Years ago, a bunch of people I’ll call The Original Bloggers wrote:
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.
Or at least impel them to think about it. I mean, we’re just thinking, here…
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.–
Let’s talk about Liberty. The NSA is snooping on your phone calls. The IRS is selectively sandbagging the First Amendment. The federal and state governments are attacking the First Amendment (FEC regulations, sueing businesses that don’t recognize gay marriage on First Amendment freedom of religion grounds, placing gag orders on politicized investigations). You don’t even have the freedom to pick a healthcare plan that works for you anymore. Your Fourth Amendment rights are out the window if someone tells the cops you might have traffic-sized lots of pot in your house; your property can be forfeited even if you’re never convicted. The Tenth Amendment is effectively a dead issue; the Feds can claim absolutely anything is their jurisdiction ever since FDR turned the Commerce Clause into the dominant statement in the Constitution.
They’ve even started walking over the Third Amendment, for crying out loud.
So then what?
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
Let’s emphasize; just powers. By consent of the governed.
The powers that the US Government is exercising are – to say the least – flirting with unjust.
…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.
If you’re a blue-stater, you no doubt believe that Red America is engaged in a war against Choice. We want to impound your Lady Parts, or something. The Tea Party wants to force you into a national church.
And if you’re a red-stater, you know that the apparatus of government, from the IRS scandal to Secretary Napolitano’s McCarthyistic “Enemies Lists” made up of pro-lifers, tax protesters and Second Amendment activists, are the stocking feet that warn of the jackboot aimed at your throat.
Decision Point:Here’s the key to the whole thing. It may be the most important part of the Declaration of Independence. Read it twice.
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.
So do the “abuses and usurpations” rise to the level of “evincing a design” that invokes our “right and duty” to reboot the
American experiment the government America hires to defend the borders and plow the streets?
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.
Usurpations: Time has rendered some of the listed injuries and usurpations obsolete – but others still ring true, to people on both sides of the aisle.
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.
Any Second Amendment supporter that’s ever played “find the roaming hearing” at the Capitol in Saint Paul knows how this works.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners
If you’re a Blue American, you may feel this way.
If you’re a Red American, you might think He has done the opposite; refused to prevent the population of the states by the un-naturalized.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
Homeland Security, anyone?
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
I’d say the current militarization of the police and Federal law enforcement, and the ritual abuse of property forfeiture laws, certainly qualifies.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
And giving the police and prosecutors immense power, especially at the federal level, to make jury trials mere formalities.
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
That’s not an especially absurd way to describe the gutting of the Tenth Amendment and the ballooning of the Commerce Clause.
Distant, Arrogant, Unresponsive: So no matter what part of our society you’re from, there’s something to complain about. And if the Presidency and Congress change hands, the left will no doubt return to their complaints apace.
But they all sound basically the same. Our society is hobbled by the tyranny of people who just aren’t like us.
If you’re a Blue American, you no doubt wonder how much better a nation this would be if it weren’t held back by all those god-bothering, bitter, gun-clinging fat white Jeebus freaks that clog fly-over-land. Indeed, the left fantasizes about it – from Paul Krugman’s dissociative fantasies disguised as NYTimes columns, to Seth McFarland’s “What if Algore had won?” episode of Family Guy.
And if you’re a Red American, you no doubt see the nation you love being turned from a representative democracy into an bureaucratic oligarchy; morphing from a “free association of equals” into a hierarchical, top-down society run by, for, and in the image of a self-appointed caste of brahmin elites that care nothing for society outside the Beltway or between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre, but need to control it anyway.
So – why are we still together?
More next Tuesday.