During the recent 4th of July celebration of America’s independence, Hillsdale College, a bastion of constitutional education and a powerhouse in the promotion of liberty, announced a “Read the Declaration” campaign. This campaign encouraged people who were gathered to celebrate the victory of freedom over tyranny to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety.
Many of our fellow citizens have never read this foundational document. Many who have may have stopped after famous second sentence of the preamble, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In the Dream Time before political correctness, no child left behind, and the dumbing down of America most of us memorized that sentence in grade school and never forgot it. Sadly many of those same people never read or remembered anything in the document after that sentence. The rest of the Declaration is a litany of the reasons why our ancestors felt that they needed “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.” Or as they expressed it, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
The litany that sought to enlighten the opinions of mankind was a long list of the grievances they had with the King of Great Britain: George III.
I believe it would be a good exercise to see how many items on this list would make sense today if we substituted “The Federal Government” or “The President” for the “He.”
America was born out of the desire for people to be free from what they perceived to be tyranny.
At this stage in America’s History we seem to have come full circle. That which we rejected at our birth we find encumbering us once again. Through our own indifference we have forged our own chains and allowed the low-information voters to become the majority of those whose votes are counted. Those who should represent the true majority have been sidelined and cast aside almost as subjects in an occupied state. However people are willing to bear with injustice long and to suffer the insufferable in silence. As our ancestors framed it, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
Our ancestors finally reached the end of their rope when the stated, “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.” Obviously we have not reached this state. The tyranny which we face holds the seats of power. It calls itself by the old names and all the old forms are still in place. Just as there was still a Senate in Rome even after Octavian became Augustus.
Looking at our present day litany:
The president refuses to enforce laws duly passed by the legislature and signed by the executive.
The Justice department incites racial division and covertly interferes in the judicial process.
The Federal Government which is charged with protecting every state from invasion has refused to secure our borders and allowed tens of millions of people to enter and stay illegally adversely impacting every aspect of American life.
The IRS has targeted groups and individuals that hold opinions opposing the Obama administration.
The President has made recess appointments when Congress was in session; he has waged war without Congressional approval or notification, he took an apology tour around the world, he casts our allies aside, and he promotes our enemies.
Look at this long train of abuses and the subjugation of our God-given rights to a capricious and overbearing perpetually re-elected government dominated by two parties that are merely two heads on the same bird of prey. At such a time as this it is good to recall “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 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 affect their safety and happiness.”
A word to the wise they say is sufficient. After 50 years of ringing the bell of liberty I am beginning to wonder.
It is to the preservation of limited government, personal liberty and economic opportunity that we the descendants of the founders, the children of the Framers should “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” and “for the support of this Declaration … mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.”
Be vigilant in the protection of freedom, keep the faith, keep the peace, we shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens