Another year of expanded government domestic spying, expanded global empire overreach, expanded police state with its growing incarceration rates, expanded micromanagement of Americans' private lives and we pause once again to mark a tradition known as The 4th of July.
The operative word here is "tradition" since it's difficult to tell exactly what that particular date on the calendar really means any more.
We know that once upon a time it was meant to celebrate a day in 1776 in which thirteen British colonies in the New World unilaterally announced their independence from the British Empire, then fought a long and bloody war to make it stick and eventually birthed a democratic republic that, with all its flaws and faults, may have been the most libertarian society on earth.
Since that country no longer exists a 2011 article suggested that it might be time to put away the fireworks and skyrockets and hold candlelight vigils across the land in memory of all the rights and freedoms we have lost in the past 238 years.
But memorializing loss, while important, would create a negative, depressive tradition so another article a year later revisited that idea and asked whether the Fourth of July was still worth celebrating.
After acknowledging that "the USA is a nation so crushed by coercive laws and dictates from multiple layers of governments and regulatory bodies and politically-connected statist institutions that nothing exists of the freedoms that were supposedly guaranteed to its individual citizens beyond a few scattering of crumbs" that article went on to offer hope.
Even as those crumbs "are disappearing into the insatiable maw of the power-crazed ruling class and its following of entitlement lemmings" it was recognized that a new libertarianism, the Modern American Libertarian Movement, continues to gain strength and grow.
So perhaps Independence Day should become neither a tombstone for lost liberties nor a monument to a long dead nation-state.
A year ago it was suggested, "Maybe it's time to turn Independence Day into Independent Day, into Individualist Day, into Autonomous Day, into Libertarian Day."
The 2012 article said: "Libertarianism is an optimistic philosophy of free will, free minds and free choice. So maybe July 4, 2012 should be declared The Beginning of the First Libertarian Millennium – the first day of the rest of our libertarian lives – and fight on from there."
This then, the year 2014, would be the second Year of the Rising Libertarian Phoenix.
That would be something worth celebrating.