Newt Gingrich: Why the Fourth of July Should be a Universal Holiday | Opinion

The Fourth of July is the most important political holiday in the world. In fact, it should be a universal holiday.

Independence Day commemorates not just an American revolution but a revolution in the relationship between people and their government.

Most of human history has been a story of the powerful controlling, dominating, and exploiting the weak.

Even today, in Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, the old models still exist.

In the communist dictatorship of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping is imposing 21st century totalitarianism with a level of surveillance and control which surpasses even the worst nightmares of George Orwell.

The great break in the relationship of normal people with their government came on July 4, 1776. In the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers not only declared their freedom from King George III of England, they established a framework of freedom for all people everywhere.

The Declaration of Independence was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson (which is why the Left's new-found dislike of Jefferson is so absurd.) He set out to establish universal principles for all mankind. He did not describe American rights. He described human rights that were by definition also applicable to Americans.

This is the distinction that should make the Fourth of July a universal celebration. Jefferson wrote a formula that could liberate every person on the planet.

Note the universal assertion:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness; That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, & to institute new Government, laying it's Foundation on such Principles, & organizing it's Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety & Happiness."

The Declaration was a statement from which all humans can seek guidance. Its adoption should be a date of remembrance for everyone everywhere who wants to reassert their right to govern themselves and not be exploited by others.

It is especially important to celebrate the Declaration of Independence now, because the great concept of self-government under the rule of law is under attack from without and within.

Obviously, the Putins, Kim Jong Uns and Castros despise this doctrine of Creator-endowed rights expressed within the rule of law.

Unfortunately, we now have enemies of freedom within our own country and in the democracies of Europe. Violent extremists like Antifa seek to destroy freedom and impose their values by intimidation and force. Many academics express contempt for the American system of self-government. The more radical elements of the Congress clearly seek to undermine and dramatically change the American system.

It is important to use the Fourth of July every year to reassert the importance of universal rights endowed by our Creator for every human being. It is important to use this holiday to remember how exceptional America is – and that everyone on the planet has the opportunity to apply this exceptionalism to their own countries and governments.

This is why Fourth of July is the most important political holiday for every human.

Newt Gingrich was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is now the host of the Newt's World podcast and the author of Trump's America: The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​​​​​