Knowing that the markets would be closed for the holiday, Rick Santelli, the man commonly credited with starting the Tea Party, took the opportunity to commemorate the Fourth of July a day early:
“You know, 236 years ago today, a document which most historians believe was drafted by Thomas Jefferson … was adopted by the Second Continental Congress,” Santelli said.
“But there's one phrase that I want to pull out in particular,” he continued, “Here is the phrase I'm talking about. It reads, ‘all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ And it's the word ‘pursuit’ that I want to talk about specifically."
You know, if you go on your computer and you look for antonyms and synonyms of the word “pursuit,” and I've done this, and the best one I found is … when you chase after something. The antonym, or the opposite of “pursuit,” is “surrender” or “retreat.”
This is what I think Thomas Jefferson was getting at. In this country, what makes us different, is that we have the right to pursue whatever floats our boat, but we don't and shouldn't have any guarantees by anybody that you're going to catch it!
It's the action of the chase, it's the ability to be in the game, it's the ability to do that that brought my grandparents here. Nobody said, "listen, if you come here, you can pursue happiness and we'll write you a guarantee that you're going to get it."
Perhaps someone should tell this to the leaders of the now-defunct and anemic Occupy movement.
"Ronald Reagan said that an issue we need to worry about is re-institutionalizing our greatness. You know what he meant by that? Education. We need to teach kids civic rituals," Santelli continued.
"I've asked a lot of young people the last couple days just to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. You know what the results are. We need to get back to basic," he added. "Happy birthday America, and another 2,000 years to add onto it!"