The celebration of American independence is an important event each year when all of us ought to think about the many who contributed to the founding of the United States of America.

We should express our appreciation for those who have kept us a free and independent nation-state.

There are some important things about this event that we need to recognize as citizens and that we should not only appreciate but continue to insist upon as a free people.

There are many people in the world who seek to come to this freedom that they might gain, not just financially, but socially, spiritually and politically. Even with the increasing taxation that all of us must pay we are still the best country in the world.

In addition, even with our many weaknesses and failures as a people, we are still the most caring and best place to live in all the world. We must learn the historical truths of our founding and the many roles played by all who lived through those years. The dangers we are facing at present demand that we think about what we know and believe.

In this age of globalism, rabid socialism, bureaucratic/deep state coups and hate-America rhetoric we are still the greatest, most prosperous and free people on earth.

I can say that because I have lived and visited in other countries. I have been many times to Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain), Mexico, Scotland, and Great Britain. I have been to the Caribbean, China, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan.

There are many attractive things about these places and countries, but not one of them has what the United States has in the way of freedom and opportunity.

Switzerland is one of my favorite places to visit in the world with its mountainous peaks and grand valleys. It is a breath-taking place to spend time hiking and thinking. Yet it still does not match anything that we have in this country.

As the hymn declares this is “America the Beautiful.” At this time of year, all of us should think about what we have to value in America.

We ought to express our patriotism by determining that we will uphold what is most important and vital to the upkeep and continuation of our nation — respect for individual rights; constitutional government; freedom for all; limited government-interference in the life of individuals, citizens and businesses; limited and reduced taxation; the right to bear arms as citizens (particularly in the light that no one has yet determined how to prevent criminals from having weapons and from using them against unarmed citizens).

We should respect the right of each person to express him/herself without fear of retaliation or reprisal. When there comes to light that people are being abused and attacked for what they believe, we should express ourselves in such cases.

Politicians or government leaders particularly should not be tolerated in official positions when they obviously have abused their office, using it for their own benefit and attacking those who may differ with them.

In such cases the media, all expressions of the media — newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the Internet — should report fairly and truthfully what the facts are. In such cases there should be the reporting of “clear and present dangers.”

We are living in an age when much has been and still is being hidden because it is detrimental to some who are in prominent and influential positions. Media should be held accountable for what they do.

At the present time, the media giants have shielded the Clintons, the Obamas, the previous presidential administration and the “leaks” that have been maliciously given to destroy the current president.

We should all be concerned and “up-in-arms” about the efforts to remove a duly elected president and have not condemned the efforts of the Clintons and Obamas to assure her election to the presidency.

There was no way that Russia could have controlled the election in 2016 to change or make a single vote. It is simply stupid, even insanely silly, to believe such. Yet this “Russia hoax” has dominated the angry Democrats, the Never Trumpers and the Anti-America forces of George Soros, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi and such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as many who follow them.

We should become very angry that so many are condemning America’s founding; demanding that we become socialist in government and economics — dismantling our health care system, destroying private insurance, attacking those who differ on these issues violently (Antifi is the new KKK in our day).

One of the frightening things coming to surface historically is the number of intellectuals and academics who embraced Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, lauding what was taking place in both the Soviet Union and China without any regard for the millions who were sent to their deaths in those lands, and the many millions who lost their land and wealth.

Are we ready to embrace the kinds of controls necessary to implement economic policies, tax increases, medical policies that will be similar to what these men imposed on their countries? Are we willing to embrace the kinds of controls imposed by Adolf Hitler that were similar to these same leaders?

We need to reaffirm our commitment as a people to independence. We need another Fourth of July that declares a campaign against increased taxation, increased government bureaucracy, political meddling with business, immigration, medicine and insurance.

We need a new commitment to individual and social independence, political responsibility on the part of our representatives and senators.

We need another “contract with America” that puts big government, increased taxes and judicial abuse of power in the poor house before most of the citizenry comes to that unacceptable place.

Let us celebrate this Fourth of July our independence and express our patriotism as a people standing for what is best in the United States of America.

Let us NOT honor and laud those who condemn our country such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and Bernie Sanders.

If you have ideas or insights into our independence and how we can assure its future, I would like to hear from you and will appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

You may contact me by email at drjerryhopkins@yahoo.com. I can also be reached by “snail mail” at Dr. Jerry Hopkins, P.O. Box 1363, Marshall, Texas 75671.

—Dr. Jerry Hopkins is a historian and retired university professor.