Muftic: The meaning of the Fourth
One fundamental meaning of the Fourth of July likely has been lost in the holiday celebrations, fireworks, barbecues, flag waving, and patriotic speeches.
What we should not forget is why in 1776 we declared our independence from England. Remember why our founding fathers meeting in Philadelphia 1776 wanted to be free from English rule so much they were willing to risk being hanged as traitors to the English crown? The issue is of independence from foreign control is as fundamental and relevant in 2017 as it was in 1776 .
Here we are in 2017 when many including President Trump deny or shrug their shoulders that another country, Russia, has tried to interfere in our elections to give support to the U.S .candidate who would be most favorable to Russia’s national interests.
Just publicly revealed there is evidence of recorded Kremlin conversations that their interference, planting fake news stories, hacking, publishing the hacks, and demonstrating the potential to cause havoc in 21 states in voter registration data on election day, was directed by Vladimir Putin himself. His stated purpose was to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Obama may have stopped some of this by personally confronting Putin himself and outing the Russian plans. Some measures resulted: sanctions, kicking out 35 of their spies, shutting down Russian property housing the spies, and putting in place for future use retaliatory cyber counter attacks. One can argue if this was enough, but Trump has does nothing but restore the spy property and hinting at ending sanctions.
The reasons our founders revolted were about taxation without representation and anger with unfair English methods of controlling their colonies. After the revolution, the 1789 Constitution was constructed to address these concerns.
There was also concern that foreign governments would try to take over the US by bribery or financial entanglements. Alexander Hamilton did not even trust the voters or elected officials to stop such attempts. Hamilton expressed his fears in his Federalist Paper 22 “.One of the weak sides of republics…, is that they afford trust too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. …In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensations for betraying their trust…” Because of Hamilton’s reasoning the writers of the Constitution included the emoluments clause to head off such abuses…” no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” Note Congress’ responsibility in these matters.
In 2017, many of the cabinet members, White House advisers, and President Trump , have a history of financial dealings with Russia. The significance is that some in the administration, in addition to Mike Flynn, may be vulnerable to Russian manipulation to affect policy decisions. If any hid unlawful financial practices known by the Russians, they too are vulnerable to blackmail. They are compromised. For that reason the various investigations into the Russian connection are following the money.
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