Friday, July 04, 2008

Declaration

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
in general Congress assembled.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world...What does it take?

We have an Administration that publicly asserts that its actions are above the law and that works tirelessly in secret to subvert the laws that others claim apply to them. This shouldn't be news, exactly, to those of us who have been paying attention and giving a shit these past seven years. But this is sickening and unAmerican in the truest sense.

What's sickening to me, however, is that We, the People, now apparently lack either the capability or the willingness, or both, to BE sickened by the arrogant, monarchical beliefs of this Administration.

That's fucking wrong.

This country was founded by men who were so sickened by the arrogance, despotism and contempt of their sovereign that they were willing to risk their "Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor" to be rid of the royal pest. Have we - are we - so much less than they that today that we will suffer this wretched little man, this smirking, sneering, privileged patrician twerp and his bobos to undo in two piddling terms of office what the Founders fought and died to establish, and the hundreds of thousands who fought since have died to preserve?

Do these words have no more import then the scribblings of an idiot on a bathroom wall?

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:"

Jefferson famously said: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure." Our present leaders consider that bullshit will serve.

Why aren't we furious about that?

I hope you have a happy and thunderously good Fourth. I hope you have lots of good food, friends, fireworks...all the trappings of tradition.

But as you do, I hope you take a moment to consider what we're celebrating. Would the original authors of the Declaration of Independence really be celebrating today?

3 comments:

pluto said...

GREAT post! And I love the picture of George II as well. I'm impressed with how well the original complaints of the founding fathers translate to the acts of the current administration.

I think that there are three factors facing us that the founding fathers did not have to contend with:
1. We know this guy is out of here in a few short months. Secure in this knowledge, we feel we can wait him out.
2. George III was at best four weeks sail across the Atlantic. Our George is up close and personal, never more than a telephone call away.
3. There is no viable alternative at this time. The Democrats all lust for the power of the Presidency but very few, if any, know what they want to do with it and none of them know how to use it properly to achieve their goals.

Look at what happened when the Democrats finally won Congress in 2006 after 14 years as the minority party. Instead of working to develop a consistent platform of legislation they could pass, they partied for three months and then broke into squabbling sub-parties that were easy marks for the hard-core Bush supporters.

Our founding fathers were smart, tough, independent-minded political animals that could act in concert to achieve their goals even if they didn't always agree. They served our country well in its infancy by serving as a (usually) sensible backbone until the Constitution could take root and survive without them.

The current King George by comparison, like him or not, seems to be the only person able to do anything in our political class.

Obama seems to have a clue as to what to do and seems to be able to learn from his mistakes, which is why I'm supporting him. But I'm going to be very pleasantly surprised if he succeeds in making a major positive impact.

On the other hand, I see a swelling knot of rage across much of the blogosphere that is beginning to shape itself into something useful. I can even begin to sort out some of the roles:
JD has Thomas Paine down pat.

Charles is our John Adams; always quarrelsome, frequently right.

With your gift for writing and general Renaissance air, I'd nominate you for Thomas Jefferson.

Al the Aviator is our proto-Ben Franklin; a quiet person who listens much and speaks with wit, wisdom, and experience.

There are too many Paul Revere's to count or name.

I don't see George Washington anywhere yet but there are quite a few candidates given the number of ex-military who spoke wisely on the old Intel Dump.

One of your concerns about our modern society is the very slow response to the last eight years of governmental abuse. The colonists endured similar abuses for a very long time and sought many half-measures before they finally wrote their inflamatory note to King George and plunged the world into the British War of Seccession of 1776.

If George II were to suspend the presidential election in the name of "national security" I think you'd see a tidal wave of revolt such as has rarely been seen in the history of the world and George would be lucky to escape with just a lengthy prison sentence.

But I don't think that will happen. George is getting old and tired and his most able ministers have left him. He's obviously enjoying this summer as a final stroll across the world stage before he exits stage far right.

He'll head back to Texas thinking that he's done the best possible job under the circumstances, not understanding the massive Constitutional mess he's left behind.

mike said...

It wasn't easy. John Dickinson was the most famous non-signatory, but not the only Congressional Delegate who did not sign it.

Even so, 56 Delegates did sign it. I cannot imagine the current Congress with nine times that number agreeing on anything except trivia.

Lisa said...

Excellent post.

"We, the People, now apparently lack either the capability or the willingness, or both, to BE sickened by the arrogant, monarchical beliefs of this Administration." The complacency of the electorate is most dispiriting but perhaps not confounding.

They have bread and circuses; they are occupied and busy with their little lives, and care not for the state of something so nebulous and disparate as their nation. All that matters is that they can put gas in the tank. When it hits their pocketbooks, you'll hear grumbling.

But no action will be taken on ethical/moral grounds alone. Action will only happen when they can't afford their wants, or their needs. I think the day of the grand idea is gone for America. Most operate on the model of selfish greed.