On Monday, most Americans will gather on beaches, at back yard BBQs, water front venues like NYC, the Esplanade in Boston; downtown Nashville, Washington D.C., and thousands of other cities and towns across this great land to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the day when fifty-six of the arguably bravest men in the history of the world drew a line in the sand and said enough is enough.
For years our Founders and countless thousands of other men and women had been gathering in mostly smaller groups in places like churches, parks, private homes, the back rooms of taverns, and any number of various locations to discuss the increasing tyranny of British rule. Much like today’s Patriots, they rallied and protested in front of government offices and were met with nothing but more severity; more taxes, more rules and regulations, and more tyranny.
So they painstakingly put their list of grievances on paper and after agreeing that the document did indeed include the major points of contention, those fifty-six brave men affixed their signatures and thereby with full knowledge of the ramifications of doing so, instantly made themselves enemies of the most powerful nation in the world at that time. That document, The Declaration of Independence, was their concise notice to the King of England that they would no longer be subjected to his rule and they were effectively an independent nation.
From what I can tell, the contents of the Declaration are not taught in schools anymore; certainly not in its entirety. However, I suggest that everyone, especially the “millennials,” read it over a few times; it isn’t very long and the average reader should be able to go through and comprehend it in about twenty minutes. What one will find is that just about everything our founders were upset enough to “pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” for is now being wrought upon We the People by the new government they subsequently formed after defeating the British. The only real difference is that they listed twenty-seven grievances, and we are faced with many, many more than that.
Our Founders were brilliant men and after the war with England they constructed our baseline laws in the form of the U.S. Constitution, which is another document that isn’t taught in our schools anymore. The first ten amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, made it very clear how serious they were that the new federal government of the United States should never become a tyranny. That Bill of Rights ensured that We the People would not become the servants of the government by virtue of building in our absolute, God given right to defend ourselves from such a government with the 2nd Amendment.
The excerpt below from the Declaration explains in no uncertain terms that they understood what needed to be done to any government that would subjugate it citizens:
“…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. 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.”
Let that excerpt sink in; because while the celebrating and fireworks will be going on, so will the continued growth of the new tyranny we face; the new tyranny we yet again need to decide what to do about. The voting booths have been rendered useless and if we hesitate to follow in the footsteps of our Founders, this could very well be one of America’s last birthdays.
I’ll leave it with this quote from one of those Founders; probably the most intelligent of the group, and the third President of the United States.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson
Stay safe and vigilant America.