Independence Day 2010

History, they say, repeats itself, and there are sure signs that American history is repeating itself. In anticipation of the celebration of Independence Day, I read the Declaration of Independence again with one eye on what the signers of that document asserted and complained about and one eye on the United States I see today. The parallels are striking.

The Purpose of Government

Our Declaration begins with a premise that framed all that followed, namely, that only those rights “endowed by their Creator” were “inalienable,” among which were “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and that it was “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Destructive Government

Based on this premise, they believed 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.”

But, they said, when a government “had long been established,” the “right to alter or to abolish it” should not be exercised “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.“

Stopping ‘The Train’

There was, however, a tipping point that called for change: “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.”

And for them that “long train of abuses and usurpations” was demonstrated by “the history of the present King of Great Britain” that was “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” Listing their grievances, they declared to the people and to the nations that it was time for the colonies to make a change, and the official process of birthing the United States of America began on July 4, 1776.

A Comparison

So, on the day we honor those who declared and fought for our liberty in the face of “absolute Tyranny,” let us pause to reflect upon what has been taking place in our country and examine if history is repeating itself:

Declaration of Independence

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

Today’s Congress and President

President Obama and the Congress essentially “forbidding” laws and actions securing our borders, a matter of “immediate and pressing importance,” because action will reduce the pressure to pass laws that essentially grant amnesty to people who are in the United States illegally (See U.S. Sen. Kyl’s statement.)

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
U.S. House passing health care reform after midnight on Christmas Eve, a process “fatiguing” the citizens and at a time so “unusual” and “uncomfortable” as to make it impractical for those supposedly being represented to engage with their representatives.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners.
Preventing the protection of the “population of these states” by “obstructing” laws to secure our borders.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Czars, Czars, and more Czars; Congressional creation of unconstitutionally authorized Departments and Agencies, and erection of an IRS Code so complex that we are “harassed” by its application and so burdensome that countless bureaucrats “eat out [our] substance.”
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.
The Presidents and our Congress abdicating our sovereignty to the United Nations and consideration of such treaties as The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, SALT Treaty, etc, all of which “subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution.”
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.
Expansive federal laws beyond the intended limited powers given under the constitution, increasingly reducing state governments to mere “agencies” and “administrators” of the federal government and abrogating their sovereignty; confirming Supreme Court Judges who rewrite our constitution by a “living” construction and look to international laws for validation of their rulings.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.
Officially calling conservative Christians, gun owners, and other Constitution-loving patriots “terrorists” and racists and setting a tone of such incivility and name calling among themselves that, as a nation, we have become like them.
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Presidents essentially “suspending” the policy-making prerogatives of the Congress through increasingly frequent Executive Orders, most recently undermining DOMA at every turn and now rewriting the Family and Medical Leave Act.

 

The brave founders of our nation said, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is [the people’s] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

For them, on July 4, 1776, “the patient sufferance of these Colonies” came to an end and they said, at that time, “necessity … constrain[ed] them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

With so many striking parallels, will we ever reach the end of our “patient sufferance” and say, “No more” to those who lead us in Washington?

Revolution at the Ballot Box

By these words, some will no doubt call me a terrorist. They will accuse me of treasonous thoughts and words. But only thoughts and words they are, and absent a judicial rewriting of our Constitution, “speech” is still not to be infringed. (However, I must say that putting people on “terrorist watch lists” sure chills, if not infringes, on free speech by its ominous threat of government action.)

But hear me, everyone—I am not advocating action like our founding forefathers. Nor am I advocating violence or destruction of property. Indeed, we are blessed that by the brave actions of our founding fathers and by virtue of our wise Constitution, we do not need a bloody revolution; we need not take up arms. We just need to look at our present holders of federal office and wherever there is an incumbent, for whatever office, remember in November (and maybe in August primaries, too) this “long train of abuses and usurpations” and “throw off” those who have shackled us.

Paying the Price

Unlike our courageous forbearers, we do not have to pledge our very lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to rectify our situation. We just have to register and vote far more wisely than we have.

But, as they say, freedom isn’t free. There may be a price we have to pay, though not so severe as those who put it all on the line in 1776.

For example, to stand up and say “enough” to every incumbent who has stood for (or stood by during) these “usurpations” and to our fellow citizens who have advocated for these “usurpations” may mean we have to forego the “sacred honor” of the approval and praise they would bestow on us if we just went along with business as usual. We may be called names instead. But the “honor” I would receive from them I will gladly sacrifice if it means stopping this train of abuses. Will you?

Perhaps enraged liberals will threaten not to do business with you (see Washington’s response to Arizona immigration law and watch Governor Brewer’s reply!), and it might cost you a larger fortune. But is losing some of your potential fortune now for the sake of your children’s children not something worth giving up in view of the fiscal and moral bankruptcy we are handing them by our continuing silence?

If we remain silent and continue to allow Presidents and Congress to continue the course of the last 60 years, accelerated by our most recent Presidents and Congress, we may someday only be remembered in the history books as “the land of the free” because we ceased to be “the home of the brave.” May that never be because today we resolved to be the next “greatest generation” and fight for our country by speaking up and voting more wisely.