The Washington Times - July 3, 2013, 10:16PM

Former Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson hopes you have a nice picnic, parade or BBQ to attend, and a flag to wave. But he is not delivering the typical feel-good Fourth of July message this year.

“This Independence Day feels a little different,” he says. “The news in recent weeks about the IRS using its force against certain targeted groups has reminded us that, absent vigilance on our part, the government will abuse the power it has accumulated. Likewise, as we learn more about the massive surveillance being conducted by the NSA and the FBI, a lot of Americans are today thinking and talking about the 4th Amendment and its intended protections against unreasonable searches.”

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Mr. Johnson continues, “These ‘revelations’ are bringing long-overdue attention to the liberties the Founding Fathers worked so hard and sacrificed so much to provide and protect. It is more than a little ironic that the Revolution was prompted, in part, by abusive tax policies and unreasonable searches - on the part of ‘tyrants’.”

He concludes, “Regardless of our plans for this Independence Day, I hope they include remembering that the battle for freedom never ends, and dedicating ourselves to restoring the liberty on which our great nation was founded. That is the most patriotic thing we can do on the Fourth, and in all the days that follow.”

Mr. Johnson is speaking from a new political perch, incidentally - one geared to 2014 and 2016, of course. He is chairman of Our America Initiative, a grassroots group centered on smaller government and a frugal mindset. His fellow board members include Barry Goldwater Jr., former independent presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer and Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey.

“Our purpose is simple, yet vital,” Mr. Johnson says. “To redefine the liberty movement in America. We aim to restore liberty, responsibility and economic freedom as the true American values.”

See their big doings here.