When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? Until this morning, I hadn't looked at the thing closely for years--perhaps since seventh-grade history. But there it was, on the back page of yesterday's Week in Review section of the Times, so I spent some time digging in to our history.
Here's the weird thing: I don't know whether the Declaration was placed there by the Times staff or whether it was an uncredited ad, but it read to me like a litany of the destruction wrought by the Bush Administration. Perhaps that sounds ridiculous--and I certainly don't mean to imply that things are as bad now as they were when the colonists were living under tyrannical rule 228 years ago. But consider the examples given as "Facts submitted to a candid world" of "a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States":
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People; and eat out their substance";
"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the 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...."
There are not, of course, direct and absolute corollaries between then and now, but the similarities are striking. Can it actually be that we're moving backwards through history, and will, if we fail to act, find ourselves perilously closer to 1776 by 2008?
Though Bush and his allies would surely write me off as unpatriotic (and an America hater, and a terrorist lover, and what have you) for saying this, it needs to be said: the Founding Fathers and Mothers of the country did what they could to ensure we wouldn't wind up with another King George tyrannizing us without our consent, but their actions can only take us so far.
It's up to us now to be sure we don't wind up with another King George tyrannizing us with our consent, or with the consent of a minority or the ruling of a skewed Supreme Court. We have the chance for our own revolution, and in honor of everyone from Button Gwinnett to Matthew Thornton, we need to take it.