July 1, 2011

“The Shot Heard Round the World”

When the bullet that began the American Revolution was fired at Concord, historians called the event “the shot heard round the world.” Autocratic rulers heard that shot, and things that had not been questioned for millennia were now open to challenge.

Today, many among “the intelligentsia,” as well as “political messiahs,” are doubtful about the American exceptionalism. They ask whether the United States has really been “exceptional.” You couldn’t be more exceptional in the 18th century, they say, than to create the Constitution of the United States—by opening with the momentous words, “We the people...” Hence articles such as the cover story in the July 4th issue of Time magazine, “a long and rambling essay” in which Time magazine editor Richard Stengel “manages to create a toxic blend of the irrelevant and the erroneous,” as Thomas Sowell rightly puts it. Stengel asks of the Constitution: “Does it still matter?” Simply, Sowell answers back, “if it doesn’t, then your Freedom doesn’t matter.” A must read as we approach another July 4th celebration.

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