By Dr. Harold Pease
Should the patriots once again have ability to rewrite the Declaration of Independence what would they say? How might it be different? Many have asked, “Is it time to restate the obvious? We have lost much of our liberty, as they had, from their elected government.”
There is no reason to believe that the committee, headed by Thomas Jefferson, would retract the base for the right of revolution from “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—definitely a higher level than mere man. Nor is there any reason to believe that they would retract “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Nor the right of revolution when all other means are exhausted, as they had, which is so eloquently stated in the remainder of the second paragraph. So we would expect them to retain the means of making revolution—the right to bear arms. The general theme of the last three paragraphs, that “in every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress” and “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” would be retained as well.
What is, however, perplexing is how many of the listed oppressions—the causes of the American Revolution—have returned in our day. Jefferson targeted the King for the oppressions but Parliament, an elected body, was actually responsible for most of them as is Congress in our day. These include: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” This would be our unelected federal bureaucracy today, 2.8 million strong. The $50 million for IRS parties and $70 million for IRS bonuses in 2013 come to mind. We have yet to hire the 16,000 new folks to administer our socialized medicine (Obamacare) programs, yet another enormous swarm “to eat out our substance.” These officers live off the wealth produced by others.
“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.” Bradley tanks were used against the Branch Davidian Church during the Clinton Administration, and FEMA and the federalized National Guard were used in New Orleans during the hurricane Katrina under George W. Bush. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act legalizes military kidnapping of American citizens thought by the President and military to be “terrorist” and shipped to Guantanamo Bay and detained without trial indefinitely. Civil power was/is told to be secondary or non-existent in these examples.
“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 Act of pretended Legislation:” The United Nations was created by treaty. It’s law, often “foreign to our constitution” is becoming recognized universal law with authority to supersede national law. The Supreme Court often references UN law to establish constitutionality of U.S. law. A pending case is the UN Small Arms Treaty which opponents of gun control fear will be used to nullify our Second Amendment.
“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.” Anytime a president offers money to a foreign country by way of treaty, as did President Jimmy Carter in the Panama Canal Treaty, he is taxing us without our consent. Only the House of Representatives, which is excluded from treaty making, can raise a bill of revenue. When the Senate, which is supposed to approve all treaties, and the President offer money in a treaty it “imposes taxes on us without our consent.” Today presidents offer reams of money to foreign countries without a thought to asking the people first, as required by the Constitution.
“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.” The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on New Years Eve 2011 by President Barack Obama, potentially removes trial by jury altogether for citizens thought by the president to be terrorists. A term never defined. If a trial is held at all it will be out of the country and in a military court—without the benefit of the Bill of Rights.
“For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.” Once again the NDAA transports us secretly, unbeknown to our friends and family and potentially without notice to civil authorities, to Cuba for indefinite detention. Nothing that the British did to us in 1776 was more drastic than this.
“For…altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.” Our government has been moving from a republic to a democracy and now into socialism for many decades led by both major political parties. At least Barack Obama was honest with us when he promised to “fundamentally change” our government if elected.
“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.” Our legislatures have been suspended when five things, now very common, happen: 1) when Congress usurps the powers of state governments to themselves, 2) when Congress allows an unelected bureaucracy to add sometimes thousands, of new regulations to a new law, 3) when the President makes law by executive order, 4) when the President appoints so-called Czars to administer programs and write new law for areas where the Constitution never gave the federal government any jurisdiction, 5) and when the Supreme Court rules in such a way as to create new law as in Obamacare.
I suppose the “Tories” in our day would argue, as they did then, “But our elected government gave us all these laws” (oppressions), thus it is okay because “we did it to ourselves.” That argument was made then as well but fortunately it did not keep the rest of us, the Patriots, from revolting nonetheless. Let us revolt by our vote to once again remove the returning offending tyranny and oppressions. Please share.