July 4 is a holiday that tends to make us reflect back on what we learned in elementary school history class. We remember all those lessons about the scrappy colonists battling the Big Bad British red coats, and sticking it to King George. We picture all those wigged white men hanging out in Pennsylvania to sign the Declaration of Independence. And some of us, particularly the folks running for president in 2016, decide to apply those moments in history to the present day. That's what Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican candidate, tried to do on Twitter Saturday morning.
"In America we celebrate July 4th not April 15 because in America we celebrate our independence from the gov't, not our dependence on it," he wrote. The results might not have been what his campaign planned. That set off a whole round of replies, both scholarly and snarky. The document signed by our founding fathers, they pointed out, was not a declaration of anarchy. It was a carefully drafted first step to forming a new government, separate from the British Monarchy.
Though the tweet still stands, some staffers must have decided to clarify things a bit to be less anarchic, more Republican: "The founders did not declare their independence from one big government only to create another."