Your homework: Before you make the cole slaw, before you baste the spare ribs, before you pack the lawn chairs for the fireworks display, take a few minutes to read the full text of our Declaration of Independence. Discuss.
Like all sacred scripture, it’s got something for everyone in today’s America. I read it as anti-tyrant, pro-good-government [with my proud liberal bias] . My reading says good government…
- is representative of the people [not remote multi-national corporations whose board rooms are inaccessible to us];
- doesn’t obstruct laws needed for the public good [memo to the U.S. Senate];
- doesn’t swarm into our homes [privacy];
- makes sure the military is subject to civil power [President trumps generals];
- assures the right to sue and to have jury trials [no matter who you are];
- provides a path to citizenship for foreigners [will anyone bring that up today?];
- …among other cool things that reject lofty, remote, insensitive, and cruel governance.
It’s a courageous document, containing a lot of enduring wisdom. The clanks (that nasty statement about Native Americans and the document’s lack of prescience about women sharing men’s rights and responsibilities) show that it was a document of its times — which makes it more interesting, I guess, and why we love delving into its implications still.
Here’s to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!