The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a great service by printing the Declaration of Independence in Sunday’s Crossroads (Too bad they didn’t put it on the web site, but you can read it here.).
That got me to thinking about today. You hear bits and pieces, here and there about how we may need armed insurrection to save this country from the socialists/Marxists/Fascists. Because you know, the declaration makes that statement at the beginning:
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. [Emphasis mine]
Justification for armed insurrection, no?
I think not.
First, look at what Jefferson wrote. He says two things that I think are different from the present day. One, “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes” and two, “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
This implies serious stuff and long time line, something we have not yet reached here (and frankly doubt we will reach).
Many of my conservative friends will differ, which is, of course, their perrogative.
But as I compare today with 1776, I see no comparison even though some do.