The first shots during the American Revolution were most certainly fired at Lexington, but the initial salvo was in verbal form as depicted above from the opening line of the Declaration of Independence. From this point on, the founders were at a point of no return. Not only was King George put on notice, but the entire world would begin to experience a seismic shift in government and the true birth of a new world order.
Contemporary conspiracy buffs think of “the new world order” as a global cooperative with the end result being one government for one world. Whatever. The American Revolution put in motion a combination of political theories pondered and written about for centuries. The oppressive nature of the young and quasi-brutal King George forced the hands of the founding fathers to take all of these radical philosophies, edit, cut and paste, and express to the world their collective desire to put it to the test; that is to see if it would really work.
“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 affect their safety and happiness.”
“…..from the consent of the governed.” I emphasize this passage to accentuate and amplify the basic and fundamental foundation of a republican form of government. We the people were those intended to determine what righteous power would be granted those who we select through the free and open electoral process. The party system actually started a scant three years after the ratification of the Constitution, in large part because of a rift between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson held very strong beliefs in the people to make their own decisions, and Hamilton, being a Federalist, felt a strong central government was best for all.
So how does this snippet of history apply to contemporary politics and government? The simple answer is that it doesn’t. A large part of the blueprint known as the Constitution of the United States has been reduced to answers in Trivial Pursuit. The handful of American citizens who actually study and analyze our history are labeled as geeks, freaks, and sometimes, anarchists. The irony can be mind twisting and at the very least, frustrating to those of us who believe in the document that changed the world forever.
Our leaders at all levels of government like to quote a passage here or there, mostly on July 4th or during a political campaign. These politicos are not interested in legislation passed by “the consent of the governed”. The power to tax the citizenry into bankruptcy, and draft regulatory legislation that makes every day life more difficult is the method of the day. Healthcare reform was overwhelmingly unpopular, as scientific polling data reflected. Does it not make sense that as any unpopular bill is passed, it implicitly defies and makes a mockery of governing through the consent of the governed?
“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 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.”
…our lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The last
passage carries with it an incredible and powerful message that, once again, has been lost in the shuffle of 20th century politics. To some it may appear as an expression of bravado and dramatic pomposity. To me and those of like mind, we understand it to be an absolutely profound and literal statement. For the most part, all the signatories had left after the revolution was “their sacred honor”. These men were from diverse backgrounds, varying degrees of education and wealth, but they were bound together by the last line of the Declaration. They wrote it, signed it, but most importantly believed, to the very core of their beings, the message that was conveyed to King George.
With our current leaders having lost nearly complete sight of the founder’s intent, would it not be time to assemble peacefully and begin to draft a new version of this historic document? Would there be enough men and women of like mind to have the fortitude and courage to sign this document? The good thing is we wouldn’t have to travel overseas to deliver it. We all have a pretty good idea where the White House is, and most of us even know the address.
…… we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”