My American Soundtrack For the Fourth, Summer

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence from Britain was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, which affirmed that Man is born with certain God-given rights and that Life is one grand, sweet song. 

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile

Gloomy Don McLean sure was right about one thing, when he wrote arguably the song of the century in “American Pie” (1971) : today’s music is certainly less idyllic, less poetic, and less romantic than songs from the past.

But the notion that the American Dream is dead is simply wrong; the American Dream is alive and well.

It’s as alive as it was on this day, 241 years ago, when revolutionaries cheering the inspiring words of the Declaration tore down a statue of King George III, later melting it down and shaping it into more than 42,000 musket balls to supply a fledgling American army.

It’s the freedom to think freely, to be the master of a single mind, in control of your own destiny.

It’s the freedom to pursue property, be it that quaint house in the suburbs, with a white picket fence and a brick chimney, or that Blue Tacoma you’ll have your first kiss in and drive to work everyday for the next 25 years in.

It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s what Lockean men like Thomas Jefferson envisioned when signing their John Hancock’s and showing Britain the Bald Eagle. And it’s the only tangible dream any of us will ever experience in our lifetime.

We owe it to our Founding Fathers, who were easily the greatest assemblage of thinkers, ever. Thomas, John, and you too, Ben: this cold Budweiser’s for you.

• • •

Today, thanks to modern digital music services and streaming platforms, such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music, the spirit and exceptionalism of America’s past lives on boisterously today.

Just like freedom: America’s single greatest export.

Below is my ultimate Independence Day playlist, perfect for today’s backyard barbecue, neighborhood block party, fireworks display on the beach, or any occasion, any day of the year, really:

 

There are exactly 1,458 words in the Declaration.

Lengthy, but imagine how many more Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers could have penned, had they had Lynyrd Skynyrd or Springsteen belting out from a pair of headphones, tucked beneath those powdered wigs of theirs.

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Happy Independence Day, America. Now start the music.  

My American Soundtrack For the Fourth, Summer

Miccarelli defeats Butt

ITHACA, N.Y. —

Tuesday proved to be a momentous night for Republicans across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As predicted, Tuesday’s historic election drew a heavy voter turnout locally.

More than 30,000 residents throughout Delaware County casted their vote in the 162nd Pennsylvania House of Representatives District general election between Republican incumbent Rep. Nick Miccarelli and Democratic candidate Jim Butt.

Butt conceded defeat to Miccarelli. The representative won by a final vote of 19,477 to 11,019 and scored reelection to a fifth term.

Miccarelli was first elected to the chamber in 2008, after he defeated Democrat John DeFransisco. His reelection is significant in that Republicans will maintain hold of the office they have controlled since 1979.

However, the victory meant more to the representative, who is a lifelong resident of the district.

“It means a lot to him to continue to have the support of his friends, family, neighbors and community. Nick lives, bleeds and breaths his hometown,” said Derek Staccone, Miccarelli’s Chief of Staff.

Miccarelli’s familiarity with the area proved to be beneficial in connecting with voters.

“I think Nick, growing up here in the community and having relationships with the people in the community, has allowed him to hit the ground running,” said Staccone.

Butt’s campaign found success establishing a strong ground game of their own.

He received several endorsements from notable groups. Butt was formally backed by the Southeastern Pennsylvania National Organization for Women, the Sierra Club, as well as Planned Parenthood.

Butt connected with many voters through the traditional strategy of going door-to-door.

According to his website, Butt knocked on more than 5,000 doors in the area during his campaign, something Butt’s campaign manager, Nate Urban, is particularly proud of. “Jim’s knocked every day for weeks helping engage people in conversation,” said Urban.

According to Butt’s campaign website, there were several reoccurring issues voiced by the voters he met. One was the feeling of being neglected by Harrisburg. The other was funding for education.

Butt promised to be a voice in Harrisburg, who would fight to bring back money to the district. “I’ll focus on ensuring that our school districts have the resources they need to do right by our kids,” said Butt in a Facebook post.

What should the district expect from Rep. Miccarelli in Harrisburg?

Less talk, more action. Miccarelli says it is time for Legislators to enact laws that solve the problem of ever-increasing property taxes in the district.

“The biggest complaint I hear, aside from the opiate abuse, is people struggling to pay their property taxes. No matter how much money the state keeps sending to districts, they just keep going up and up and up,” said Miccarelli in a recent interview with The Delaware County Daily Times.

The district should expect a moderate hike to the sales tax and personal income tax.

Miccarelli has also promised to address the heroin, painkiller and opiate crisis that has ravaged the district. “Nick will propose legislation that holds pharmaceutical companies more responsible to prevent painkillers from being over-prescribed,” said Staccone.

What lies ahead for Butt?

Urban did not comment if his candidate would run again. He did say that his candidate remains dedicated to serving the community. “Jim will continue to fight for the issues he cares most about,” said Urban.

Butt’s team believes their efforts throughout their campaign will benefit Democratic candidates running in the district for years to come. There is plenty of evidence to suggest this may be true.

While Delaware County has traditionally elected Republicans, it has trended Democratic in recent presidential elections including this one.

 

Miccarelli defeats Butt