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A Declaration of Independence for Our Times

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(The following is my rewrite for our times of the July 4, 1776 version of the Declaration of Independence, with italics expressing parts of the originally published version.) 

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for the people of a nation to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with their president and from the entire Republican Party, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and, for some, of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of the people requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed, some believe, 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 its people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that we no longer grant. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to 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 shown that humankind is 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 incompetence and insensitivity to We The People, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.  

Such has been the patient sufferance of the people of the United States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to reject their current president as well as the Republican Party. The history of the present president and this iteration of the Republican Party is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute power of the rich and super rich over these states and the people therein. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.  

Trump and the Republicans have refused assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.  

Trump and congressional Republican leaders have forbidden Democratic legislators into the process of passing laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till Trump, Ryan, and McConnell’s assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, they have utterly neglected to attend to them.  

He and the Republicans have refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large numbers of people, for example, health care ensuring universal coverage, reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act’s provisions reversed by the Supreme Court, a bill to substantially upgrade the country’s crumbling infrastructure, enhanced regulations on environmental pollution and other causes of climate change (which the president and many Republicans have denied), extended hate crimes legislation, protections for trans people to use the public facilities of their choice, and countless others of inestimable urgency except to plutocrats and kleptocrats only.

He and his Republican leaders have called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of conspiring to create legislation beneficial only to the powerful and wealthy.

He and his Republican leaders have dissolved and subverted the democratic process on which this nation was founded. With manly toxic hyper-masculine firmness and a continual stream of verified lies, he has instituted invasions on the rights of the people.

He has continually refused to fill essential positions needed to meet all the challenges and responsibility of the national government; the nation remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion – direct and cyber — from without, and convulsions within.  

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands except for private developers like himself.  

He has obstructed the administration of justice by attacking the validity and authority of the judicial branch of government.

He has intimidated judges by calling into question their qualifications and their judgment, especially when they ruled against him and his administration.

He has erected a multitude of new offices and job descriptions for his daughter and son-in-law, he appointed, for the most part, an inexperienced cabinet from backgrounds that pose serious conflicts of interests in the departments they lead, failed to divulge his tax returns, financial ties to foreign governments, and divest his business enterprises, which most other presidents have done to avoid the appearance of gaining substantially from the office of the president. And he has continually attempted to hinder investigations looking into Russian influence in our electoral process, and his administration’s possible collusion with or cover up of this influence.

He has shown confusion and a lack of understanding regarding his role as Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces, for example, losing track of a naval battle group in the Pacific Ocean, and the dropping of expensive and deadly mega “Mother of All Bombs” for no apparent cause and with limited success in advancing the mission. He stated during the presidential campaign that “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me” (I don’t). This president’s character defects, impulsive temperament, limited knowledge, and emotional instability place the entire planet at extreme peril.

He has possibly combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; possibly giving his assent to their acts of undermining our democracy:

  • For protecting them from punishment in the form of sanctions for any cyber terrorist actions which they commit on the inhabitants of these states:
  • For cutting off our trade agreements with many parts of the world:
  • For proposing substantial tax breaks for the super-rich, while giving the lower 80% of the population very little. (For as was proven during the Reagan administration, the only things that trickle down are the dregs.)
  • For bashing the First Amendment by continually attacking our free press, while continuing to prop up the Second Amendment’s rights to bear arms, even though 33,000 people are killed annually (11,000 murdered) by firearms in the U.S.

He and the Republican Party have abdicated their right to rule by waging war on the poorest and most vulnerable of our people.

His and the Republican Party’s suspicion and denial of science has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He has exited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to empower his “Justice” Department to suspend civil rights protections instituted in previous administrations.
In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A president, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define as unqualified and only in it for self-interest is unfit to be the leader of a free people.  

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our Republican sisters and brothers. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our and our nation’s plight. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of humankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.  

We, therefore, the concerned representatives of the United States of America, appealing to the good people of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, solemnly publish and declare, that these United States are, and of right ought to be free and independent people; that they are absolved from all allegiance to President Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party as it now stands, and that all political connection between us and this government, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states and the people therein, we have full power to maintain our dignity and our integrity by challenging and resisting the devastating direction our country has taken since the election of 2016 and the invasion of the White House by its current occupant, and to do all other acts and things which independent and free people  may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of democratic principles, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Warren J. Blumenfeld is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense), and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).

Written by Warren Blumenfeld

July 1st, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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