This day we celebrate our independence and the promise envisioned by the founders. The promise comes up a little tarnished now and again, but it's something we can point to when we tell the nice police officer that he can't look in the trunk. He'll look anyway, and the courts will often allow it, but at least the specific intent of the founders is on record, even if the intent is routinely disregarded at every internal checkpoint and airport in the land.
After we celebrate our freedom with the Tucson relatives tonight down in Tubac, we'll sit through an internal checkpoint. It's fifty miles from the border and manned by men with guns, wearing in green uniforms. They have dogs on chains, who will sniff around our cars. The dogs look tough, like they worked Checkpoint Charlie in another life. But I'm pretty sure Beanie Boy could take any of them. The mirrors in the road allow them to search the undercarriage, ostensibly for for illegals, but mostly they're hoping for a drug bust. They'll shine powerful flashlights into the vehicle and ask stupid questions. If you look wrong, you will be shuttled off for interrogation.
Both Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville warned that it wouldn't last. And to some extent they were right and to some extent they were wrong. But the real legacy of America's Promise is the proclaimed ideal that it is our essential nature as human beings that entitles us to live as free individuals, without permission from church, king, or state. That was a revolutionary concept on July 4, 1776.