Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Born On The Fourth Of July

On this day in 1776, while in the midst of a war with Great Britain with uncertain outcome, a group of wealthy, educated, well-propertied White men gathered with a solemn purpose. They aimed to create a new country, a new European nation-state. They were placing their signatures on a document which they would present to the British leadership, to King George III himself. In doing so, were they captured, they would almost certainly be hanged for treason and sedition. Their cause was in no way universal, but enough of the colonists had been persuaded to support them, that they faced no great impedence among the people. Instead they would face perhaps the most powerful war machine, and certainly the most competent navy, on Earth.

Standing against this formidable force, which was augmented by German mercenaries from the State of Hesse, were a total of 90,000 colonials. Many formed armies, but most were militiamen: regular farmers, smiths, drovers and other common men who took up arms against what they saw as a repressive regime.

Eleven years later, the war was over, and to the amazement of many around the world, the colonies were now the Confederation of American States. Their leadership met again, and after long hours, interminable debate, heated arguments and strenuous compromise, they produced a document which they hoped would be the germ of a lasting government. That document would weld together thirteen disparate small nations into one largely unified entity. It was not a set of allowances or an authorization of unlimited power to the ruling class. It was instead another declaration of the Rights of the citizenry over the central government. The first statements of guarantee of those naturally-held Rights were contained in the compromise addition, a set of ten amendments known now as "The Bill of Rights". Among the absolute guarantees made in that pact between governors and governed, between the elected in the national capital and their rulers, the voters, in the States were these: Freedoms of speech, of religion, of the press, of popular oversight of government, and of peaceable assembly. The absolute Right to possess and use firearms in defense of family, neighbors, property and homeland. Freedom from military occupation. Prevention of unreasonable searches and seizure of private property. Security of trial procedures. Rights to know charges and evidence, and subpoena witnesses in criminal cases. Juries present at trials of value. Protections against excessive bail, police and court-ordered cruelty, and punishments outside the norm.

And the two final Amendments, possibly the most important to invoke when the national government oversteps its boundaries:

Amendment 9 states that just because some Rights are specifically mentioned in the Constitution, it does not mean that others (under Common Law) are not available to the citizenry.

Amendment 10 also speaks of States and the People. The Constitution mandates that the national government is granted certain powers, such as coinage of money (now illegally usurped by the privately-run "Federal" Reserve), raising a navy, and so on. These responsibilities are thus denied to the individual States by agreement. This Amendment ensures that anything falling outside that perimeter belongs to the States and their resident citizens. The language is plain: the States are the superiors versus the national government, which is subordinate. One can not be an "inferior" entity and delegate power to another.

On this day, I am thankful for the work of the Founders. I thank those who determined to break away from European rule and strike their own course. I thank the men, and women, who gave their lives as well as those who put all they had on the line for the benefit of people they would never know. I also tip my hat to the authors of the United States Constitution for their ultimate selflessness in providing a blueprint for an open society which could last for centuries.

Yet, at this time, the men and women who are running our government have turned their backs on the Constitution. They have sought to reduce the long-ago work of those men to a target. The least capable among them, the man who fancies himself the new King George, has verbally spit upon the document of Rights, calling it "a goddamned piece of paper". Such behavior from the lout then in power prompted the People to call for the end of his rule, the end of that tyranny. And they got it.

Two-hundred thirty-one years ago, in declaring the quorum's collective grievances against the Crown, Jefferson penned a sentence, the quality and impact of which is undimmed by the passage of time. It read:
...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.
It's time to return to our political roots. It's time to stand against the new tyrant. It's time to reinstate the Republic the traitors have stolen from us.

2 comments:

Carol said...

Well done! Too many people today have forgotten what Independence Day is all about. It's become about BBQ's and fireworks. People need to remember who we are and why we are here! Complacency Kills!!!!

Richard Harlos said...

I could not have said it better myself! Thank you for sharing your very articulate, lucid thoughts with everyone who cares to hear.

FYI, I mentioned this post in my blog post entitled Born on the Fourth of July, Son of, so hopefully more people will be exposed to this perspective and perhaps more than a few will be transformed by it.