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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Have We Strayed From Our Original Declaration of Independence?

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds 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.

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. 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 to 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 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. 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. --

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. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

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.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

(Blogger's Note: Originally published 1776)

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Original Declaration of Independence was amended over 85 times before it passed. That meant a great deal of individual compromise of policy and ego all for the sake of the greater good.

That is how we have strayed. We now think out petty partisan likes and dislike are all crises level. Our won greed and intolerance blind us to the greater good of the Nation and the People.

Shame on us!

Anonymous said...

Ughh, all that god stuff. Glad we strayed.

Anonymous said...

...the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
The worst sentence of the greatest document written.
Unlike the Confederate battle flag, this bigoted portion can never be removed from museums and set the tone for acceptance of our own "undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions" upon Native Americans that got in our way of gold and land.
Not to mention a policy of unrestricted warfare against enemy civilian populations during and since WWII.

Anonymous said...

Vote Trump

Anonymous said...

America today at the young-old age of 240 is not quite the grown-up place it was at its birth. Back in 1776 the citizens were standing up to and attempting to defeat the most powerful military on the planet. And through much suffering and sacrifice in the years following their bold Declaration, they joined together as a nation and got the job done.

Since World War II, America has itself become the most powerful military force on the planet. Yet, with seemingly lackadaisical attention to our porous southern border, and the very real threat of radical Islam, one might wonder how "grown up" America has become in almost two and a half centuries.

Vicious troubles haunt this country and the world, but what is it that occupies the time and energy of a 240-year-old America?

Sadly, it's who gets to use which bathroom.

This country may be older, but it certainly seems to lack the maturity, or wisdom that comes with age.

Patriot2 said...

Our $20 Billion debt combined with our lack of will to enforce immigration policy will be the downfall of this country--The Roman Empire fell from a similar lack of self discipline.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Nice piece of latriture, the facts remain that the courts and amenities therof only create more discorse by useing subcourts as tools to devert ones attention to those that commit the henious crimes behind the cloak of law useing there authority to entise criminal actors to act and inflict more crimes that go unpunished because officials claim they are simply immaginary acts?!)$
RE:publican redd no party affiliation nor arena agenda circus partaker therof, over on the other side of the coin the pic of huptydumty and its glutonouss illbehaviors partaken therof depicts my depiction of the triboro arena area as a whole yet seperated expoTENTuly

Scott Armstrong said...

To understand the present one must know the past. Far too few do these days. Students who do study history are being presented with a modern and I would say narrow view of the past by professors who judge those who lived over two centuries ago by modern standards of political correctness.Clearly this approach is less critical than is is advocacy.
I recommend an excellent book that peels away the separation of time and puts the American Revolution squarely back into its time and place. It is a remarkable book. Readers may gain a real wonder and appreciation for the Founders and the "Exceptionalism" America as I did.

THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION Gordon Wood

http://www.enotes.com/topics/radicalism-american-revolution

Anonymous said...

Operation Thunderbolt was the name of the Entebbe rescue. They are the same thing.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

Glad you posted, Bernie. For the first time I can remember, it was not reprinted in the newspaper today (at least not in the Express!). Instead the Express editorial calls for a new Constitutional Convention.

The first two, and last, paragraphs lay out the philosophical DNA for our country: enlightenment, natural rights, popular sovereignty, consent of the governed. It can read as a pretty radical document, as your pop-out quote notes. Even Ho Chi Minh opens with a quote from it in his Declaration of Independence for Vietnam. That's why they had to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor; they could have been hung for treason had we lost to Britain.

As we all learned in government class, the Constitution they wrote a decade-plus later tried to systemically guard against the inevitable temptation for a faction to abuse governmental power. Yet, they were also distrustful of the prospect of mobocracy; the tyranny of the majority. The Constitution, established an indirect democracy to stymie it: only the House was directly elected by popular vote (and in most places voting was restricted to property owning white males); 2 senators, regardless of population were appointed by the States to represent them as states in the national government; no popular election of the president; judges insulated from popular passions by appointment, not election, for life.

Why do I point all that out? Per our philosophical DNA in the Declaration, we have rightfully become more and more democratic over history: universal sufferage for those over 18 regardless of age, race, gender, property; direct election of senators; an electoral college system that typically exaggerates, rarely thwarting, the popular vote; and even the political parties (not in the Const) have become so democratized through primaries and party rules that "populist" insurgents like Sanders and Trump helped drive the dialog the past year. Then, I read this morning's Express-Times editorial calling for a Constitutional convention. What happened at our last convention, called for just to tweak the Articles of Confederation? That concern the Founders had for "spectacles of turbulence and contention" keeps echoing, and I cannot help but wonder if Plato's late-stage democracy--that concerned our own Founders--has been accelerating.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Washington D.C. has replaced King George and is much more onerous. The 10th amendment was the safety valve to allow different points of view to co-exist in one nation. This all started with the courts interfering with the rights of the states. We now have irreconcilable differences that will be hard to correct. As for history, I don't believe it is hardly taught anymore, and to the powers that be our history started in the 1960's, everything before is viewed as medieval or ancient history. There is a coordinated effort to erase white, Christian culture and replace with a yet to be determined new culture.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ovem, Excellent observations! Under the original constitution, someone like me was unable to vote. They got that part right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have deleted several comments, including one from me, about the most successful hostage rescue mission ever. This post is about the Declaration of Independence. if you want to discuss hostage rescues, start another blog.

Anonymous said...

The signers of the Declaration of Independence must make the PC crowd's skin crawl.

Who does this bunch of white guys think they are?

Anonymous said...


It should be remembered that on July 5, 1776 the previous 13 British colonies awoke to realize they were 13 sovereign states, beholden to no one and independent of one another in their own right. At the time of the Revolutionary War, there was no United States, and there was actually much discord between the Militiamen of Massachusetts being commanded by a Militia officer from New Jersey, or the Pennsylvania Militia serving under a Virginian. There never was a United Colonial Army, which was one of George Washington's greatest achievements; to unify the Continental Militias into a unified Army which defeated the British Army in North America.

However, the unified army did not find its way into the governments of the thirteen colonies, as throughout the revolution, the Continental Congress remained divided in terms of loyalty to the various committees of public safety from the colonies the representatives came from. This is what led to our first national government in 1783, under the Articles of Confederation, which was based largely as a voluntary confederation of the thirteen sovereign states. It took several years of unworkable government to develop the national government we have today, in the compromises reached in 1787 in which the Constitution of the United States was written.

Even after the Constitution of the United States was completed, the distrust of a central government was so strong that the 10 Amendments (Bill of Rights) had to be agreed to before the Constitution could take effect. And the 10th Amendment capped this distrust declaring that the Federal government could exercise only those powers enumerated to it. All other powers remained with the states.

How far we've fallen from that ideal.

Anonymous said...

The Old cry o9f ,"Unite or Die", has been replaced by divide and destroy. Sad that this is the legacy of the fringe group whackos.

The Declaration spoke of common purpose, yet today we have apostles of hate draping themselves in the flag. Do some of these people even read the damn thing?

The Trump phenomena was the very mobocracy the Founding Fathers feared.

Anonymous said...

What did all the Muslims, who 0bama claimed were part of the fabric of America at the time, think about Independence from Great Britain?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

If our Founding Fathers were around today they would 100% be behind Trump.

Anonymous said...

If an unrestricted constitutional convention were opened today, it would be 50 years at least before it would conclude.

Anonymous said...

1:20 - If the Founding Fathers were around today, Trump would be a Tory (as were the majority of people).

Anonymous said...

Oh man.

Someone typed "There is a coordinated effort to erase white, Christian culture and replace with a yet to be determined new culture. "

Even Jesus never talked about a "white, Christian culture."

Anonymous said...

deport all muslims and latins

Bernie O'Hare said...

Marco Polo was derided in China ss a "Latin," bur Kublai Khan was a tad more enlightened than the Dolden Horde and you.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be out of your ever loving mind to call for a Constitutional Convention to alter the present Constitution. With these assholes we have representing us in Washington it would be a Partisan issue. All votes would be along party lines. Tell anyone who even talks about about a Constitutional Convention to go to hell and vote them out of office. Can you imagine having a Republican agenda or a democratic agenda for a so called Constitutional Convention. That is what would happen. As Americans we are smarter than that.

Patriotic Muslim said...

Allahu AKBAR!

Anonymous said...

The Declaration was written as a major pushback against the colonial empires of the period. It was a statement of what government should be, a contract, and if the majority of the governed felt the contract was truly, irreparably broken, then it should be dissolved. The men who signed the document were committed to this idea as evidenced by them publicly acknowledging what would be a treasonous act against the king. Have we strayed? Do you think our current congress and president who care most about power and party would risk their freedom to do whats best for the country as a whole....pulleeaase!

Anonymous said...

"Gordon Wood"??

Even Gordon Wood himself has remarked that his book, being adopted by right wing nuts like Newt Gingrich was the kiss of death amongst real historians. The right wing has seized on many modern books, some written by authors of dubious backgrounds giving a naturally alt-right and alt-reality spin to American History.

I had a Republican friend recently tell me if I realized that Woodrow Wilson was a major league racist and a progressive communist. He was surprised when I agreed on the racism part, noting Wilson was raised in civil war era-reconstruction South Carolina. Of course he was a racist as was just about every politician in the early 1900's. As to a communist, I stated he was about as communist as Teddy Roosevelt, in that they both believed in a sense of common purpose and responsibility.

The Declaration of Independence is a fabulous document in that much like the eventual Constitution showed that nothing can be accomplished without compromise. Unlike todays political thinking.

Our history is one of continual intolerance of each punctuated by some form of reconciliation through compromise. The very thing the alt-right does not believe eve happened as they have a juvenile and monolithic view of American History.

Anonymous said...

" as a nation of free men, we will live forever or die by suicide"

Abraham Lincoln 1837

We almost did.

Anonymous said...

The Declaration is a promise yet unfulfilled.

To those who would re-write history to suit their agenda, such as their confederate flag waving "states rights" new breed of right wingers, I recall the Civil War on this July 4th and that great battle fought for freedom. If any doubt the reason for the war and the cause behind the confederate flag, please read this;

"Our new government is founded on the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man.
Alexander Stevens,
Vice -President, CSA.

Anonymous said...

41 of its 56 signers held human beings against their will and thought nothing of it. Those human beings were forced to work in fields and in homes, and sexually satisfy their masters. 41 of those guys were OK with souls having fewer rights than livestock. The Declaration is almost comical when considered in this context. I believe the Constitution, however, was inspired to deliver the promises of the Declaration by including the process by which evil things like slavery could be, and were outlawed. But it's important to know that in any age of our country's short lifespan, we've fucked up a lot. We're far from perfect and have been downright shitty sometimes. Churchill said something like, "Americans will always do the right thing, after they've done everything else." We're the best country. We're the worst country. We're free to be our personal best or worse. I thank God I live here.

Jeff Fox said...

Thank you, Bernie for posting the reason we celebrate today, Independence Day! We the People...

Anonymous said...

So glad crooked Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the President of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Took the dog for a walk and saw some goof driving his pickup with a big old confederate flag waving in the back. Did not think today was a day to honor American traitors.

So sad that the Trumpeters want to hijack this great day. We are now saddled with a President that is emotionally, mentally and temperamentally unfit to hold that office.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican who voted for the imbecile Trump because Hillary was the alternative. My party tried everything to head off his momination. I've never flown a confederate flag and cringe when I see one. Democrats have traditionally been the party of institutional racism. Trump enjoys the support of legions of disaffected Democrats who voted Republican because their party cleansed everyone with a sniff of a moderate view. As long as the left continues to think me and those like me racists, they simply haven't learned the lesson of last November - or the last three congressional cycles. It's hard to believe that Trump could win again. But posters like this last one are making it too easy.

Ron Karasek said...

Hear, Hear Jeff Fox.

Anonymous said...

True independence is independence itself as the word states. There is not one of us that is truly independent as we all stand hand in hand.
Please all just take a stand against tyrant and its ugly head.

Tea Party Foot Soldier said...

Can't wait for #DJT's next SCOTUS pick which will decisively place our great nation back onto a conservative path simultaneously enraging special snowflake libtards who are likely spending this holiday grilling tofu dogs and sipping fair trade organic iced mocha lattes.

Happy 4th silent majority!

K Mary said...

I was so fortunate that my mother was courageous enough to defect to the United States and secondly was strong enough to let me go for adoption to an amazing family. My life as a Turkish citizen would have been so very different.

K Mary said...

I was so fortunate that my mother was courageous enough to defect to the United States and secondly was strong enough to let me go for adoption to an amazing family. My life as a Turkish citizen would have been so very different.

Anonymous said...

It is actually amusing to read the alt-right comments here. They think they are clever using semantics to cover their hatred of anyone who does not think like them
The passive aggressive nature of their comments is so obvious they should really consider changing their tactics.
They go on about how terrible the left acts and treats people, all the while doing exactly that in their writings yet thinking they are so clever that no one picks up on it.

Their are no legions of disenfranchised Democrats that voted for Trump. The ones that did either did so because of Hillary(who will no longer be a problem) or the hope Trump will bring jobs, which he won't. They fear the alt-right rigidity and purity tests more than any Bernie voters.

So you will maintain your solid 38% of Fox-Hanity lemming vote but I wouldn't hold my breath for the rest in 20220. Especially after the middle class or what's left of it is screwed when the Republicans hand health care back to big Insurance and big Pharma.

Dennis P said...

Was the American Revolution a Liberal Revolution or a Conservative Revolution? What is the Consensus view of the American Revolution? What is the Liberal View of the American Revolution?

Which side would say that in winning our independence we threw out the old English Oligarchy and replaced it with a localized oligarchy?

What was the role of the bill of the Bill of Rights in creating a liberal Revolution? When was the 2nd War of Independence? Did it occur with the creation of the Bill of Rights or the War of 1812? What does the phrase Blessed with victory and Peace may the heaven rescued land praise the power whom both created and preserved a nation? What does the phrase Conquer we must when our cause it be just mean? And lastly the phrase Let this be our Motto In God do we Trust?

Anonymous said...

Where is the part where "he" calls the media fake?

Anonymous said...

Purity tests? There are no purity tests. Stop spreading fake news.

Anonymous said...

If a constitutional Convention were convened today, our Country would really go down the shitter. these elected persons are control freaks that don't care about any of us. All they care about is there own pockets and their own self. All of them should be thrown out of office. Both Dems and R's must go in order to cleanup Washington.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

What does it mean that NPR tweeted the entire Declaration, line by line, and Trump supporters got mad because they thought the "He" mentioned in the declaration was Trump?

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is funny. Had not heard it. Well, NPR is fake news.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

So is the Washington Post, but here's their story on it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/05/some-trump-supporters-thought-npr-tweeted-propaganda-it-was-the-declaration-of-independence/?utm_term=.a959448af650

Bernie O'Hare said...

Too funny!