Monday, April 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A day to celebrate American independence, values

There's something satisfying this Fourth of July in the simple traditions that mark the holiday. Two long wars and the endless insurgencies have left the nation tired and introspective about the terrible sacrifices America has made, and there are more troubling developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other hot spots that have renewed debate about protecting our national interests. But today is a moment to celebrate our independence and our American values, to enjoy the familiarity of hot dogs and fireworks, parades and family picnics.

Celebrating that day only a couple of hundred years ago when the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence also is a reminder of how quickly and firmly this nation became a worldwide model for freedom, human rights and common decency — values that are the very foundation of American life and the dreams of so many of our fellow men.

America's record at home and abroad is not perfect, and our nation still has a way to go in ensuring fair and equal access for all to jobs, housing, society and the political process. But the experiment the Founding Fathers launched has not only endured but grown, because the truths they held as self-evident capture what all humans want — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The surge of violence in Iraq and Syria, the political stalemate in Afghanistan and the emerging threat from terrorist movements masquerading as liberators have combined this holiday to make America think twice about its international obligations. This nation cannot be expected to export its own experience across the globe. But it should not be surprised that so many nations keep calling for help.

America should be proud on this holiday of the role we have played over the arc of history. While these are dangerous times abroad and polarizing times at home, the nation is healthy and secure, and still on guard against man's inhumanity to man. There is a continuity to the American experience that puts even the worst news of the day into perspective.

This nation has seen itself through incredible challenges because American ideals are universal even if the ability to pursue them is not. So on this holiday, let us celebrate what makes America a symbol of good across the world. And let us recommit to those values and that independence so the next generation can look back on the same storied history.

Comments

Correction

CorrectionCircuit Judge John Stargel of Lakeland is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission who voted against a proposed amendment that would have stopped write-in candidates from closing primary elections. An editorial Saturday inco...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18