We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
How easily we forget that the Declaration of Independence only predicted the USA in retrospect. The Declaration was the military and political alliance of 13 colonies, each of which was self-governing within the generous limits established by Britain. In the Declaration they proclaimed themselves to each be a "state," ie a nation, independent from Britain, and to join to remove British colonial control, by force of arms if necessary.
Each state coveted its autonomy, during and after the war. There was no US until 1789 when those independent 13 states, after much dithering, politicking, and ambivalence, agreed to cede some small amount of power, besides the power to run the Continental Army, to a united Federal government.
They were all, naturally, and rightly, suspicious about the idea. But the State of New York, as I understand it, gets the main credit for insisting on the addition of a Bill of Rights before being willing to sign on to the document. Many delegates felt that enumerating all of those rights - and more - was unnecessary and obvious.
Image: Weisgerger's painting of Betsy Ross presenting the flag of the Continental Army in 1777 - what was called the flag of the "Grand Union." Prior to that time, the Army had only State and militia flags and banners.
The autonomy of individual states has slipped, little by little, year by year, so that in the 21st century the states have very little self-determination. Partially their own fault, of course: when the feds dole out money to the states, the power of the pocketbook gives the federal government neormous power over those states.
This is a great day for the world. Happy 4th, but watch those kids and fireworks !!!
Also not to be too didactic but here are some links that will clarify for many whay we don't have a democracy but a republic. The Founding Fathers knew exactly what the differences were but from comments I have read all over the blogsphere there are some grossly wrong impression as to our makeup.