Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008

     I asked a better writer for help on this one.


     "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."  Well, we'd add women now, of course.  "That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  We fudged there, of course.  All the new Americans had life.  Women did not have liberty; they were generally supposed to obey their husbands, though some found ways around that.  And the slaves certainly didn't have liberty.  The pursuit of Happiness?  Hard to chase it when you're chopping someone else's cotton.


   "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."  Kind of, though as I've noted, everybody didn't have those rights back then.  "That whenever any Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it."  We altered and abolished our own, of course, fighting a long and costly civil war to end slavery.  We helped beat Hitler, who had about as negative a view of human rights as anyone who ever lived.  On the other hand, we've overthrown or helped overthrow some popular governments in Latin America because they didn't favor us.


     "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes..."  We've been pretty good, I think, about that.  One Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, wants to impeach President Bush, but the rest of the Congress knows he's eccentric and doesn't take him seriously.


     "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government...."  Do you suppose they read the Declaration in Zimbabwe?  In Egypt?  Go for it, guys, it's the American way.   




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