Monday, January 16, 2006

Someone Has to Say it

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a National holiday. Have you ever tried to make a list of the official national celebrations, holidays if you will, celebrated by the United States? Here you go:

First we have three holidays that are shared with many other countries:

New Year's

Then we have several more holidays that are unique to the United States

Independence Day
President's Day*
Martin Luther King Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Memorial Day
Veteran's Day
Labor Day

Now .. look at that list. There are only two holidays on that list that honor one individual. Christmas honors the birth of Jesus Christ, and we honor the birth of Martin Luther King today.* I do not in any way intend for these comments to marginalize or denigrate the immense contributions that Martin Luther King Jr. made to our Republic. I consider him to be a great man, a man who held the United States to the promise made in the documents of our heritage; that all men are created equal, and that all men are to be afforded equal protection under our laws. The so-called civil rights leaders of today aren't worthy to park Dr. King's car. To compare Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to MLK would be to compare a go cart to a limo. I just find it problematic that throughout the entire history of our nation we have only designated one American as worthy of a national holiday, and how we did it.

There is something else unique about the MLK holiday. It is the only holiday that came into existence largely through treats of boycotts and political retaliation. The taxpayers of this country paid millions of dollars over a period of years to fund a federal commission who's only purpose was to cajole state governments into honoring the holiday. If the voters of a particular state dared to decide that they did not want to officially recognize the MLK holiday, the state was threatened with boycotts and other reprisals. The voters of Arizona approved the holiday in 1992 only after being threatened with the loss of the 1996 Super Bowl.

Just how much honor is there in having a day named after you through coercion and the threat of boycotts?

Nothing's going to change here, but instead of honoring one particular individual, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor the idea of civil rights, equal protection and the rule of law on this day?

By the way .... if you were asked to come up with a new federal holiday, what would you chose? We already have a holiday honoring freedom, and a holiday on which to give thanks for all that is good in our lives. We have a holiday honoring those who have served in our armed forces, and one to honor those who gave their lives in that service. We have a holiday for those who's labor has contributed to the greatness of America, and one honoring those who have served in our highest office. So, how about a national holiday honoring the individual who truly made America the great country it is today? And just who, you ask, might that individual be? The Individual, that's who. The individual Americans, all 275 million-plus of them, who work every day to make a good life for themselves and their families in our system of freedom and economic liberty ... or what's left of it. The collectivists have been engaged in a war against individualism for decades. Maybe it's time to fight back by honoring the concept of the individual. Let's try it! I would just love to see the collectivists lose their composure over the prospect of honoring individuality.

*Nope, Columbus Day does not honor an individual. This holiday commemorates the discovery of America. President's Day honors all past presidents.

Hat tip: Neal Boortz

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