Saturday, October 4, 2008
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel . . .
. . . just oil it up and get it spinning again.
Many of us are justifiably angry over what has transpired in our government over the last couple weeks. Because we have ceded so much of our individual liberties to our rulers over the past one hundred years or so, we are now facing one of the greatest economic – and in many ways moral – crises in the history of our country.
Many of us are crying foul.
Many of us are calling for change.
Some of us for out-and-out revolt.
Which is fine and dandy with Moi. But let's not make the mistake of changing or revolting against the fundamental principles that created this government – they do, after all, make about as much sense as any principles justifying the rule of one entity over the other. I think we simply need to get back to basics and revisit the very documents that outline the principles upon which this nation was founded. Remind ourselves who we are and what we're doing here.
The Declaration of Independence, one of the most "revolutionary" documents ever written, is a good place to start this re-acqaintanceship, to let the voices of the past ring through to the present and hopefully smack us out of our complacency and weak will. This, along with so many other of our founding documents, are some of the greatest things ever written on the nature and purpose of government, yet when was the last time any of us delved into the Bill of Rights? The letters of Thomas Jefferson? The Federalist Papers? You can access the Declaration in its entirety here, but this, of course, is the juicy part:
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 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.