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On the Fourth of July, we celebrate having this exceptional nation and the freedoms it gives us, but we must always remember that we have those things because of all the soldiers who put their lives on the line to secure them for us, from Revolutionary times forward. There’s a story I love to tell that illustrates that for young people.

When I was Governor of Arkansas, I got to know an outstanding high school teacher in Little Rock named Martha Cothren. She was one of my original Huck’s Heroines, and I was always telling her it was my goal to make her one of the most famous teachers in America, because she’d be such a great example to all teachers. Here’s just one reason why.

Martha became concerned that many of her kids didn’t fully appreciate their precious American freedoms. So she prepared an unusual lesson for them. On the first day of school, the kids shuffled back into class only to discover that it was completely empty. Not a desk in sight. So they asked, “Miss Cothren, where are the desks?” She replied, “You don’t get your desk until you can tell me how you earn it.”

The kids were stunned, but they started trying to guess how they earned their desks. By getting good grades? No, that’s not the answer. By behaving in class? No, that’s not it. The first period ended with the kids leaning against the walls or sitting on the floor, but they never had figured out how they earn their desks.

Well, in trooped the second-period class. They were greeted with the same empty room and the same question they couldn’t answer. This went on all day, and by lunchtime, word was circulating all over school that Miss Cothren had gone crazy.

Finally, during the last class of the day, she told the students, “Okay, nobody’s figured out how you earn your desks, so I’ll tell you.” She opened the door, and in walked 27 military veterans, each one carrying a desk. As they quietly placed them in neat rows, Martha said, “Kids, you don’t have to earn your desks because these guys earned them for you.” She said you get free desks, free books and a free education, but it wasn’t free to these veterans…or to their friends who never came home from the wars they fought to give us all that freedom. She said, “Whenever you sit in that desk, try to remember who earned it for you.”

After that lesson, Martha was approached by one of those veterans, a news photographer, with tears in his eyes. He told her that when he returned from Vietnam, he was cursed and spat on, and made to feel ashamed of his service. He said, “Today is the first day since I’ve been home that I felt like someone appreciated what I did.”

Unfortunately, there can’t be a Martha Cothren in every school. I certainly wish I could replace every America-hating “history” professor in every university with a clone of her. But other teachers and parents can make sure their kids know who earned their desks for them. And we can all make it a point to say “thank you” to current and former members of the U.S. military. Seems to me, the 4th of July would be a great time to start.

This weekend we celebrate 244 years as an independent nation, but the events of the past few months leave us wondering if we will have many more to celebrate. We started as a unique country based on the notion that our rights come from God, not government; that because we recognize God as the creator of us all, we are all equal in intrinsic worth and value; that we would not require a big government because we would mostly self-govern and live with the understanding that the great freedoms we enjoy require great responsibilities. As the scripture teaches, “unto whom much is given, much is required.”

We were never perfect and still aren’t. We’ve had some very ugly chapters in our history, but the brilliance of our Founders was to create a nation that would be governed by law and not by our passions and emotions. We would grant rights even to those accused of awful crimes so that we wouldn’t be ruled by a mob, whose sense of justice would be at best uneven, and at worst, as evil as the crime, it was seeking to avenge. It made our system at times slow, sometimes unfair, and just plain wrong on occasion. But the ideal way to make all of us accountable to the same laws and suffer the same consequences for violating them.

All of that is at risk of going away if we allow people in the highest levels of law enforcement and the intelligence community to get away with trying to stage a coup d’etat against an elected President. A man of color in Minneapolis was murdered by a cop and a video of the murder is seen by the world. While no one defends the cop’s action, some use the tragedy as an excuse to break windows, assault innocent people, loot stores, and burn businesses that were actually owned by people of color. When that happens, we are rewarding anarchy and mob rule.

But while the news reports the worst of our nation’s sins, there are truly outstanding things of love, kindness, and sacrifice that are happening around us every day. We need to hear more of their stories and tonight you will. I hope you’ll celebrate America this weekend. Sure, we aren’t perfect, but we are a better nation than any of the over 70 nations I’ve visited.

244 years ago, some very courageous souls risked their fortunes and their very lives to give us a country unlike any ever created. I don’t want to lose this country by those who would trade liberty for the lunacy of a system that would resemble the government like it was in the time of the Judges of the Old Testament, where “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

Let’s celebrate America. But let’s fight to preserve the best of it, and change and reform the worst of it.

MORNING EDITION

July 4, 2020 

By Mike Huckabee

A BIG SHOW THIS EVENING

We’re taking a brief break from the daily news so that my staff and I can enjoy some time off to celebrate the Fourth of July with our families. But don’t worry, we’ve prepared some newsletter material in advance. And if anything major occurs that cries out for comment, we’ll set down our hot dogs and rush to our laptops! We will return to covering the daily headlines on Tuesday.

Before watching the socially-distanced Fourth of July fireworks displays on TV, join me for some real fireworks on “Huckabee” on TBN! We’ve put together a very special July 4th show for you. I’ll have some new comments on the holiday and the news, plus we’ll revisit some of the very best, funniest and most patriotic moments from previous shows. I won't spoil the surprises, but I guarantee you'll love it.

It’s all coming your way tonight at 8 and 11 EST, 7 and 10 CST, and the same times on Sunday, only on TBN. To find where you can watch TBN, from local cable and broadcast channels to streaming, visit https://www.tbn.org/huckabee and click on the “WATCH” menu at the top. You can also stream previous episodes, highlights and Internet-only “Digital Exclusives,” like extended interviews and extra performances by our musical and comedy guests. It’s all at https://www.tbn.org/huckabee

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Happy Independence Day and happy 244th birthday to the United States of America! No, this nation was not born in 1619 when slaves first arrived, no matter how many trinkets liberal “journalists” award themselves for creating bogus history. It was born on July 4th, 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which officially kicked out the previous regime and kicked off history’s greatest experiment in freedom.

Today is when all Americans celebrate our freedoms. But sadly, too many young Americans have been miseducated to feel no gratitude for the titanic struggles and sacrifices made by those of previous generations to secure and preserve those freedoms. Even those who recognize how lucky they are to be Americans are often too willing to trade away their freedoms in exchange for hollow promises of comfort and security. As the great philosopher Joni Mitchell once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.”

That’s why the Founding Fathers took such care to lock our most important rights safely within the First Amendment to the Constitution. There are more freedoms guaranteed in that one short sentence than people in most nations can even dream of. That’s why for centuries now, people from around the world have risked their lives to come to America, and why immigrants are often more aware of how unique America is and more grateful for those freedoms than native-born Americans. The Founders understood that freedom really is that precious.

When the framers of the Constitution first met in 1787, many feared that if they created a strong federal government, it would trample the rights of the people, just like the British king they’d fought to break free of. So to make sure the people’s rights would always be protected, they added 10 amendments - although George Mason thought they were so important, they should come first, as the Preface!

Now, in case you’ve never heard it or have just forgotten (as too many federal judges and a few Supreme Court Justices I could name have), here is the First Amendment, in its entirety. Don’t worry, this really won’t take long:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yep, that’s it. This was before the government needed a 2,000-page bill just to ruin your health insurance. Only 45 simple words were needed to protect our right to speak freely without fear of government retribution...Our right to publish those words so that other Americans can read and debate them…Our right to band together with like-thinking Americans and protest peacefully without fear of arrest (note: protesting peacefully does not include rioting, arson, and looting)…Our right to petition our leaders to change their policies…And our right to be free from having an official state religion forced upon us, but also from government interference with the free expression of our personal religious beliefs (like telling us we can’t gather in church to worship, but we can gather in Walmart.) A lot of people celebrate the first half of that religious right (no state religions) but pretend the second half (no state interference in religion) doesn’t exist. The Supreme Court even seems to be reticent lately to make clear that it means what it says, even though it takes only six words to say it: “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

These are the rights that together create the free American culture that those of who know real history celebrate today. The Founders thought they were all so important that somehow, they found a way to list every single one of them first.

Then, just to be certain that no future government ever tried to take those rights away, they made the very next amendment the right to bear arms.

And they emphasized that these rights are given by God, not government. So no matter how hard some people might try to scratch some of them off of the parchment, it won’t make a lick of difference. You can’t edit God.

YANKEE DOODLE

Usually, around the Fourth of July, we hear a lot of songs about all the great things about America: “God Bless America,” “God Bless The USA,” “America the Beautiful” (although you might not have heard them this year because of some people whining that hearing God’s name or praise for America “triggers” them.) But before them all, even before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” there was the original American patriotic anthem, “Yankee Doodle.” However, it didn’t start out as a celebration of Americans, but as a mockery of them.

Since 1776, the song “Yankee Doodle” has been as much a symbol of America as the flag. Every child learns it from the cradle. But many of us grew up without ever knowing what it really means. Like, why did he call his cap macaroni? Did he use cheese for hair mousse (I’ll bet a lot of recent college graduates actually believe that)? Well, I’ll answer those questions and more.

“Yankee Doodle” dates back long before 1776. It most likely started as a German nursery rhyme, since “dudel” is an Old German word for “fool.” It first became associated with America when British soldiers made up their own lyrics to it to mock the ragtag American Revolutionaries. That baffling line – “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni” – makes sense when you know that a macaroni wig was one of those ridiculously large powdered wigs that dandies of the time wore. The Brits were ridiculing Americans as a bunch of hayseeds, so dumb they’d think sticking a feather in their hat would make them look sophisticated. Imagine a Huffington Post article about Trump voters from Alabama, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of just how much arrogant condescension they intended to convey with that.

Unfortunately for the British, it turned out wars weren’t settled according to who had the spiffiest uniforms (in fact, red coats just made you a brighter target.) Those unfashionable Americans were fighting for their homes, their families and their freedom. So they did what Americans have done ever since: they took the ridicule aimed at them, threw it back in the faces of those who mocked them, and got the last laugh.

The Americans took the song “Yankee Doodle” that was meant to belittle them and adopted it as their anthem. They marched to it in the streets, sang it in bars, and made up their own new lyrics to promote the cause of freedom and glorify leaders like General Washington, “upon his strapping stallion.” It wasn’t long before the British learned to dread the sound of that tune, especially when it was played on a fife and drum, accompanied by American militiamen. A Boston newspaper reported that Minutemen who captured two British officers forced them to dance to “Yankee Doodle” until they collapsed. After that, the Brits admitted that that mocking little song didn’t sound so funny to them anymore.

Well, now you know how “Yankee Doodle” came to be the unofficial American battle anthem that later inspired another great patriotic song for this time of year, George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” As Cohan proudly sang, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Yankee Doodle, do or die…A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, Born on the Fourth of July!”

Of course, Cohan was actually born on the third of July. But that’s another story for another day.

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY (KJV)

 



CHOP has been chopped

July 2, 2020

NEWS UPDATE: CHOP has been chopped. After degenerating from an alleged “festival atmosphere” and “second summer of love” into a dangerous, lawless war zone within days, the area of Seattle “occupied” by leftist radicals was finally cleared out Wednesday morning.

Mayor Jenny Durkan must’ve gotten tired of competing with Bill DeBlasio for the title of America’s Worst Mayor because she finally issued the order police had been waiting for. They moved and gave the big, tough social justice “warriors” eight minutes to clear out (yes, that’s how quickly this could have ended if the Mayor had ever done her job.) Among those who resisted, there were 31 arrests. Let’s hope that for probably the first time in their lives, they will discover what it means to face real consequences for their rotten behavior.

CHOP was a disaster and a massive dereliction of the city’s duty to protect its citizens. It was also an unwarranted tragedy that resulted in robberies, assaults and other violent crimes, three serious injuries from shootings, and the shooting deaths of two black teenagers - Lorenzo Anderson Jr. and Antonio Mays Jr. – by people who claimed they launched this radical Romper Room with no police allowed to protest the unjust killing of black people by police.

At the link is a post-mortem on what happened in Seattle and how (the first step was the mistake of electing a far-left government.) As bad as the entire episode was, it did serve one purpose: seldom has there been a more horrifying but useful illustration of how swiftly civilization can spiral into anarchy when you do something as stupid as abolishing the police and giving power to a bunch of socialist undergrads.