TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — We’re No. 1!

Fourth of July celebrations are loud. Not all remember how the celebration came about. Before it became known simply as the Fourth of July, the holiday was called Independence Day.

In 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved, and the document was published. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was July 8, 1776. Delegates began to sign the declaration on Aug. 2, 1776.

The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations” throughout the United States. However, the term “Independence Day” was not used until 1791.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826 — exactly 50 years after the adoption of the declaration. It is also important to note that Native Americans already lived in the country, and each tribe had its own nation and government prior to the European settlers.

I placed the history of the Native Americans at the time to eliminate any ignorance or doubt that this was their country, and through various means, white settlers who founded our nation deprived them of their lands and assets.

We celebrate Independence Day to show our reverence for the day we gained freedom. It is also the way of showing patriotic feelings you have for this nation.

For years, we have enjoyed freedoms of thought, religion and speech. We have a government with checks and balances, and it has worked — sometimes very well, sometimes not so good.

Right now, we have two politicians in particular who are degrading everything this country stands for at the very time we should be celebrating.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has announced he is not running for re-election and has indicated a desire to serve on the federal bench. This is the man who has attacked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray. Gowdy,  who chaired a committee that spent 2½ years and $8 million on investigating Hillary Clinton in connection with Benghazi, is heard to complain and demand that the 12-month-old Mueller investigation be ended at once. He forgets his work took much longer, cost much more … and came up with absolutely nothing.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion. He, too, has seized the bully pulpit. Last week in Congress, he called Rosenstein a liar during his sworn testimony.

Jordan and Gowdy make good tag-team partners when on camera. When it comes to facts, however, they are like wolves howling in the wind.

These two pit bulls like to flex their muscles when they run the committees and carry on in front of the cameras. But the fact is, neither of them has a clue what Mueller has or has not discovered. To ask the attorney general and or director of the FBI to turn over evidence to their committee is not only wrong — it is not supported in the law.

Why, you may ask, do I mix Independence Day with Gowdy, Jordan and the law?

It is because we have a separation of powers, thanks to the Founding Fathers, but it is under attack. Our founders worried about protecting the nation and outlined a structure to keep it safe in our Constitution — and it is the Constitution that will govern our future.

Avoid bullies, enjoy Independence Day, and speak your mind when you see a wrong. Be glad you live in this country where we can agree to disagree, at least sometimes. Amen.

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Tom Davies

Judge Tom Davies wielded the gavel in Fargo's Municipal Court for nearly 40 years, the longest term of any elected official in the city's history, until health problems forced his retirement in 2012. Born in Grand Forks, the UND business and law graduate has lived in Fargo since 1956, when his father, Ronald Davies, was appointed a federal judge. The outspoken, irreverent jurist remains an insatiable consumer of news, sharing his observations in Moorhead's weekly newspaper, The Extra … and now here on the Fish blog. As a child, Davies delivered the Grand Forks Herald and sold them on the street corner.

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