo). And he said unto the founding fathers:

“DON’T BE RIDICULOUS!  We live in a totally Christian Nation, which means that we naturally would never, ever allow women to make reproductive decisions, tax rich people, or let black people vote! THAT WOULD BE SO STUPID! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

And all of the Founding Fathers laughed with the angel, because they saw that it WAS stupid. And thus they agreed to sign, even though it is very obvious that they held these additional values in their hearts and nobody could possibly ever question it.

And that is how it really truly actually happened on July 4th, 1776. As you can see this means that today’s American Conservatives are exactly in line with what the really true and not made up at all founding fathers (no homo) actually wanted from our country.

Amen.

Ronald Reagan Riding a Velociraptor by SharpWriter
Ronald Reagan Riding a Velociraptor by SharpWriter

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