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June 28, 2013

Cause to Celebrate?

Two hundred and thirty seven years ago fifty-six men mutually pledged their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred honor in support of a Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of a political bond to the King of England. In doing so they stated their case for dissolving the ties with the King and assuming “among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” entitled them. In doing so they laid out an indictment of the tyrannical abuses of a King. "The history of the present King of Great Britian is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,“ reads the opening volley of these fifty-six representatives of the original thirteen states in their catalogue of the abuses of the King and his minions.

Most Americans if asked would define the Declaration of Independence in terms of one sentence. "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.” Yet, as profound as these words are it is the next sentence that changed forever the historical philosophy of just governance. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. This one statement set in motion the singularly most important change in the concept of governance in the history of mankind. Although the founders in writing the Declaration were influenced by the likes of Montesguieu, Blackstone, Locke, and others, this was the first time that this philosophical ideology of self governance was to be the foundation of a new government. Those fifty-six representatives of the American colonial people did not take lightly this responsibility. “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which their are accustomed.” Theirs was not an action in the heat of the moment but a deliberate reaction to a long list of ongoing abuses of a tyrannical King. “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.”

The list of abuses by the King of England in 1776, laid out in the Declaration of Independence are many. Unfortunately 237 years later the ugly beast of governmental abuse has once again reared its ugly head. The only difference is now the People of the United States of America have 545 tyrants rather than just one. A pretense of government by consent is not a government “of the People, by the People and for the People”. When the will of the People is trumped by political party or special interest there is no just government. When a duly legislated law of a state can be rewritten or declared null by only the politically biased opinion of a judge then there is no just government. When the laws of the land can be selectively enforced or not enforced at all because of the personal political bias of bureaucrats or representatives then there exists no just government. When a president through political fiat can disregard the will of the duly elected representatives of the people then there is no just government.

On July 4th 2013 the American People will celebrate a defining moment in the history of the United States of America and of Mankind. They will wave their flags and amuse themselves with parties, parades, barbecues and fireworks. All the while the agents of government will be working feverishly, not to secure their rights, as planned by the founders, but to shape them to the will of government party and special interest. Political provocateurs jockeying for position and trampling the unalienable Rights of Americans is no cause for celebration. Perhaps all of us as Americans ought once again dedicate "Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our sacred Honor" to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and Our Constitution. When "WE THE PEOPLE of the United States" commit Ourselves again to these words found in the preamble to Our Constitution, “ In Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" by casting aside the false hope of governmental security in order to live in Liberty as did the heroes of our colonial time, then there will be cause to celebrate.

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